Monday, October 29, 2012

Insulation, Sealing Air Leaks - A Green Remodel to help Cut Power Bills

How would you like to dramatically slash your electricity bill as much as 85%? Superinsulating a house can significantly enhance the energy performance of an old house. These so-called  deep energy retrofits achieve household energy as much as 85% by addressing all (or almost all) energy loads - space conditioning, warm water, lighting, home appliances, and plug loads - or even transportation. Energy cutbacks of this magnitude require a rigorous and extensive systems approach: The natural associations among energy, indoor quality of air, sturdiness, and thermal comfort should be honored throughout construction and designs. Passive photo voltaic design and renewable energy systems are typical during these projects.
The objectives of any house energy retrofit can be like those of a brand new green residence, however like all remodels, a big difference is basically you have to deal with a pre-existing building. Below are a few house systems with particular areas you should focus on.
1. Upgrade Your Home's Windows

With the top and bottom of the home sealed tightly and insulated, the very next prospect will be the walls. Did you know that old 
and outdated windows is like having a significant hole in your wall? While functioning poorly, they often leak both water and air into the house. Correctly mounted, Energy Star (or even better) windows seal off the gaps in the walls to hold out water and climate extremes.
2. Modernize The Mechanical Equipment

A classic heater or central heating boiler is frequently the worst energy user within an old house. Many houses built just before 
1920 have old coal-fired central heating boilers which were transformed into gas or oil. These models are workhorses, but use lots of energy. A brand new furnace or boiler can help to save energy dollars immediately. Changing window air conditioning units, which we did in most these houses, having a central system may also save energy immediately, as lengthy because the tubes continues to be put into the conditioned space. Photo voltaic water heating is a great choice to add here if you're able to afford it, but at the
minimum, upgrade the efficiency of warm water production by coupling the tank towards the boiler.
3. Bring The Basement And Crawlspace Inside Your Home

Warm, dry cellars and crawlspaces can extend living and space for storage. Wet cellars 
are the source of high humidity levels and discomfort in the summertime in old houses. They can also cause mold growth that will get distributed throughout the house. Spray foam is really a fast, efficient way to create these areas in to the conditioned space while sealing the leaks between foundation and floor framework.
4. Super-insulate And Air-seal The Roofing

If air leaks in at the bottom of the home, it leaks out at the very top, making a home cold and drafty in the winter months. A poorly 
insulated roof also can produce a hot house in summer time. Air-sealing is really a by-product of excellent insulation, so it’s a real one-step process. Using spray foam within roof may also eliminate the requirement for roof ventilation, that is tricky in complicated roofs.
5. Insulate Your Walls

Filling empty wall cavities with cellulose is really a cheap, easy, efficient way to warm-up a classic house. Blowing cellulose 
into existing wall tooth decay is definitely an art, to be certain, but you will find many companies who've been doing the work for a long time. Actually, you will find now affordable methods to seek advice from infrared cameras to make certain that voids happen to be filled without disturbing the present plaster or sheathing on outdoors walls. Because siding or shingles on old houses may also normally wear out, we go ahead and take chance to set up foam sheathing around the outdoors of the home before re-siding.
6. Get Energy Star (or even better)

Fittings, home appliances, and lighting after you have reduced your parking space conditioning and water-heating loads, the 
lighting, appliance, and plug load will probably be your next large energy item. A brand new Energy Star refrigerator uses 15% less energy than the usual standard model. Changing old light fittings with pin-based compact fluorescent fittings guarantees your utility bill will remain lower (as much as 30%).
7. Put In A Renewable-Energy Supply

When your energy consumption continues to be reduced considerably, it might be reasonable to create your personal energy with 
systems such as photovoltaics, wind energy, or hydro, if you possess a stream nearby. Before you slash the energy usage, though, it isn't worth the money in renewable energy sources. Conservation remains the least expensive game around.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Insulation - What Types Are Out There?

