1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

December 25, 2008

:360 Condensation Control

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:360 EcoTip: Condensation on cold surfaces can be eliminated by reducing the humidity. Reducing the humidity lowers the dew point temperature. By lowering the dew point temperature below the temperature of the coldest surface condensation can be eliminated.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :359

Humidity can be lowered by reducing the amount of moisture that is going into the air. Ventilating cooking, laundry and bathroom moisture to the outside can help. If moisture is entering the building from the outside – for example through a concrete slab or from outdoor elevated humidity, then dehumidification may be needed in the winter.

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December 24, 2008

:359 Cold Surface Condensation

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:359 EcoTip: The dew point occurs when temperatures on a surface are cold enough to cause condensation to form. If this happens on the outside of a can of soda – its not such a big deal – but if it happens on or inside wall or building cavities – the condensed water can result in damage and mold growth.

184-missing-insulation-ir1

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 Additional Information:

The blue area in the thermal image shown above is missing insulation. If the indoor temperature is 68 degrees F, and the humidity is 50% condensation will develop if the surface temperature hits approximately 50 degrees or less. The condensed moisture can result in water damage and mold growth.

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November 23, 2008

:328 Check Supply Registers

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:328 EcoTip: The vanes on supply registers (the registers that blow the air into the room) should be installed to blow the air toward the middle of the room – not at cold exterior walls. In winter cold spots on walls may result in condensation forming when warm air is directed at them. The warm air hits a cold surface that’s temperature is below the dew point – condensation will form. Walls with condensation are more likely to grow mold. By blowing the air away from walls it can mix with the room air making condensation on the wall where the air hits it less likely.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :301, :302

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October 28, 2008

:302 Window Condensation

Take the 1:5:10:365 challange: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:302 EcoTip:  The formation of condensation that lasts for more than a couple of hours without drying completely by itself is an indication that the moisture level in you home is too high. Do what you can to reduce the humidity levels. Condensation forms on windows or other surfaces when the temperature of the surface is less than the dew point temperature. If you find condensation forming on windows that doesn’t dry by itself every single day, it should be wiped up and dried daily to prevent damage until you can get the humidity levels under control.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :116, :300, :301

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October 27, 2008

:301 Indoor Dew Point

Filed under: :301 Indoor Dew Point — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:17 am

Take the 1:5:10:365 challange: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:301 EcoTip: When using a set back thermostat the minimum indoor temperatures should be kept well above the dew point temperature. The dew point is the temperature that results in condensation forming. For example if you have the indoor temperature set at 68 degrees F and the indoor relative humidity is 50%, setting the thermostat back ten degrees would cause the relative humidity to go up to approximately 75%.  If the relative humidity goes a little higher than this for a short period – it should be okay, but if the humidity stays over 70% for a couple of days dust mites and microorganisms may find favorable niches to begin growing.

You can use the surface temperature of your windows to predict how far you can set back your thermostat. If the temperature of the window gets cold enough to reach the dew point (100% relative humidity) and condensation begins to form on the surface, you should try to keep the minimum set-back temperature of the room at least ten degrees warmer than the temperature of the window when the condensation first starts to form.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :116, :300

Tomorrow’s tip is about window condensation.

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August 4, 2008

:217 A/C Condensate Pan

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:217 EcoTip: Air conditioning systems not only cool but help dehumidify air by draining condensed water from their cooling coils. This water is supposed to drain into a condensate pan that is plumbed to dispose it. The pan should be mounted so that it can drain completely to help prevent a build up of organic material and bacteria contamination.

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 Additional Information:

The condensation pan for air conditioners is frequently mounted inside the system where it cannot be easily inspected to be sure it is clean and in good condition. In this case ask your service technician if there is a way they can provide you access to check on the unit between service calls.

The following information from EPA provides some guidance for selecting a new system:

  • Specify the following features for all air handling units:
    • Double-sloped drain pan – A double-sloped pan prevents water from standing and stagnating in the pan.
    • Non-corroding drain pan – Made from stainless steel or plastic. Prevents corrosion that would cause water to leak inside the AHU.
    • Easy access doors – All access doors are hinged and use quick release latches that do not require tools to open. Easy access to filters, drain pans, and cooling coils is imperative.
    • Double wall cabinet – The inner wall protects the insulation from moisture and mechanical damage, increases sound dampening, and is easier to clean.

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