1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

December 12, 2008

:347 Base Temperature

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.

1:5:10:347 EcoTip: When calculating your energy use using heating degree days the base temperature of your home is the outside temperature that doesn’t require any additional heat from your furnace to maintain. A passive solar home will have a much lower base temperature than an uninsulated leaky building. To make the most accurate energy use calculations for your home it is necessary to adjust the Base Temperature.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :343, :344, :345, :346

For general calculations a base temperature of 65 degrees F has been used in the United States, but your building may be much lower. The typical base temperature used in Britan is several degrees lower.

A well insulated building will do a better job of maintaining the indoor heat generated by appliances and occupants- which can lower the actual base temperature some.  When doing comparisons the closer your base temperature is to the way your building functions the better.

What is apparent is that the use of HDD can be highly variable and there are quite a number of inaccuracies that enter into the mix. A good article for explaining the problems in more detail is at http://www.energylens.com/articles/degree-days#base-temperature-problem For now it sounds like trial and error is the most practical way to determine your homes base temperature.

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October 15, 2008

:289 Change Filters

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

1:5:10:289 EcoTip: Even if you don’t have a full scale service and cleaning for your heating system, you should change the filters. As the filter loads with dirt the air flow is reduced – which can waste energy. See EcoTip :110 for information on upgrading filters.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :110

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October 14, 2008

:288 Service Furnace

Filed under: :288 Service Furnace — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:07 am

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

1:5:10:288 EcoTip: With winter coming – it is time to have your furnace system cleaned, checked and tuned-up for maximum energy efficiency and savings.

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 Additional Information:

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August 22, 2008

:235 Fried Dust

Filed under: :235 Fried Dust — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:05 am

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

1:5:10:235 EcoTip: Fried dust is a term used to describe the burned chemical odor that occurs when dirty furnace systems are operated. The dust that lands on the heat exchanger inside the furnace will vaporize when it gets hot. This released volatile organic compounds that can be quite a noxious odor. An efficient furnace filter and a sealed duct system can help prevent dust from settling on the heat exchanger to eliminate this problem.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :042, :043, :110

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April 19, 2008

:110 Upgrade Furnace Filters

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

1:5:10:110  EcoTip: Pleated filters are available that do a much better job than standard HVAC filters. Hot weather is coming so it is time to start thinking about making sure your air conditioning system can run as efficiently as possible.

When you change your filter – upgrade to a higher efficiency pleated filter. They fit in the same slot as a standard fibrous furnace filter but are much more effective in removing dust and small particles like mold spores. 

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 Additional Information

Suggested Review – none

The Filtrete pleated filter by 3M has a MERV 11 rating which means it will do a pretty good job of removing mold spores, pollens and other small particles and it fits in a standard system slot.

Lawrence Berkeley research laboratory has excellent additional information of furnace system retrofits and includes information on filters at: http://ducts.lbl.gov/HVACRetrofitguide.html

 

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February 12, 2008

:043 Sealing Ducts

Filed under: :043 Sealing Ducts — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

Suggested Review – :039, :040, :041, :042

Today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip provides information about sealing leaky duct-work.

1:5:10:043 Tip: Leaky furnace ducts and connections result in energy loss. They should be sealed using secure strapping and an HVAC system approved mastic. Duct tape tends to fail – often with expensive results.

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Additional Information

EPA’s EnergyStar program has excellent information on correcting duct leaks at: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=behind_the_walls.btw_ducts

duct_problems.jpg 

Major sources of leakage include:

A. Leaky duct connections

B. Leaky return ducts

C. Furniture blocking registers

D. Leaks at furnace and air filter slot and duct tape failures

E. Fallen duct insulation

F. Leaky supply ducts

G. Kinks in duct-work restricting airflow

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February 11, 2008

:042 Duct Leakage

noc20070101_0146.jpg Fluke IR Fusion Source: Restoration Consultants www.moistureview.com

Suggested Review – :039, :040, :041

Today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet deals with finding ductwork leaks to prevent and energy waste and save money.

1:5:10:042 Tip: Thermal imaging and duct blaster testing are two techniques that can be used to identify duct leakage. When ducts leak into attic, crawlspaces or wall cavities, they waste energy by heating or cooling a space that is not occupied or supposed to be conditioned. Air conditioned air leakage into these unintended areas may result in moisture condensation and mold growth. Air pressure differences created by the leaks can suck or blow insulation, dust and other air pollutants into the occupied space.

Tomorrow I will talk about ways to correct duct leakage.

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Additional Information

inspect2.jpg Duct Blaster

Source: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=behind_the_walls.btw_inspection

An energy audit using a duct blaster will tell you how much energy is being lost. A thermal imaging scan can indicate where the leaks are located. Thermal scans of the building envelope are best done when there is at least a 20 degree temperature difference between the inside and outside. Duct work evaluations can be done any time of year as long as the system is either heating or cooling.

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