Insulation is the phenomenon of slowing down the flow of heat, electricity or sound. Insulation can be used both to prevent heat gain and heat loss from the surrounding. Most electrical appliances use insulation technology like Refrigerators, freezers and Heaters. Insulation should be installed in the areas between heated and non heated space.
One of the main applications of insulation is house insulation. An insulated home is more energy efficient, requires less maintenance and is more comfortable as the temperature remains uniform over weather changes. Insulation at home helps in saving energy and reducing utility bills. It makes the house more comfortable. Insulation at home not only helps in keeping the house cool in summer and warm in winter but it also prevents damage from leaking water and provides a good thermal resistance. Insulation is very useful to keep the temperature of the house independent from outdoor temperature.
Insulation at home helps in saving energy and reducing utility bills. It makes the house more comfortable. Insulation at home not only helps in keeping the house cool in summer and warm in winters but it also prevents damage from leaking water and provides a good thermal resistance. Insulation is very useful to keep the temperature of the house independent from outdoor temperature.
There are many types of home insulation available. All the different types of insulation have their pros and cons. They are mainly differentiated based on the material used for the insulation. They can be separated into Plastic foam, rigid board, reflective, loose fill, batts and blankets and blown in insulation etc.
Foam insulation is performed by pouring the liquid foam from a container. Foam insulation is a bit more expensive than batt and blanket insulation. Foam insulation is convenient to install while constructing the house rather than going into already built structures. As the foam insulation used to be air tight , it is not generally recommended for attic insulation.
Spray foam insulation is used to insulate the walls and ceilings do keep the house warmer during cold weather and to keep it cool in summer. Spray Foam insulation is a bit more expensive than Fiber glass insulation. This type of insulation can reduce utility and repair bills as your house is naturally warmer and free from bugs due to the insulation. Spray form insulation lasts longer than other types.
Ductwork Insulation is used to insulate ducts and hot and cold water supply pipes, water heaters and air conditioners etc. to control the temperature of air and water. It is not that expensive but can help in high energy and cost saving.
Attic insulation is a must in any house to have comfortable room temperature. A house should have an attic that has a room temperature close to the outdoor temperature. Attic insulation would not be adequate if there is not a sufficient amount of it or it has gotten wet or has become less effective due to gaps or damage in insulation. The houses that have a warm surroundings and environment can have R38 insulation while a house in a cold climate can have R49 insulation.
Eric Comforth is a consultant who writes on many consumer topics.There's plenty more insulation information at

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Keeping Warm While on a Budget

  • Close doors to upstairs unless you want the warm air to flow upstairs to the bedrooms
  • Reverse ceiling fans to bring warm air down from the ceiling areas
  • Close doors and cover vents in unused rooms
  • Close your unused fireplace
  • Ensure all windows in the home are closed
  • Insulate windows and doors
  • Eliminate cracks and gaps in doors and windows
  • Put flannel sheets on your beds and extra blankets as well
  • Lower the thermostat before bed
  • Contact Sandium today for an energy audit to determine any other ways you can make changes to reduce your energy bills

Tips for Reducing Winter Heating Bills

During the winter season, most Americans experience low temperatures and an increase in utility bills, especially for the cost of heating their homes. This year with gas prices going up, the cost of food going up, and so many families bringing in less money per pay period it is important to save as much money on our heating costs as possible.
  • Use Available Resources. A programmable thermostat is important- why heat the house at full capacity when you are sleeping? Setting your thermostat lower and layering up on the clothing and throwing more blankets and flannel sheets are also good tips. Zoned heating will also lower the heating bill- why heat the whole house when you are hardly in certain rooms, or one person likes the room cooler than others. Zoned heating will allow you to turn down the heat in certain rooms or turn it off completely.
  • Insulate to Safeguard Heat. Up to 60 percent of warm air can be lost even before it reaches the register if your ducts are not insulated. The ducts in your attic and crawlspaces should be sealed. Otherwise, both money and energy will be wasted.
  • Clean Filters and Registers. Cleaning filters (or replacing) and cleaning out the registers to make sure that nothing is blocking air flow will also help to reduce your energy bills.  Also, double-check they are not blocked by furniture, drapes or any other obstruction.
  • Conserve Warmth for Rooms Used. Close off access to registers in rooms that are not frequented. 
  • Prevent Heat Loss from the Water Heater. Insulation blankets are not very expensive (typically under $20) and are specifically designed to reduce the loss of heat. Simply wrap the blanket around the hot water heater, especially if you have an unheated basement.
  • Buy Green. If you are in the position to purchase a new heating system then look for the most energy efficient model you can find. 
  • Energy Audit. Contact your local South Bay Area HVAC company to come out and do an energy audit on your home- they will determine what changes need to be made so that you can lower your energy bills. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

5 Places Your House May Be Leaking Air

Air leaks through the building envelope- the walls, foundation, and roofs-can possess a substantial effect on durability, even when compared with water leaks. Not only can air leaks carry moisture into framing cavities, leading to condensation that causes mold and rot,  it is typically responsible for a sizable portion of a home’s energy use and indoor air quality challenges.
Where are the leaks?
When developing a new structure, paying close attention to a tight and continuous air barrier need to be a top rated priority. There are well-established (and oft-neglected) very best practices for “building tight,” but acquiring leaks in current buildings is really a diverse challenge. Your caulk and spray foam can are ready to go- where to look for leaks?
You have to think like the air, and air molecules are like mice: it is unbelievable what they could fit through. Here, in no certain order, are my 5 most likely suspects for air leaks on existing properties. One key concept is the fact that air leakage pathways are generally interconnected-and so are a number of these five.

