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).