Homes That Perform!

Greenville Area Indoor Air Quality Problems: Dust Troubles Part 2.

Posted by Michael Kamps on Thu, Aug 15, 2013 @ 12:41 PM

Your Home May Be 'Sucking' It All In.

If there are holes, the next question is, "What is the force that would cause the house to suck in the dust?" In your house, the most likely force would be negative pressures caused by leaks or imbalances in the forced air system.
If, for instance, the supply ducts in the basement are very leaky, then the system is blowing less air into the living space than is coming back through the return ducts. This will cause the house to have a negative pressure relative to the outside (and the attic). In other words, it will cause the house to suck air out of the attic, if there are holes.

In some houses, this same effect is created by closing bedroom doors. The heating/air conditioning system is blowing air into the bedrooms, but the air can't get back out to the return duct located in a central hallway. The bedrooms are being blown up like a balloon,(except the sheetrock doesn't stretch) and rest of the house is under a negative pressure, with the return trying to suck in air from wherever it can get it. If the easiest place for that air to come from is the attic, then that's where it will come from, complete with dust, 'critter' droppings, insulation fibers, and whatever else might be up there between the house and the attic.

Of course, it's also quite possible that these same forces are sucking air into the house from the basement or from outside, rather than from the attic. The only way to know for sure is to have the house tested with a blower door, a device designed to locate the holes in the house and measure their size.

Aside from the dust, the air is probably also hot and wet in the summer, cold and dry in the winter, and contaminated with a variety of pollutants all year round. Identifying the problems and fixing them will not only improve your dust situation, but will also reduce your energy bills, increase your comfort, and enhance the health of you and your family.

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Tags: Indoor Air Problems, Attic, Air Leaks, IAQ

Indoor Air Quality Problems: Dust Troubles Part 1.

Posted by Michael Kamps on Mon, Aug 12, 2013 @ 04:49 PM

This Is For Grand Rapids Homeowners Who Experience Dust Troubles? "Within two days, I have dust sitting on all my surfaces..!!"

"My curtains become filthy within a week after taking them down and washing them. Yet there is only one small vent near them and I don't see much dust there. I had my vents inspected before we put in the new equipment and was told I did not have any problem. We have checked as far as we can see and see no build up or debris in the vents. What could be causing this problem and how can we fix it?"

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Tags: Indoor Air Problems, Dust Problems, Air Leaks, IAQ

Grand Rapids Air Conditioning - 'Thermostat Wars' Resolved?

Posted by Michael Kamps on Fri, Jul 12, 2013 @ 04:45 AM

'Blessed Are The Peacemakers'. Working towards a solution.

What about Programmable thermostats? (I'm still looking to meet the person who has their programmable thermostat programmed.) Programmable thermostat manufacturers tend to exaggerate the savings you will get (Bet you're surprised).
Apparently studies show most people either don't program the setbacks, or override/defeat them with "Hold" settings. Based on this you will find articles saying they don't save money. Sort of like studies showing smoke detectors don't save many lives because most people don't replace the batteries, so they don't alarm. It just has to be true that if you don't use something it won't help you. So, if you don't intend to use it, don't buy one. I'm guessing people stop using them because they can be annoying and uncomfortable. If you program it to start the setback too early in the evening you will have to get ready for bed in the cold (or hot in the summer). If you program it to set back after your sure you'll be in bed, you must either get under too much cover and be too hot initially, or wake up freezing and cover up. If you have to get up in the night it will be cooooold.

It's something of an over simplification, but how much you save depends mostly on how much setback you use and how long your house stays at the target setback temperature. Thus, one long setback period will save more than two short ones totaling the same amount of setback time. Keep in mind, the worse your insulation, windows and doors are the more you will save, and vice versa. The greater your air leakage is through your windows, doors and insulation the faster you lose heat, and the quicker the temperature will reach the setback temperature. Thus, the more of the setback period it will be at the setback temperature.

Building a new 'Ultra Energy Efficient' home with everything sized, engineered and installed correctly creates TRUE comfort all year around. Just set the thermostat and forget it. However as you will learn through our blog, energy efficient home improvements always add comfort if they are done correctly.

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Tags: Thermostat, Cooling, Air Leaks, Comfort

Energy Efficiency Solutions: Do-It-Yourself Energy Audit.

Posted by Michael Kamps on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 @ 04:59 PM

Does Your Home Have A 'Window' Open All Year 'Round?

At H&H Plumbing & Heating, it's a high priority to provide information to homeowners in Greenville, Rcokford, and Cedar Springs about steps they can take themselves to improve the energy efficiency or comfort of their home. Our goal in this article is simple: help you make insulating and weatherizing your home as easy as possible. Why..., up to 30% is there for the savings; plus the improvement in comfort. Michigan Winters are cold; and after last summer, they can be pretty hot!

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Tags: Air Sealing, Energy Efficiency, Air Leaks, Energy Efficiency Tips

Energy Efficiency Solutions: The Basement Area!

Posted by Michael Kamps on Mon, Apr 15, 2013 @ 06:47 PM

Caution Regarding Air Sealing The Basement Area:

Homeowners in Greenville, Rockford, or Grand Rapids, may not be aware of this potential problem when weatherizing their home for drafts. Commonly called air sealing. When undertaking air sealing, be careful of a few things when it comes to basements. There may already be hazards without doing any air sealing, but it may be aggravated if not addressed before, or during air sealing. Caution must be taken.

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Tags: Air Sealing, Backdrafting, Testing, Air Leaks

Energy Efficiency Solutions: Fix The Wall Area!

Posted by Michael Kamps on Mon, Apr 08, 2013 @ 06:48 PM

'Air Sealing' Is Something Most Homeowners Are Unaware Of When It Comes To Reducing Heating And Cooling Bills; While Increasing Comfort.

In general, air sealing is a very cost-effective measure to to energy efficient solutions to existing homes today. In addition, it can save money by preventing maintenance problems such as freezing pipes, ice dams and roof rot. More about that in future blog articles.

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Tags: Air Sealing, Walls, Air Leaks, Comfort

Energy Efficiency Solutions: Fix The Biggest Holes!

Posted by Michael Kamps on Tue, Apr 02, 2013 @ 04:13 PM

Energy Efficiency Solutions Starts At The Top -- the Attic.

As a top-notch mechanical contractor, H&H Plumbing & Heating are always looking out for information that will help homeowners in the Greenville, Rockford and Grand Rapids Area improve the value, efficiency and comfort in their home. Adding insulation or new replacement windows are common areas people look to improve but they may not be the best money spent. Reducing air leakage is one of the biggest improvements you can make. You see blowing more insulation or rolling out more fiberglass batts won't fix your air-leakage problems. Air can pass through them.

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Tags: Air Sealing, Attic, Air Leaks, Energy Efficiency Tips

Energy Efficiency Solutions: Plug The Holes(Leaks)!

Posted by Michael Kamps on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 @ 01:04 PM

Recommendations for Greenville Homeowers: Air leakage causes all sorts of problems!

Whenever you are undertaking a home improvement project, DO NOT overlook or miss the opportunity to reduce air leaks(even the slightest leak).

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Tags: Air Sealing, Air Leaks, Comfort, Energy Efficiency Tips

Steps To Energy Efficiency: Caulking, Sealing, and Weatherization

Posted by Brett Higby on Mon, Mar 18, 2013 @ 05:11 PM

Existing air leaks and air sealing problem spots are often overlooked. Mentioned on the list of recommendations in the Home Performance Analysis report is "weatherization."

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Tags: Air Sealing, Indoor Air, Energy Efficiency, Air Leaks