1) The chimney chase. From the basement up through the  roof, the chimney chase can be a perfect venue for the “stack effect,” in which warm, buoyant air floats up and out of your residence, with cold outdoors air becoming pulled in in the bottom to replace it.
An unfilled gap among a brick chimney and the wood framing is prevalent in old houses, building a jet engine of air leakage. Seal it wherever you'll be able to access it-in the basement and attic, at least-using fire-safe components. A lot of old homes have unused chimneys. Check that the cleanout door and any other chimney openings are adequately sealed.

2) Light fixtures and plumbing. Plumbing is often routed in “chases” operating from the basement up via the first and second stories. Though not generally operating by means of the attic like the chimney does, this once more represents an excellent opportunity for stack impact air leakage, which air will never fail to capitalize on.
When the air motion reaches the second story and is looking for any path by means of to the attic and beyond, it turns to light fixtures, wiring penetrations, smoke detectors, and bath fans, all of which are typically cut by means of the attic floor. It could appear like that globe light is firmly attached towards the ceiling, but air can very easily discover some cracks by way of. To make matters worse, these holes are normally buried under attic insulation, generating them tougher to fix. Applying spray foam from the attic side, and only then piling on insulation, would be the most effective answer.

3. Interior wall cavities. Interior walls may well be among your home’s worst culprits for air leakage. An power audit which includes a blower door test, can prove the point, but if you’re still putting that off, obtain a spot in your home where there is some cracked or missing plaster or an old wall register that is not hooked up anymore. On a cold, windy day, place the back of your hand or possibly a lit match up against the crack and feel the cold breeze.
Because of how homes are framed, particularly balloon-frame homes (built up till the mid-1950s), interior walls communicate together with the floor structure, which communicates with all the exterior wall, often at a place with no insulation or air seal. Plaster repair, spray foam, or caulk might be proper fixes based on the setting.

4. Windows and doors. Remember, we ask a whole lot from windows and doors. We put these holes in the building to let in light and air-but then we place up blinds to help keep the light out and we get upset when the windows are drafty in the winter.
New, higher quality windows shouldn't be leaky, but most current homes do not have new, great top quality windows. Older windows can be reconditioned, and executing so is generally cost-effective. Through an energy audit I identified considerable leaks in the bottom of my double-hung windows, and at the point inside the middle exactly where the sashes meet. I installed new weatherstripping, which cut off the leakage pretty much totally.
We hope that the door started out airtight, but with all the opening and closing, putting stress in the middle with the door, they effortlessly get warped out of shape somewhat, pulling away from the weatherstripping-and the weatherstripping gets old. New weatherstripping can often repair the problem, but if the door is definitely bent out of shape, it may possibly not be sufficient.

5. Basement masonry and sills. The above-grade portion of basement walls, plus the junction amongst the foundation along with the wooden sill are commonly huge air leakage holes. (As a rule, any junction between systems or materials is really a weak point.) A foam “sill seal” is ordinarily utilised right here in new construction, but in current properties the wooden framing is frequently sitting on a brick or block foundation, plus the slight crack among the two, multiplied from the building perimeter, is enough to leak many air.
Add to that the masonry itself: cracks in the stone, brick, or block will leak. Also, concrete blocks may possibly appear solid, but all those little pores can let a great deal of wind through. Use of either spray-applied foam, rigid foam, or a combination, is often a frequent method to defeat these problems.

