Watch building forensics expert Corbett Lunsford demonstrate Total External Static Pressure testing and pressure drop testing for a residential furnace and air conditioner. Learn to diagnose pressure problems in supply and return ductwork, filters, evaporator coils, and duct sections in just a few minutes with a minimum of testing tools!
Home performance articles and stories from the field with internationally respected building forensics guru Corbett Lunsford at the Building Performance Workshop. Hear new episodes of the Building Performance Podcast, see new videos from the Home Performance YouTube channel, and learn all about how diagnostic testing (more than an 'Energy Audit') can make home improvement and new home construction a proven process!
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I thought I would send this your way. I live in the Central Valley of California. Yesterday it reached 106 degrees. I did an experiment with my house. My 1,883 sq./ft. house had a deep energy upgrade over three years ago. The heating and cooling unit is a 2 stage/2 ton heat pump with no back-up heat. The second stage of cooling is disconnected so I am cooling with 1.4 tons. That is one ton for every 1,345 sq./ft.
Yesterday morning I left the house at 7:40 am. It was 75 degrees in the house and 75 degrees outside. I closed all of the blinds, turned the HRV off and turned the Heat Pump off. In other words, I let the house float. It got up to 106 degrees in Stockton yesterday. Luci my bride got home at 5:40 in the afternoon and the house was 78 degrees. She turned the thermostat back on and it brought the temp back to 75 in 30 minutes.
This stuff really works.
Keep up the GREAT work;
You are awesome. I'm not sure I know many other home performance experts who have fixed their own homes- most of our families have to suffer at home while we help other people get comfortable. Thanks so much for sharing the good word!
Grace and Corbett are building a performance-proven tiny house on wheels called the Tiny Lab! It's going to be built from November to February, and it starts a 16-city US Tour in March of 2016. The Crowd Sourcing Campaign is happening NOW on RocketHub- CLICK HERE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE TOUR! Here's the full series of four webinars from August 2015 detailing the engineering of a super cool tiny house on wheels!
In #1: SHAPE AND LAYOUT, Corbett and Grace show the 3D sketchup model of the Tiny Lab, and bring engineer John Bergman in for some heavy lifting to do with pinpointing the center of gravity on this 24 ft trailer tiny house.
In #2: AIRSEALING, INSULATION, & WEATHER BARRIERS, tour the process of energy modeling the tiny house to determine the optimal R-values and level of airtightness, and hear about vapor barriers, moisture control, and drainage.
In #3: HEATING, COOLING, AND VENTILATION, you get a taste for how wrong a lot of the discussion goes about homes in general, and tiny homes especially. The HVAC design, including Manual J heat load calculations and hourly solar gain curves are analyzed and used for things as straightforward as deciding which direction to park the tiny house.
In #4: BELLS & WHISTLES, see behind the design of the solar PV kit, formaldehyde-free plywood built-ins, composting toilet, off-grid plumbing challenges, and luxury items that just add that quality of life that tiny house occupants are seeking.
We really hope you'll tune in for the videos of construction- you can subscribe to our YouTube channel right now with one click!
Tiny home performance is made even more perfect in our third presentation in this tiny house engineering series! Watch as I walk you through the design and engineering of the heating, cooling, dehumidification, bath and kitchen exhaust, fresh air ventilation, and water heating systems in the Tiny Lab.
If you stay tuned to the end, you get to hear me realize I'm a total idiot! Fun stuff!
How long should the air conditioner run in a given day? The upstairs zone was running for 16 hours yesterday, and 10.5 and 11.25 each of the days before. Is that reasonable amount of time for the A/C to run given the recent summer temperatures? We are still trying to get the developer in to fix the ductwork, and figured this might be an symptom of the problem.
Great question- your air conditioner is actually designed to run continuously when it's hotter than 89 degrees F outside.
The A/C's job is to both COOL and DRY the air, and if it's too big, it doesn't run long enough to wring the humidity out of the air. This leaves you with a muggy house, where you keep lowering the temperature to try to get comfortable.
So don't be concerned when your air conditioner runs for long periods on hot summer days- that means everything's working the way it's supposed to!
Today Corbett talks with Russell King of Sierra Building Science about the labratory of California, where they've been trying to whip and incentivize efficiency like nobody's business. Are Manual J, Manual D, Manual S, window placements and sizes, and a menu of prescriptive energy code requirements actually leading us toward perfection?
Today we talk with Kristof "Handsome" Irwin, founder of Positive Energy in Austin Texas, about why your air conditioner is probably an idiot (bless its heart) and HVAC heaven that you might not have heard about.