HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs

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Real training for HVAC ( Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) Technicians. Including recorded tech training, interviews, diagnostics and general conversations about the trade.

Bryan Orr


    • Oct 4, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 35m AVG DURATION
    • 556 EPISODES

    4.9 from 767 ratings Listeners of HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs that love the show mention: orr, techs, best hvac podcast, refrigeration, leak, technicians, bryan does a great, thanks bryan, 3 1 2, new tech, residential, never stop learning, bryan's, school podcast, put into this podcast, trade, thank you brian, department, gaps, curriculum.



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    Latest episodes from HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs

    Myth: Path of Least Resistance - Short #154

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 4, 2022 10:13


    In this short podcast, Bryan debunks the myth that electricity only takes the path of least resistance. It is true that more current will typically take paths of lower resistance; it's much easier for more electrons to flow through a path with lower resistance, which is consistent with Ohm's law. Ohm's law states that a circuit will have higher current with you have lower resistance so long as the voltage stays the same.  In most cases, the voltage stays relatively constant; transformers don't often need to limit their currents, so there usually isn't a voltage drop. When power supplies are regulated, the voltage is usually fixed, not the amperage. As a result, dropping the resistance in a circuit will increase the current.  Ohm's law holds true for both resistive and inductive loads. Inductive loads, however, are a bit tricky because the resistance isn't constant. As motors spin faster, they create back EMF or impedance, which is magnetic resistance. The resistance only shows up once a motor, solenoid, or another electromagnetic component is energized; the resistance is much more dynamic. An electrical current takes ALL parallel paths, not just the path of least resistance. The current also stays proportional to the resistance, even when it takes paths of many different resistance values. Our bodies are also parallel paths, so there's a risk of electric shock even though our bodies usually have much higher resistance than loads. Wet skin has less resistance than dry skin, so that's why electricity and water are so dangerous to us; lower resistance means that more current can flow through our bodies.  If electricity ONLY took the path of least resistance, we wouldn't be able to operate all the appliances and electrical components in our homes. The only prerequisite is an electrical potential (voltage).   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Dehumidification in Shoulder Seasons w/ Nikki

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 29, 2022 58:49


    Nikki Krueger from Santa Fe Dehumidifiers returns to the podcast to talk about dehumidification equipment and strategies in the shoulder seasons (spring and fall). The shoulder seasons (and the weeks leading up to them) are when many homeowners begin to notice moisture problems in their homes. HVAC units and dehumidifiers should have a king-queen relationship. The HVAC unit is the king and controls the bulk of temperature and humidity during the day, but the dehumidifier can take care of the humidity when the king needs help. To remove moisture optimally, an HVAC unit needs longer runtimes and a cold evaporator coil. However, there will still likely be gaps in performance, and that's when the dehumidifier can step in.  Proper equipment sizing can help us achieve better runtimes; we want to avoid oversizing the HVAC equipment, but oversizing is a bit less critical when it comes to installing dehumidifiers. The actual install configuration is more important when it comes to dehumidifiers (i.e., whether it takes supply or return air and ties into the supply or return). Dehumidification can be coupled with ventilation and filtration; ventilating dehumidifiers bring in outdoor air and should filter it before dehumidifying. The air mixing tends to occur in the dehumidifier, and the mixed, dehumidified air then moves into the supply airstream.  Nikki and Bryan also discuss: Condensating vents, walls, and equipment Modern homes, energy efficiency, and HVAC  Infiltration and the building envelope's effect on humidity Effects of equipment sizing and wall/duct insulation Fan speed, air mixing, condensation, and humidity Andy Ask and Ken Gehring's contributions and legacies Humidity from household habits and behaviors Santa Fe Oasis 105 features and operation   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Time Management - Short #153