To have your home checked for air leaks contact Sandium.Com to set up an appointment for a energy audit.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Radiant Heat Panels: Red Hot Retrofit

Red hot as in sales, that is. The reasons behind the increasing popularity of radiant heat panels are ease of installation, quick warm up, dust free heat, and low cost relative to other retrofit heating systems.
For the same price as a pellet stove, you could heat a 1,500 square foot home and not have to deal with locating, storing and lugging 40 pound bags of wood pellets.
A U.S. Department of Energy sponsored study found that radiant heat panels were 52% less expensive to operate than electric baseboard heat and 33% more cost effective than air to air heat pumps. The study concluded that "energy savings would be obtainable in a great portion of U.S. households".
Radiant panels are about 1 inch thick, and range in size from 2'x2' to 2'x8'. They are textured to look like the ceiling and can be painted to match the room's decor with a quality water based acrylic paint.
The panels operate at 150-170 degrees F. and radiate heat to objects and people in the room. The panel itself reaches operating temperature in only three to five minutes.
Advantages of Radiant Heat Panels
Heat loss from ducts, even insulated ones, reduces the efficiency of forced air systems. Additional leakage is created by the internal air pressure generated by forced air systems. No ducts, no pressure, no leakage problems.
Since the need for a blower to circulate heat is eliminated, so is the cost of electricity to run the blower motor. Without a blower, there are no filters that need to be replaced.
Heating without moving air also eliminates drafts and prevents dust and pollen from circulating while maintaining the air's moisture content.
Radiant heat panels require no maintenance or service because there are no moving parts.
With separate thermostats for each room, zoned heating is easy as turning a light switch on and off. Significant energy savings can be realized by allowing only the occupied areas to be heated. The quick response time of radiant panels will return an unoccupied room to a comfortable temperature in minutes.
Radiant Heat Panel Applications
Radiant heat panels are an excellent source of heat for bathrooms (no more foggy mirrors), log homes, gazebos, screened in porches and stables. If you're heating a greenhouse, radiant heat will protect your plants in the absence of sunlight by maintaining root temperatures.
Replacing a wood stove with ceiling mounted panels in auxiliary buildings such as workshops or studios allows the use of all available floor space.
Radiant Heat Panel Installation 
The low amperage requirements for ceiling heat panels can usually be provided by existing 120 or 240 Volt circuits. The 30%-70% wattage reduction over electric baseboard heating eliminates the need for dedicated wiring. Wherever a single panel is installed, the existing 120-volt capacity circuit is usually adequate for the additional load.
Disadvantage of Radiant Heat Panels
The major limitation of radiant heat panels is the absence of a cooling function. Installing a ducted central air conditioner would undermine many of the advantages of using radiant panels.
One way around this would be to install a mini-split air conditioning system. The mini-split, like radiant panels, is also a cost effective retrofit solution and can be zoned to cool only occupied rooms.
If controlling heating costs is your primary concern, radiant heat panels offer an easy, cost effective and healthy way to retrofit your home with comfortable, reliable heat.

For more information on radiant heating panels please visit Sandium.Com

Radiant Ceiling Heat - How Electric Radiant Heat Panels Work

The best way for one to reduce their energy consumption is to use electric radiant ceiling heat. The most practical thing for homeowner is to use radiant heaters to heat the ceiling mounts. The hardware of this device is mounted over the head making it very practical for homeowner living in small houses. This is a good alternative to houses with central heating system. Traditional heating system use a forced air to heat your home, but the radiant heater is using radiant heat to maintain the warmth inside your home.
Know more about the Difference between traditional and Electric Radiant Heaters.
The traditional method of heating is using a forced air that is also known as whole house system. It uses a central unit that can give warm air inside your home. As you can see there are parts of the house that do not need constant heating, this is the drawback if this old heating system. You can save more energy especially if you are just going around to one part of the house that needs heat. With the use of forced air heating, you do not have any choice, but to heat the entire house.
The electric radiant ceiling heat system is also known as room by room heating system. This is the process where you are going to use different devices to heat different areas of the house. You need to have individual portable heaters inside the house and you can turn them on individually to give heat to the part of the house that only needs heat. One of the best benefits that you can reap out of using radiant heating system is the ability to choose definite locations inside your home where heat is needed. With the use of the system only those areas that you want to heat will be heated.
No energy will be wasted, because you are only heating spaces that are occupied by people. Electric radiant ceiling heat system can transmit heat better, so you will feel more comfortable inside your home even if the temperature is lower. The uniformity of the heat round is also one of the best things about using this new heating system. It has the ability to give off uniform temperature all throughout the entire area that you want to heat.
Electric Radiant Ceiling System Prices
As mentioned above this heating can give you the opportunity to save lot of money every month, because your electrical bill will surely go down tremendously. You can heat an entire place for a very affordable price. Electric radiant ceiling heat panel can only consume energy less than an electric baseboard. That can only cost around $200 to $500. These panels are light in weight that can be installed on a flat surface on your ceiling. You can use or treat as any architectural feature inside your home.
How Does an Electrical Radiant Ceiling System Work
This new system of heating houses uses thermal radiation or also known as radiant heat. It can work the same as sun during the day. The heat is emitted coming from the panels and it will be transferred to any objects below the surface. It can absorb the heat directly, you do not need blowers, open flame or any exposed elements, because electrical radiant ceiling heat coming from the panels is very safe. If you are using a radiant heat inside a room, you can heat and cooled it easily. The panels can heat up quickly once turned on. With the use of a panel that is scattered all throughout the house with thermostat you can easily control and give different level of temperature in diverse areas of the house.
You can leave a worry free life and enjoy the winter without worrying about your next electrical bill. With the help of electrical radiant ceiling system you can only warm up the places where heat is needed. You can also save space because it is mounted on the ceiling without disturbing your peace and relaxation. The only way for one to save energy and money is to reduce consumption of energy without sacrificing the comfort of your family. You can only achieve it with the help of electrical radiant system.
The beauty of radiant heat is that it can be used in any situation now. It used to be a system that was only put into concrete floors. Not anymore. Technology has advanced. You can use ceiling radiant heaters in any room, for virtually any situation. Learn more about all the different forms of radiant heat at Sandium.Com.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Comfort and a Drafty House

