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Bath Fans Of The Future…

On April 29, 2011, in news, by jake

Back in the old days, ventilation typically stood for fans that extracted stale, odiferous, and otherwise disagreeable air from the kitchen and bath. In these days of energy consciousness, we have become aware of how wasteful pumping out freshly filtered and conditioned air actually is. The furnace or AC unit must work overtime to compensate for this loss, costing precious dollars and resources. Couple this with new construction technologies that make for better insulated and sealed homes and a perfect storm is arising, as now depressurization and backdrafting appliances become possible by extracting air without replacing it.

For the kitchen, due to the volume of air needed to remove smoke and other particles, at this time there is no good answer other than what we currently use. Make-up Air Provisions are becoming more prevalent in Building Departments around the country for Kitchen Fans drawing more than 300 CFM. But that is a whole ‘nother kettle of tea we will examine in a later post.

Bath Fans, however,  can benefit from some newer and energy saving ideas. We have been seeing more and more folks use Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRVs) for venting the bath, as these remove air as well as replace air due to an air to air exchanger that can capture up to 90+ percent of energy from the outgoing air. They can utilize the same grilles as our traditional bath kits and operate just as quietly, as an added bonus, they are adding a small amount of fresh air to the home improving indoor air quality.

As illustrated above, the HRV can really make for a comfortable environment in the whole house. The economics of installing one are not as bad as one would think. Once you are looking at a bath fan or two, the jump to the HRV is not large, especially given the benefits of the unit. For those that are sensitive to allergens, an inline filter box can be added to the fresh air intake to cleanse the incoming air.

For sizing, we like to stick with the tried and true method of 1 CFM per square foot of area in the bath, which gives us roughly 8 air changes per hour. Therefore, the VH704 for instance could be used on a traditional “Hall Bath” of fair size given its’ 70 CFM. Most will fall into the SHR1505 and its’ 147 CFM, although this could do a good size bath or two and perform general ventilation of a laundry room as well.


Setra Pressure Transwhat….

On April 20, 2011, in news, by jake

We here at happily announce that we will be Stocking a number of Setra Pressure Transducers and Room Pressure Monitors here on the West Coast. Those of you that know what I just said are likely rejoicing, as these types of things are not readily available, and worse, when you need it, you need it bad. Clients will be able to call and speak to one of our skilled technicians to ask questions, and if you absolutely, positively have to have it we will walk it out to shipping to ensure Next Day Delivery (at an additional charge).

The models we will be carrying will cover most models, and be “adjustable range” so you are certain to find a model that will work in your application to get things up and running.

Room Pressure Monitor

The SRPM Room Pressure Monitor is designed for critical low differential pressure applications that require stringent pressure monitoring and alarming. True differential pressure is measured and displayed with a resolution 0.0001″ W.C. The SRPM is a complete system that includes a convenient backlit RGB LCD display with an intuitive graphical user interface for pressure, security, calibration and alarm setup.


Breathe Easier…

On April 13, 2011, in news, by jake

Now that spring has sprung, many of us are experiencing allergies and assorted maladies relating to pollen in the air. Getting rid of those irritants is important, specifically inside the home, as there is no hiding from them outside.

The low hanging fruit to rectify this are fairly simple: Replace the Filters in your HVAC system, clean the registers, and even vacuum the duct near the opening. When selecting your filter, look for a high MERV rating, above MERV8 if possible. These filters will catch very fine items to help improve and maintain indoor air. You may dust less to boot!

Since we are also coming to a time of heavier HVAC usage, you would be well advised to inspect your duct work as well. I recently wondered why my Furnace wasn’t working well, so I climbed into the attic and found the duct feeding the area in question had become detached from the trunk line! I was heating the attic in sub-freezing weather. Not good (or cheap!). A roll of our foil backed butyl tape fixed that and some other questionable joints in no time.

There are some more available options that are a bit more advanced, but will pay dividends over and over. Included in this level would be installing a powered HEPA filter on the main HVAC system, a passive inline filter box,  or even an HRV (heat recovery ventilator).


Work Smart, Not Hard…

On January 4, 2011, in news, by jake

If you watch the DIY channels, the term “Trick of the Trade” comes up in speech or by implication. Certainly tricks are learned (usually the hard way) over time, especially with repetition. How can the average DIYer do a job easier, saving time and frustration? Simple…the right tools.

We have found a great line of HVAC tools from Malco Products to help pros and DIYers do a better job. These tools help cut the cumbersome flex duct, tighten cable ties effectively or even cut sheetmetal. From my years in the field, I know having a strong, comfortable tool that is made for the job matters. I mean, sure, a vise grip will work as a hammer…but not well.

There’s nothing more satisfying than a job well done…with our Malco Tools that will be easier than ever before.


Heated Air, On The Move…

On November 17, 2010, in news, by jake

Yes, well its getting cold out there. HVACQuick has moved from the sunny climes of California to Oregon, and for this California boy, it is certainly frosty. Never has layered clothing made sense…til now.

Lots of people contact us because they have wood stoves, pellet stoves and so forth that deliver tremendous heat but only to the room they are in. There has got to be a way to get the air from the now super-heated living room back to the bedrooms where you want it most, especially at night.Well, follow me…let’s go take a look at some options:

If we are trying to go just to the next room over, the Tjernlund AS1 or Suncourt TW series fans are hard to beat. They have the grilles for each wall, a power switch and some even have speed controls. Any of these models will move a fair bit of air and help distribute heat (or cooling) to an adjacent room.