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2022 15:49


    In this short podcast episode, Bryan gives some quick tips for time management. You can save a lot of time by prioritizing what really matters and delegating tasks. One of the simplest but most effective ways to manage your time is to use a calendar. You can even apply the calendar to your personal life; you can get into a habit of scheduling important appointments, deadlines, and tasks. Google Calendar also allows other people to see and interact with your schedule, so it's a great tool for scheduling performance reviews, interviews, and meetings. When you prioritize things, think about the negative and positive impacts of each thing. The ones with the highest positive and negative impacts should take priority over things with less significant positive or negative impacts. Many of the major business initiatives take place in the slow season, and many of our urgent client issues take priority during the busy seasons. Delegating is also a critical task. Just because you can do something, that doesn't mean you should do it. So, it often makes more sense to give someone a task if they're uniquely qualified for it. If someone is uniquely qualified to do a task, then you can delegate that task to them. Delegating is NOT the same as passing work to someone else because you don't want to do it. To delegate effectively, you need to assess qualifications and prioritize. On the management side, you can put processes in place that allow you to spend less time managing and more time doing meaningful things at work that you actually enjoy. Making videos and audio tutorials can make it easy to demonstrate processes and procedures within your company. Then, you can focus on leading by example, creating, and making everybody better overall.   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Become a Better Mentor w/ Eric Kaiser

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2022 43:55


    Eric Kaiser returns to the podcast to talk about how to become a better mentor. He explains the topic from the perspective of a mentor and a mentee. The goal of mentorship is to pass your knowledge on to someone else. When you give someone the knowledge to succeed in the HVAC/R trade, you move the trade forward and allow yourself to try new career opportunities when someone can replace you. Some of the most effective mentorship strategies establish the mentor as a guide rather than someone who spoon-feeds the mentee. Mentorship is about supporting discovery, which also builds the relationship between the mentor and mentee. Mentors can also learn from their mentees when they allow their mentees to discover the answers to their questions. Mentors can also benefit their mentees by talking about health, especially mental health. Those who have been in the trade a long time may know how to draw boundaries between their work and their personal lives; mentees can benefit from open discussions about those things, and it helps to know that their mentor cares for them. Good mentors help mentees prioritize their health and wellness and break mental health stigmas. Mentors can also share references to other possible teachers with their mentees. Those relationships are especially important for mentors who don't have all the answers. Mentorship provides the context for training, and those connections provide as much context as possible. Mentors can also be mentees themselves, and those relationships are what really advance the trade.  Eric and Bryan also discuss: Online education vs. in-person mentorship The role of the apprentice or mentee The Socratic method Mentoring people about health and safety practices Bryan and Eric's mentors Recognizing who mentors are and treating them appropriately   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    HVAC Measurement Types and Benefits

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2022 43:04


    Eric Kaiser joins the HVAC School podcast to talk about HVAC measurement types and the benefits of taking each one. He also talks about point measurements and data trends. Point measurements include static pressure, voltage readings, and readings provided by gauges. We only take those measurements once. However, when you track those on several occasions over time, you can build data trends. Single-point measurements give us information about what is happening at the moment, but they don't give us a long-term view of the system's health. Absolute and differential measurements also have different purposes entirely. Absolute measurements require us to compare a reading to a specific, unchanging reference point, but differentials compare one measurement to another. When we turn point measurements into trend measurements, we can see some degree of causation. Changes in data trends indicate that a problem occurred at a certain point in time and could be due to changes that coincided with the deviation from the norm. However, that's intermittent trending that relies on us to take point measurements at spaced-out points in time. Continuous trending allows us to use sensors and test instruments that map changes constantly. At the end of the day, point measurements are like snapshots, and continuous data trends are like videos; the former only shows part of the picture, and the latter can help us solve more difficult problems by giving us a more complete idea of what's happening. Eric and Bryan also discuss: Qualitative vs. quantitative measurements Filter restrictions and static pressure Gauge vs. atmospheric pressure Combined trend measurements How tool usage and calibration impact measurements Non-invasive testing Recorded data and sample frequency Comparative troubleshooting in spaces with similar equipment Resolution vs. accuracy vs. precision   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Ventilation and 62.2 Intro & Rant w/ Genry Garcia