Insulation is definitely vital in relation to saving power in our households. With far more insulation in our walls, roofs, and foundation, much less heat escapes via conduction towards the outdoors. Insulate properly!

 Ok,  that is pretty clear.

 But insulation isn't  everything. There is also air leakage, which features a enormous impact on both energy consumption and comfort. I don't mind embarrassing myself, so let me use our residence as an example.

 When I purchased our home in 1981, a lot of work was needed. Constructed around 1785, it had been "modernized" some time in the  70s, with drop ceilings, shag rugs, fake barnboard siding around the fireplace, brushed aluminum "tiles" around the kitchen sink and stove, tacky contemporary windows, and extra partitions here and there to create extra guest rooms for the Long Island owners and their buddies coming to Vermont for ski weekends.

 The previous owners had place a good deal of money into the property - though nearly nothing at all to improve its energy efficiency, aside from insulating amongst the floor joists from the basement - and that fiberglass insulation was installed together with the facing around the wrong side so that the majority of it had long since become waterlogged and slumped to the dirt floor within a soggy mess.

 I systematically - if somewhat naively - went by the house gutting it space by space, replacing rotted sills, re-siding the exterior, insulating the wall cavities, adding a continuous layer of interior rigid foam insulation, and putting in new drywall. When I was done, the walls had been reasonably well-insulated (even though I would add much more rigid insulation were I doing the work today).

 However the home remained incredibly uncomfortable. Some years later, now married and having a baby crawling around around the floor, we had to do  something regarding the discomfort. We heated largely with wood, and using a roaring fire inside the wood stove the space might be in the 80s at the ceiling but in the 50s in the floor.

 With thick slippers, my wife and I were reasonably comfy, but when we picked our year-old daughter up off the floor, she was cold! We felt terrible - and worried about her wellness. The insulation - by early 1980s requirements - wasn't that bad, but the property was anything but comfy.

 Enter the Draft Detective

 I did some asking around and hired Dick Cartelli (a.k.a., The Draft Detective) from Putney, Vermont to determine what was going on. He came in with his "blower door" and tested the home's leakiness. A blower door is set up in an exterior door frame and turned on to pressurize the residence. By measuring just how much air is getting pushed by the blower door and measuring the pressure difference among indoors and out (employing two manometers), the operator can calculate the air tightness in the residence - typically in "air alterations per hour" at the elevated pressure of 50 pascals.

 I neglect the actual numbers, but the residence was leaky - genuinely leaky! Cartelli utilized two cases of caulk and I do not know how quite a few canisters of expanding foam sealant, built an insulated attic hatch door with foam gaskets at the edges, and implemented a great deal of other measures over a week or two to substantially tighten the old residence. By operating the blower door to depressurize the home while he worked, he was able to feel where air leakage was occurring--and seal those holes, cracks, and gaps.

 The improvement was dramatic. The delta-T (distinction in temperature) from floor-to-ceiling went from more than 20° to much less then 10°. That delta-T was further decreased when I insulated beneath our floor from the basement and also a crawl space. We no longer had to maintain the wood stove cranked at complete output to retain affordable comfort. Our daughter could crawl about around the floor and keep warm (though her earlier encounter might have contributed towards the fact that she now, as an adult, lives and works within the mild climate of San Francisco!).

