This post is specifically for my friends in the Southern US. No offense to the Northerners, but you Yankee’s generally have a full in-ground basement to run your HVAC systems and very few attics in the North have ductwork. In the South we are mostly Slab-on-Grade concrete foundations or Crawl Space’s with Pier/Beam foundations. That means our HVAC systems and most of the ductwork is running through the attic. If this is your situation then watch my video to get the basics on a Conditioned Attic. This non-vented attic makes a massive difference in the efficiency of a Southern home. Continue ReadingRead More »
I just completed my first house using the Perfect Wall method invented by Building Science Corporation. Perfect Wall is a method of building that results in a super-tight envelope with thick exterior insulation. We didn’t specifically design this house to meet Passive House standards, but the results are very close. (See these blog posts for more on the Perfect Wall system.)
One big benefit for a super tight & insulated house is that you can severely downsize the HVAC system, and use generally use less expensive systems. Here’s my 4 keys to designing an HVAC system for an Ultra-Efficient House. Continue ReadingRead More »
I installed my first Rheem HP50 Hybrid Heat Pump water heater in 2009, and that first unit has been fantastic for my clients. I’ve tried several models over the last 6 years (including one that’s no longer made), but the biggest downfall of these Heat Pump units is their capacity. You really want to run your unit in Heat Pump Only mode for maximum savings and the heat pump takes a while to refresh a drained tank. I estimate a typical 50 gallon unit has about 30 minutes of showering before it’s drained and that can be tight if you need back-to-back showers, or especially if you fill a tub then want to shower in the next hour.
Let me show you how I used the newest Rheem model in a novel way to solve this capacity issue.
I just completed a Lake House for clients who are nearing retirement. Most of the time it’s just two people in the house, but since it’s a lake front house they get a huge influx of visitors on the summer weekends. One normal tank wasn’t going to cut it for those weekends with guests. Here’s my solution for an Ultimate Hot Water setup!Read More »