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 8, 2022 55:03


    Genry Garcia joins the podcast to give an intro to ASHRAE Standard 62.2. He and Bryan also share a nice rant about accountability in HVAC design. Standard 62.2 is the ventilation standard for low-rise residential buildings, which dilutes airborne contaminants like VOCs and CO2. Before coming up with a ventilation strategy, we need to assess the leakage rate of the building, such as via a blower door test. However, we also need to consider how bringing in outdoor air might negatively affect efficiency and comfort if we don't do it right.  Exhaust ventilation removes air from the structure and relies on infiltration to bring air back in. Instead, we can use controlled intake air, which is brought in from the outdoors instead of unconditioned spaces in the home.  Ventilating dehumidification is a strategy we can use to comply with 62.2; we can bring in filtered outdoor air and dehumidify it before injecting it into the supply ductwork. When we introduce ventilation in a Florida installation, bringing it in through the return is typically not ideal, especially if it's unfiltered. People can go wrong with 62.2 if they remain shortsighted; when designing ventilation systems, we need to think about a lot more than the load calculations and CFM of fresh air needed. We need to focus on accessibility, ventilation strategies, and location-specific installation practices. Consulting tradespeople during the design process would likely make ventilation systems much more accessible, sensible, and effective. Genry and Bryan also discuss: Ventilation as an IAQ strategy Infiltration credits Pressurization Continuous vs. spot measurement Holding the right people accountable during the design phase Intermittent vs. continuous ventilation Automating ventilation with sensors Controlling ventilation on a timer Genry's ideal methods of controlling ventilation   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Pressure Enthalpy without Tears

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2022 47:04


    RACT manual co-author Eugene Silberstein joins the podcast to talk about the titular topic of his book, Pressure Enthalpy Without Tears.  Pressure Enthalpy Without Tears is a book that introduces engineering concepts to HVAC technicians in a way they can understand and apply in the field. Enthalpy is a fancy way of saying “heat,” and we use it to refer to the total heat content (BTUs). The pressure-enthalpy chart shows the relationship between the refrigerant pressure and enthalpy in a system; it's like a P-T chart that shows the relationship between heat content instead of temperature.  Each refrigerant has its own pressure-enthalpy chart, but the points and lines on the chart usually form a right trapezoid. Dirty air filters and other less-than-ideal conditions can distort the trapezoid or shift it on the chart. Each side of the trapezoid represents the refrigerant inside a major component of the HVAC system: evaporator, compressor, condenser, and metering device. The pressure-enthalpy diagram allows you to get a look at individual components while keeping the entire system in mind.  To plot points on a pressure-enthalpy chart, you need the high side pressure, low side pressure, condenser outlet temperature, evaporator outlet temperature, and compressor inlet temperature. Pressure is usually measured in absolute units (rather than gauge units), but ballpark estimates are typically sufficient. Entropy is another concept we need to consider. Compression theoretically leaves no additional entropy and is reversible. Crossing a line of entropy means that a process is no longer reversible. Eugene and Bryan also discuss: Technicians vs. engineers Temperature vs. heat content Psychrometric and pressure-enthalpy charts Using the pressure-enthalpy diagram to assess operation costs Electrical measurements Predicting compressor failure Putting passion into learning and trades education   You can visit https://www.escogroup.org/ to purchase Pressure Enthalpy Without Tears and access all of ESCO Group's resources. You can also use the code HVACSchool22 for a discount on ESCO Group's eLearning services. If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Total Heat of Rejection - Short #152

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2022 10:06


    In this short podcast, Bryan talks about THOR, total heat of rejection. He explains what it is and why we should care about it when working on HVAC/R systems. THOR is another aspect of pressure-enthalpy calculations, along with net refrigeration effect (NRE) and total heat of compression. When we talk about system capacity, we're often referring to heat absorbed in the evaporator coil (NRE).  Heating is on the opposite side of the coin; when we bring heat into a home, we care more about how much heat is rejected than absorbed. That's where THOR comes in. More heat is rejected at the condenser than absorbed in the evaporator. The total heat content increases due to additional heat being absorbed in the suction line. Compressors also have motors that aren't 100% efficient, so a bit of inefficiency also adds a small amount of heat to the refrigerant (in a system operating normally). All of that heat adds up to the total heat of rejection (THOR).   Even though a higher total heat of rejection is desirable when we want heat pumps to bring heat into the home, we don't want our compression ratios and discharge temperatures to get too high. We have to avoid oil breakdown and other negative effects. So, modern heat pumps use variable frequency drive technologies or liquid or vapor injection to get a lot of capacity out of the compressor without overheating it. The effective THOR only happens in the condenser. Some heat rejection may occur in the discharge line, but none of that is of use to us when we need to bring heat indoors.   Check out Eugene Silberstein's book, Pressure Enthalpy Without Tears, at https://escogroup.org/shop/itemdetail.aspx?ID=1445.  If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Hard Start vs. Easy Start