 The bottom line

 Yes, we really should insulate our homes well--don't skimp on adding insulation for those who open up your wall system. But we also will need to spend attention to air tightness. Drafts cause discomfort and they drastically boost heating fuel use by carrying heated house air up and out, pulling in cold outdoors air inside the process. Adding some varieties of insulation, including dense-pack cellulose and spray polyurethane foam, can help to tighten a household, but other measures are often expected.

 Should you have a drafty residence, bring inside a weatherization contractor to measure how leaky your house truly is, and then invest in air tightening. It really is worth it!

To learn more about insulation please contact Sandium.Com

Monday, October 15, 2012

How Important is it to Have a Well Ventilated House?

If we sealed our home entirely, we would only get fresh air inside when we opened a door or window. We require ventilation to exhaust bad odours, water vapour as well as air pollution, and replenish them with fresh air, but we also need to manage ventilation to ensure that we are able to turn it on and off as we require it, and direct it exactly where it is essentialIn this way we can stop the waste of heat in the way that water is wasted through dripping taps. We then only lose the heat in air permitted to escape for ventilation purposes.
How Important is a Well Ventilated House?
Conventional wisdom has established that an average-sized space demands a minimum of 1air change per hour when occupied. Howeverthis varies and is dependent on such elementsbecause the number of occupants and the number and nature of the sources of pollution. Traditionally, ventilation was achieved using the use of air bricks and infiltration; nevertheless, as our energy conserving becomes much more sophisticated, we have to develop a correspondingly much more sophisticated ventilation strategyPrior to listing the possiblemeasures inside a strategy, we shall take a look at ventilation for combustion and heat exchangers.

Permanent Ventilation For Combustion:

It is a statutory situation that heating appliances which need air from inside a room for secureoperation should possess a permanent ventilator. The danger is that the fuel does not burn effectively without sufficient oxygen; if toxic products of combustion aren't exhausted, they are able to build up in a room and possibly prove fatal. In old houses the original ventilators are often papered over and it's obviously essential that either they are unblocked or an alternative route is found for the incoming combustion air. One way of providing this alternative route is via a purpose-built duct delivering air straight towards the appliance. Many modern appliances overcome this problem by having a balanced flue which draws air from the outdoors and expels it through exactly the same fitting.

Heat Exchangers:

Is there any way we can conserve the heat lost via controlled ventilation? Heat exchangers are designed to do just this. They're a relatively new method of recovering the heat from warm air prior to it is exhausted to the outdoors, and are being utilized increasingly as part of an overall strategy for ventilation and energy conservation. The principle is easy: the outgoing air is extracted through a matrix of hollow tubes and fins which warm the incoming air contained within them. In biggersystems, warm air is collected via ducts from numerous locations around the houselike bathrooms and kitchens, and the warmed fresh air is delivered to the residing rooms. The heat exchanger may be placed any place in the home but the roof space will be the usual locationExpert guidance is essential if you're considering of putting in a heat exchanger.

Your Ventilation Approach:

As soon as you've identified individual problems in every room of the homesuch as a heater requiring combustion ventilation or a space with an excessive amount of humidity, it's essential to draw up a ventilation strategy. Maybe the most important choice you need to make at the verybeginning is whether to set up a heat exchanger with ducts to numerous parts of one's houseIf you decide this then the problem is more or less solved in one go. This should be probably the most energy-efficient option. If not, consider all the measures below and try to balance the air flow in eachroom from the home so that you've got an inflow and an outflow. If this appears confusing, keep working at it and find methods of simplifying the issue in your mindfor examplein the event you fit controllable trickle ventilators to all  allow gaps all around the inside doors and install extractor fans within the bathroom and kitchen, this would be suffi¬cient. You'll obviously always have the choice of merely opening windows as neededIt is up to you how sophisticated a system you devise. Remember that inside a tall home in extremely cold or very windy climate, whatever system you have will need to be closed  down because the pressure differences will force air through muchsmaller openings. Whatever you determineit's important to create a ventilation technique that fits your house and the way you use it. There are the possibilities for you to think about:

  • Determine whether to install a heat exchange method.
  • Fit controllable trickle ventilators in each space to obtain cross ventilation (the ease with which these can be fitted to current windows varies using the kind of window).
Ventilation Strategies:

  • Set up mechanical extractor fans in kitchen and bathroom, controlled by a timer or humidistat (moisture manage switch).
  • Setup permanent ventilation needed for combustion appliances that rely upon a source of air from inside.
  • Use defunct chimneys as channels for ventilation or ducting. This may be particularly helpful if it's difficult to fit ventilators to the windows. Consider also utilizing your chimneys to recirculate warm air to upper storys or vice versa.
  • Install air-cleaning measures: either mechanical or biological, ionisers or filters. When the primary problem is humidity then think about using a dehumidifier and if lack of humidity then consider a misting humidifier or again the usage of plants.
  • Open and close windows as necessary: if external doors are constantly being utilized, this might provide sufficient ventilation for much of the day.

For more information on ventilation in your home or business please visit Sandium.Com

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Why are tankless water heaters becoming so popular

A water heater is one of the most crucial  appliances in your home. Very hot showers, clean laundry, and sanitized dishes are just several luxuries that are possible with hot water. Manufactures are consistently coming up with ways to further improve existing technology and generate hot water heating units that are a lot more eco-friendly. Tankless water heaters have grown to be more and more enticing for those buyers seeking an alternative choice to the normal storage tank heaters.

Tankless water heaters have become popular with homeowners for  various reasons. The obvious variation on the tankless product may be the lack of water storage tank that is typical of classic water heating units. Without a large tank, tankless versions tend to be smaller and more compact. This smaller dimension permits for additional flexibility in which the heater is mounted inside of a home. Without a big tank to keep, important closet place is saved.The most advantageous factor of the tankless water heater is  that it supplies limitless quantities of hot water. Simply because tankless models heat water on demand, there exists no shortage of hot water. It could virtually run all day and will not cease creating hot water. Standard storage tanks only include a limited amount of hot water and frequently run out before fulfilling the needs of the home owner.

Tankless heating units run more energy efficient than classic water heating units, making them a good choice for that environmentally aware customer. Traditional models heat water all day long, whether it be needed or not, wasting power and money. As you are not wasting energy by heating water that you do not need to have, a tankless design can save you 30-40% in energy expenses over a period of time. Federal tax deductions for power effective home equipment can be found to save you even more cash.As  there is no water stored in the tankless model, messy and high priced leaks are no longer a concern for house owners. Standard storage tank designs can rust after a while, impacting the purity of the water. With a tankless heater, you recognize your hot water will probably be refreshing and thoroughly clean every time it is utilized.A standard storage tank water heater typically lasts 6-12 years in a home residence. A tankless unit will run twice that time- usually about 20 years.   Storage tank types are difficult to recycle and fill up a large amount of space within our landfills, making the tankless model a far more eco-friendly choice.

Tankless heating units can be used in households and businesses alike. They are obtainable in propane, electric, or natural gas versions. A qualified HVAC technician  can properly put in and maintain your tankless unit.There are a few likely negatives of tankless water heating models. Although they're able to conserve consumers income with time, the preliminary cost of the tankless unit can be as much as three times the amount of a standard unit. Electric models might need an electrician to set up an extra circuit in your house.

Tankless water heating units provide a variety of benefits for customers trying to find an water heating unit that is energy efficient. Although the initial price may possibly be more than the usual standard tank, the personal savings could buy the device as time passes.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Pro and Cons of Radiant-Heated Flooring

You are renovating the bathroom and desire to add a couple of luxuries. An big tub with massaging jets, beautiful porcelain tiling and comfy furnishings pop into your mind. And even perhaps a heated floor. Many people are looking at radiant-heated floors because of that extra degree of spa-like level of comfort. Before making a decision about a heated floor, you need to know a few of the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of home heating systems. Here is a little run-down about the primary varieties of systems plus the advantages and disadvantages for using this kind of home heating system. Needless to say, any local heating and air conditioning specialist will have more in depth details.

Heater Floor Systems: Which to consider?

There's two main types of radiant-heated floors. First is electric, which supplies heat through electrically warmed up coils. Second is hydronic, providing heat via water-filled pipes. The pipes can be heated in a number of ways utilizing a solar panel, oil, gas or even kerosene. Not sure which to settle on? Ask your local HVAC expert for their recommendation.