As the distance increases, so do the methods and options…

The most popular way people accomplish this air transfer is to use an inline fan like a Fantech FG series coupled with grills in the space with the fireplace, as well as down the hall and/or in the bedrooms. This allows for the heat to be distributed more evenly throughout the house and increases the efficiency of the wood being burned. As far as controlling this fan, there are a couple ways…the easiest and most common is to use a simple on/off wall switch to operate the fan when needed. Another way that is being used more and more is to automate the process a little, some clients have been putting thermostats up near the ceiling (where the precious heat gathers) to activate the fan when the temperature rises enough to warrant the fan operating.


Winds Of Change…

On October 29, 2010, in news, by jake

Fall is upon us friends…the rustle of the leaves across my driveway, the brisk chill in the air…mmm, pumpkin pie. There are some things that can be done this time of year that can keep you more comfortable and save some money to boot.

  • Change or Clean Furnace Filters…This should be done at least 3 times per year to help keep the airflow path clear so the blower motor doesn’t have to hard too hard to distribute air. As you likely have seen, after a summer of open windows the filter has taken a beating and is covered with dust and debris.
  • Seal the ducts. It has been calculated that roughly 30% of your annual energy costs literally fly out the window due to loss in poorly sealed or even disconnected ducts. You can visually inspect the duct work for tears, and check all connections to ensure they are tightly sealed. If they are not, some Foil Back Butyl Rubber tape will go a long way towards recuperating heat or money.
  • Clean your dryer duct and inspect the lint screen. Lint build up can impede airflow out of the dryer, decreasing performance and creating the potential for fire.

Control Freaks…

On August 17, 2010, in news, by jake

The choices to control your fan vary as widely as the choice of fans.

Here are some of the more common ones and a few typical uses:

  • Timers. These are usually countdown timers that allow you to leave the fan running after you are done in the bath to ensure all the moisture is gone. These are also nice given how quiet the inline remote fans are. BONUS: If you are using a single fan to vent two baths, these timers make it very easy to install switches in each bath. Here is a wiring diagram:

  • Speed Controls. These are fairly self explanatory, they allow you to adjust the speed of the fan itself. Typically used in kitchens because the ventilation needs vary by what you are doing, we have also used them in Duct Boosting applications to set the fan at the most efficient setting for the job. We have ones that look great and those that didn’t go to prom, as well we have models that will take quite a bit of voltage.
  • Themostats. We use these to turn on attic fans as well as garage fans when temperatures build up. The most popular use is actually in A/V applications. We have a model that will switch high voltage (110v) so that eliminates the need for relays and ancillary wiring.
  • Humidistats. These are used to measure moisture content in the air and turn on a fan to vent an area. Usually under a home, or in a barn or other outbuilding. These are nice, because they do the remembering for you, so you needn’t worry about whether the fan was turned on.

Take the stress off, your plants!

On August 3, 2010, in solutions, by radek

Another great addition to our lineup:  The Ostberg CK series inline hydroponics fans.

ostberg inline fans

Keep the temperature down and prevent stress on your plants through proper ventilation.  These puppies are designed for tough high static pressure applications such as carbon filters and humid grow room environments.  The tough baked epoxy coating and a 10 year warranty are icing on the cake.

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Get The Popcorn…

On July 29, 2010, in news, by jake

Todays high tech TV and sound systems have a lot of computing power and lots of amps to portray the sounds the Director wanted you to hear. A byproduct of all those components can be tremendous heat build up, which potentially could damage your equipment.

The best way to alleviate heat build up is of course to evacuate the air from the enclosure or room the equipment is in. Typically installers will install a thermostat in the room, then put a remote fan above or below connected with duct to pull air out.

S&P inline fans:

Of course we need cooler air to come in and replace what we have taken, so a popular solution is to install a grille down low in the access door. This allows air to come from the house and absorb the heat being produced. Sometimes we even add a filter to this door grille to keep the dust from building up on the components.

This will also work with servers, and other heat generating electronic equipment. Some benefits of proper heat dispersal is better performance and longer life of the pieces.

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Keep It Quiet…

On July 23, 2010, in news, by jake

A concern shown by many clients is quiet operation of whichever fan unit they are purchasing. Remote fans clearly will assist with this as the fan is not located directly above you. There are other factors that can help with a quiet installation.

For bath fans, try to get at least 5-8 feet of flexible insulated duct between the fan and grille. We have found this ducting does a great job at minimizing noise and vibration transmission.

Kitchens are bit tougher since any fan moving the volume of air that they do will be louder. Typically a Fantech Silencer will assist in this matter quite well. Distance will also be your friend on these as the fans can typically be mounted anywhere in the duct run. Also, try to get a couple bends in the pipe between the fan and the kitchen. This will help bounce the sound waves back to the discharge side, and help keep things quiet.

For those of you doing general ventilation, boosting your HVAC airflow and other tasks, you can use a combination of the above and use a couple of the following:

If you are trying to boost airflow at a particular register, try to keep the fan back from the register by a few feet if possible.

Those with rigid duct would do well to replace a section around the fan with flex duct to help absorb some noise.

The use of a speed controller can help quiet a fan as well. You can purchase a fan with a little more power than you need and dial it back to suit your need.