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 25, 2022 78:40


    Matteo Giovanetti from Micro-Air joins the HVAC School podcast to talk about the differences between a hard start and an EasyStart. Micro-Air's “EasyStart” provides a soft start rather than a hard start. A hard start abruptly ramps up the voltage and current to the motor start; a soft start is a much gentler start that results from a gradual voltage and current increase on the start AND run windings.  The EasyStart marks a paradigm shift in how we think about “saving” compressors. It attempts to avoid drawing unnecessary inrush current, which is very common with hard starts. Hard starts may even lead to premature failure if the potential relay fails and can't take the start capacitor out of the circuit.  EasyStart has a different wiring configuration compared to hard start kits. A hard start kit consists of a start capacitor wired in series with a potential relay, which increases the torque on the compressor and removes the start capacitor from the circuit. The EasyStart has four wires; the black and white wires (L1 and L2) connect directly to the contactor, a brown wire that splices directly to the run winding, and an orange wire to the HERM terminal of the run capacitor.  EasyStart also records information about the compressor during the first few startups to optimize its performance. It also monitors overcurrent and fault conditions with phase detection; when it detects a stall, it shuts off the compressor and doesn't attempt to restart it until a few minutes have passed. Matteo and Bryan also discuss: EasyStart models Solar, generator, and RV use Impedance Positive temperature coefficient resistors (PTCRs) Compressors running backward EasyStart's Bluetooth capabilities Tech support and product education Offering useful upgrades to customers Running and starting watt specifications for generators   Learn more about EasyStart or purchase it directly from https://www.microair.net/. You can also contact the manufacturer by email at sales@microair.net.  You can view the EasyStart home installation video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp4U-husy1o&ab_channel=MicroAir.  If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Heat of Compression - Short #151

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2022 8:30


    In this short podcast, Bryan explains what the heat of compression is and why we should care about it as HVAC/R professionals. More heat is rejected in the condenser than absorbed in the evaporator coil, and that's because the compressor adds heat. That added heat is called “heat of compression.” That heat does NOT contribute to the net refrigeration effect (NRE), as it doesn't contribute to cooling. When we compress something, we increase the system entropy during that process. Entropy is the waste and disorder associated with work. There is some inefficiency, which we see in the form of additional heat. So, the HVAC system needs to reject that additional heat of compression, and we can plot and track reversible changes by following lines of constant entropy. As the temperature increases, the molecules begin moving more quickly. However, the refrigerant doesn't absorb many more BTUs in the compressor (in a properly operating system). The temperature spikes, but the compressor doesn't typically add a significant number of BTUs to the refrigerant. Heat also enters the system via the suction line, which also doesn't contribute to the NRE. Long, uninsulated suction lines can absorb a lot of heat without cooling the space at all. That heat also has to be rejected in the condenser. So, short, well-insulated suction lines tend to absorb less heat. When plotting the heat of compression, we're looking at BTUs added into the system in the compressor, discharge line, and suction line. BTUs that don't contribute to the NRE may fall under the “heat of compression” label, though the actual definition may vary by organization.   Check out Eugene Silberstein's book, Pressure Enthalpy Without Tears, at https://escogroup.org/shop/itemdetail.aspx?ID=1445.  If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Intro to ACCA Manual T

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 18, 2022 40:56


    Ed Janowiak joins the podcast to introduce us to ACCA Manual T. Compared to other manuals, Manual T is one of the least-considered ACCA manuals. However, it's the manual that advises us on how not to blow high-velocity air on people and has maintained the same standards since the mid-1900s. Unlike Manuals J, S, and D, Manual T is not recognized in code compliance. Manual T deals with air distribution; it helps us find out the throw and spread, which informs our ductwork design in Manual D. We need to know the customer's expectations and the air velocity we'll need to manage at the registers before designing the ductwork. Register placement is also a critical element of Manual T. Throw and spreqd can vary wildly, and register selection and placement are going to have a significant effect on comfort as a result. Register placement on the ceiling may achieve the Coanda effect to assist with air distribution, and that can be especially useful in low-load or passive homes. Low-load homes are an interesting case, as they use less hardware than other homes, meaning that we need to make the most of calculations and equipment selection. Manual T ultimately focuses on using the diffusers and registers, rather than the equipment, to spread air throughout a space. Knowledge of the principles in Manual T also allows us to communicate, establish, and manage expectations with the customer. Ed and Bryan also discuss: Registers, diffusers, grilles, and vents Filter restrictions ACCA Manual LLH Air movement in the occupied vs. unoccupied zone Manual T as an extension of Manual D What it means to lend credibility in this industry Floor vs. ceiling registers based on climate   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Net Refrigeration Effect - Short #150