The Advantages of Electric Radiant-Heated Floors

If you're installing heated floors in your bathrooms or to the entire house, there are many benefits to radiant-heated flooring. The main benefit needless to say is comfort. There isn't anything like getting out of bed on a freezing morning and putting your feet on warm hard wood floors. Radiant-heated floors also occupy absolutely no extra space. Since this kind of flooring is mounted beneath the flooring, it's totally out of view aside from the thermostat. Usage cost is a pro on top of that. Users of radiant-heated flooring claim that they save about 15 percent to 30 percent in their heating costs, based on the size flooring they've got installed. Sturdiness is another excellent element with radiant heated floors. Shielded by 2 solid layers, these systems were designed to last. And on the plus side, the set up . time is reasonably short. Allergy affected individuals benefit from these systems as well! They supply relaxing warmth without throwing out a lot of dust in the air.

The Down-side of electrical Radiant-Heated Floors

There are a few drawbacks to using an electric powered heated floor. The first is the heated floor system can't be retrofitted beneath your pre-existing flooring. The HVAC tech will have to remove the old floor, install the heated system and install new flooring. Expect to invest approximately $15 to $20 for every sq . ft .. Additionally, you might need new electrical wiring from the main electric circuit panel in order to properly power your heating system. And finally, radiant flooring won't warm up as fast as a space heater. You have to wait for an hour before your floors are heated.

The Benefit of Hydronic Radiant-Heated Floors

You will see the same advantages as you did with the electric system as well as some fuel-cost savings. Whether you decide to go with solar or oil, these electric alternatives will save you money.

The Drawback of a Hydronic Heated Floor

Add the same negative aspects as the electric version plus one more. While electric systems are durable, with a hydronic heated floor, there is a possibility of having water damage. With a substantial leak there could be damage to your floors, your furnishings as well as your house. 

Not sure which to choose? Contact your local Sandium HVAC technician for their advice. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pre-Season Special on Furnace Test and Tune

Seasonal furnace maintenance is essential to make sure your furnace is running efficiently and safely. Just like today's automobiles, modern furnace and air conditioning systems contain motors, sensors, and intricate control mechanisms that need seasonal attention, tuning, and preventative maintenance.

In order to keep your equipment running in tip-top running condition, schedule your Furnace test-and-tune before it turns cold. Last year we received over 250 calls for emergency service when he weather turned cold. Don't take a chance this year to need an emergency repair on Thanksgiving or Christmas eve!

Our normal price for a test-and tune with an air quality analysis and combustion gas leak detections is $140. If you plan ahead, we are offering a pre-season special of only $89. And, if you are a Sandium Service Club member, the charge is only $75.

In most cases the Sandium Test-and-Tune will pay for itself in utility savings. But mostly, the peace of mind you will have knowing your system is operating safely is truely priceless. We are looking forward to assisting you. 

Call Andreanna in our office and schedule today. 408-894-9072 

BONUS OFFER: Mention the web special get a Duct Leakage Test, normally $150, for only $99 with a Furnace Test-and-Tune.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Heating and Air Conditioning Duct Maintenance

Your HVAC ductwork is the series of tubes that carry treated air through out the building. If you are thinking about installing a brand new central air or heat pump inside your residence, you should make certain the ductwork that could carry your new higher efficiency air conditioner is up to par with the system. As the air flows by means of these ducts, any leaks or issues will ruin the impact in the whole system. You may believe that the system itself isn't working as it should- when it is really the duct-work that is causing the problems.

When installing or diagnosing a system for HVAC repairs, a good technician will inspect all of the ducts. First off he is looking to determine if the existing duct system will match the new air handler that was installed. This will also show if there are any leaks or other challenges. Lastly, ducts need to be insulated and routed inside a certain way to maintain safety. This approach is known in the industry as: checking for ductwork integrity.

The typical residential HVAC system has some leakage. So it is possible that you may get the same cost savings in just repairing the ducts as you would in investing in a new HE system. If 20% of the air is leaking, then your HVAC unit will need to function harder. This results in larger bills and possible furnace repairs. So it is important to ask the HVAC tech to check the integrity on the ducts. They will not mind- it is what they are trained to do.

To sustain the efficiency of this well sealed ductwork, your local Sandium HVAC company will install insulation around it. The insulation also serves to safeguard the inside of your property from the temperature variations brought on by hot or cool air flowing. At these temperature change points moisture tends to accumulate. As water saturated air below the dew point gets in contact with warm beams, then it'll sweat. This ruins the ducts and may trigger mold and mildew difficulties. To counteract this be sure there is a vapor barrier between the treated air and the outside air.

To schedule an appointment with one of our skilled technicians to check your duct work please visit Sandium.Com or call (408) 894-9072