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2022 12:22


    In this short podcast, Bryan explains what the net refrigeration effect (NRE) is and how it affects HVAC systems. The net refrigeration effect (NRE) is what happens in the evaporator coil. The evaporator is the heat absorber; as air passes over the coil, the cooler refrigerant within the evaporator absorbs that heat and boils. The NRE is the net energy change that occurs during that process. You can plot the NRE on a pressure-enthalpy chart. When air moves over the evaporator coil, there is a change in enthalpy or BTUs per pound in the refrigerant (usually called delta h). There should be more BTUs per pound in refrigerant exiting the coil than when it went in. We have to know how many pounds of refrigerant we're circulating (mass flow rate) and how many BTUs are in those pounds. Many of those BTUs come from latent heat transfer, which happens when the refrigerant boils. When refrigerant undergoes a phase change, it remains at a constant temperature (sensible heat), but it continues absorbing heat. The heat absorbed contributes to the phase change, and that's latent heat. Most of the NRE deals with those latent BTUs. (Note: this does NOT refer to latent heat loads.) In addition to the boiling or saturation phase, we also have to consider BTU changes when refrigerant flashes off at the beginning of the evaporator coil and heat obtained during the superheating phase at the top of the coil. We can maximize our NRE by running a cold evaporator coil (without freezing) and ensuring the evaporator is full of boiling refrigerant. BTUs absorbed in the suction line do NOT count towards the NRE, as they don't contribute to cooling spaces or refrigerated boxes.   Check out Eugene Silberstein's book, Pressure Enthalpy Without Tears, at https://escogroup.org/shop/itemdetail.aspx?ID=1445.  If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Systems Thinking - Gas and Combustion

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2022 54:13


    Eric Kaiser returns to the podcast to talk about how we can use systems thinking to approach gas appliances and combustion in HVAC installation and service. Gas lines can be made of a few different materials, including black iron, copper, and CSST. These all have benefits, setbacks, and appropriate applications. For example, copper is common in propane (LP) systems but not natural gas. In coastal environments, galvanized pipe tends to be most common due to the increased likelihood of corrosion. Gas lines may also need sleeves to prevent them from interacting with moisture. The piping also needs to be routed in accordance with code; in many cases, joints need to be exposed so that a technician can check for leaks. Keeping joints inside walls is risky, especially when light switches cause sparks and could potentially ignite leaking natural gas. In any case, leak detection can be tricky unless you have a combustible gas leak detector and bubbles that work well for gas lines. Safety has to be the top priority when it comes to venting, especially on water heaters. A personal low-level CO monitor can also keep you and your customers safe by detecting small yet harmful amounts of carbon monoxide. Makeup air and combustion air are also important in gas appliances; unbalanced pressures may result in undesigned return paths. Traps and improper pitch may also lead to improper venting, as condensate may get trapped in the pipe and may lead to freezing or other complications. Eric and Bryan also discuss: Pipe material and flow rate Pipe sizing and connectors Regulator issues on gas water heaters and pool heaters Thread sealant products and best practices Bubble solution recommendations Signs and risks of backdrafting Exhaust pipe insulation Drain installation   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    HVAC School Admin Discussion - Moderating a Successful Community

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2022 59:11


    Some admins from the HVAC School Facebook group join the podcast to discuss the art of moderating a successful community. Bryan is joined by Eric Kaiser, Ty Branaman, Michael Housh, and Neil Comparetto. A community based on a skilled trade gives people an inviting space to share information and ask questions. It's also a space that allows people to practice how they present information. Groups also connect people across geographical locations, and we can get regional perspectives that change the way we think about things. However, community standards are necessary to keep groups professional and on-topic. Swearing is a slippery slope that may lead to personal attacks, which make the community hostile and unhelpful. The main goal is to keep a respectful atmosphere, and moderators have to draw the line somewhere, but there's a difference between cultivating a productive atmosphere and being dogmatic. People who interact in those communities need to do it for altruistic reasons, not to satisfy their egos. Giving detailed, accurate answers (ideally with a source to back up the information) is the best way to contribute meaningfully. Engaging in rigorous debates with an open mind is also a great way to see many different viewpoints.  Debates in HVAC communities are great, but they require boundaries and mutual respect between debaters. Namecalling, blaming others, or dragging politics into the discussion is unproductive. Overall, it's best to stay positive and try to keep things helpful, and admins try to maintain an atmosphere that can be both serious and lighthearted but is always helpful and respectful. HVAC communities and groups are not places to share other groups, content, or job postings. These groups are not marketing centers; they are forums for learning and discussing the work we do every day. Ty, Neil, Michael, Eric, and Bryan also talk about: How they got started in online HVAC communities Unproductive arguments about codes Banning and muting members Receiving feedback Avoiding logical fallacies in debates How egos hold people back Trite and unproductive catchphrases, slogans, and jokes Responding to disagreements productively Communicating with people appropriately Admitting fault and refraining from judging others who are incorrect Moderating posts for quality and shareability   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Systems Thinking - HV / LV / Condensate

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2022 46:38


    Eric Kaiser returns to the podcast to discuss high-voltage wiring, low-voltage wiring, and condensate assemblies as they relate to systems thinking. On the high-voltage side, the disconnect should be in a secure location, and it should be able to keep water out. The wires should be appropriately sized, have an appropriate level of tension, and should not be vulnerable to chafing or abrasion. Overall, best practices include using proper grommets and ensuring that you have a solid connection. Do not run high voltage wiring in parallel with low-voltage or control wiring. It's also worth noting that double-lugging is a poor practice that is against code. On the low-voltage side, you also need to be careful of where you route your wires to avoid induction, contact with hot surfaces, or abrasion. The insulation ratings also need to be appropriate. We can think of the condensate assembly as its own system. Condensate drains have uphills and downhills, and they may have traps, vents, and cleanouts throughout. Cleanouts and vents may be confused for each other, but cleanouts allow the technician to access and clean the drain. Cleanouts are also capped when in use, but vents are not. The location of a vent can help equalize the siphoning effects of pressurization. Condensate systems also consist of pans and switches. In those cases, redundancy is desirable to prevent overflowing. Secondary drain pans should be large enough to overlap with the primary pan, especially in horizontal air handlers. Eric and Bryan also discuss: Conductor length best practices Connecting stranded to solid wire Lug torquing Variation in wire sizing Testing low-voltage wires Cleanout tees Single vs. multiple drains with other appliances Drain pitch and if there could be “too much fall”   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Systems Thinking - Copper & Line sets

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2022 33:37


    Eric Kaiser returns to the podcast to talk about how copper, piping, and line sets play into systems thinking. Nowadays, we have to think about POE and PVE oil, and we need to design line sets in a way that assists with oil carry while preventing liquid refrigerant migration. The height of the evaporator relative to the condenser is a major factor to consider during the design phase. Especially when chases are run underground, we need to watch for possible threats to the copper. Water softener discharge and excess pool water may damage the copper over time, and systems should be designed to keep line sets away from those. In many cases, Florida chases are sealed with mastic, which doesn't prevent water from getting in (but does prevent rodents and insects from entering the home. Flowing nitrogen is one of the best practices you can do while brazing. Nitrogen displaces oxygen, which contributes to oxidation and produces scale. When cutting copper, you will also want to make sure that you don't get copper shavings inside the tube. The pressure test is also an important step for leak detection. Following the manufacturer's instructions, pressurize the system and apply a liquid leak reactant (bubbles) to joints and other common leak points. It's a good idea to have at least one line drier in the system, and it should be able to work both ways in a heat pump system. Ideally, the line drier should be in a serviceable location, as it will be easier to detect restrictions when it's on the line set. Eric and Bryan also discuss: Air and vapor barriers Long line guidelines Underground chase depth Derate values Controversial reaming/deburring practices Line drier best practices   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Systems Thinking In HVAC w/ Eric K

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 14, 2022 53:14


    Eric Kaiser joins the podcast to talk about systems thinking in HVAC. Systems thinking allows us to solve problems and address customers' comfort holistically instead of focusing on just the equipment. The key to systems thinking is to think outside the appliance. System design plays a major role in performance. Duct design, drain placement, and equipment placement all matter, and we can only do so much to mitigate factors of poor design. We need to assess the building envelope and consider how the HVAC system interacts with it. Building envelope and duct leakage will significantly affect HVAC performance and occupant comfort.  Ventilation also matters, especially since many homes rely on exhaust-only ventilation. However, the air that leaves the building must be replaced, and we often don't control where that air comes from. When you control the source of your fresh air ventilation to meet ASHRAE 62.2, filtration may further help control the quality of the air that comes in. Installation and commissioning are other things we need to consider when thinking of the HVAC equipment systemically. The wiring needs to be correct, and we need to verify that the system is achieving the proper airflow in the first place. Static pressure is another factor that we must consider during commissioning, as an abnormal static pressure could indicate a filter that doesn't fit or is too restrictive. It's best to start by looking at the appliance and widening your scope from there until you know about the system as a whole. Eric and Bryan also discuss: Is the house a duct system? Oversizing equipment Stack effect Loose vs. tight houses Filtration best practices Radiant heat transfer Ductwork best practices Data trends of cause and effect   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Logical Fallacies - False Cause & Strawman

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2022 42:20


    Nathan Orr joins Bryan to talk about some logical fallacies, namely the false cause and strawman. They explain how those fallacies show up in the trade. It's difficult to present arguments without using fallacies, but people tend to rely on fallacies to uphold extreme religious or ideological viewpoints or conspiracy theories. Fallacies are also often easier to communicate than nuanced science and data. “False cause” relates to the phrase “correlation does not equal causation.” It can be tempting to link coincidences and say that one thing causes the other, but that could very well not be true. For example, more compressors fail during lightning storms. It's reasonable to assume that lightning causes the failures, but lightning is not simply striking all of the compressors; other power outages and other conditions that happen during storms are more likely plausible causes. Confirmation bias also makes it easy to cling to a false cause. People are likely to disregard data that doesn't align with what they already believe. A strawman misrepresents (or deliberately misstates) another argument to make it easier to attack. People often apply the strawman fallacy to conversations about forming ice in a system during vacuum and duct sizing. Strawman arguments happen more often in business matters, especially if people impugn the intentions of the other party. In many cases, being open to new information will prevent you from falling prey to logical fallacies. Nathan and Bryan also discuss: Flat-earthers Inverter board failures at night Evaporator coil corrosion Simultaneous capacitor and fan motor failures Logical fallacies in chance and gambling The pitfalls of anecdotal evidence and small samples Appeal to emotion Defining “better” Mounting TXV bulbs Heuristics and mental shortcuts   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Tips for Learning in HVAC/R w/ Trevor Matthews

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2022 33:02


    Refrigeration Mentor founder Trevor Matthews returns to the HVAC School podcast to talk about personal development and training, including tips for learning in HVAC/R. When you're looking at a problem in the field or in training, it pays to take a step back, cool down, and reevaluate your mindset. Trevor recommends thinking about the worst-case scenario and seeing how you can either prevent it or grow from it. It's good to walk away for a little bit anytime you feel like you're overanalyzing anything so that you don't make blunders.  Trevor has found that reading books is one of the best ways to learn about HVAC/R. HVAC/R professionals can greatly benefit from investing in themselves and setting up their own self-directed training programs. Trainers and mentors can't be the only ones motivating HVAC/R professionals, holding them accountable, and stimulating their growth. Many times, our own limiting beliefs of ourselves hold us back, and we need to convince ourselves that we can learn difficult things, even if it isn't easy. We can also limit our ratio of entertainment to education; focusing more on the latter can greatly benefit your personal development. Setting educational goals is also difficult when we work long hours and simply don't have the time or energy to invest in ourselves. The industry needs reform, and reform that raises base rates and prevents an over-reliance on overtime might also attract some new professionals to the field. Trevor and Bryan also discuss: Trevor's new podcast Clearing your head Books about doing the hard things first Autodidactism and “learning how to learn” Subconscious cost-benefit analysis The industry's addiction to overtime Helpful books and podcasts for personal development Getting rid of “tunnel vision”   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Threaded Connection Tips - Short #149

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 28, 2022 14:53


    In this short podcast episode, Bryan shares some of his top threaded connection tips. He also clears up some confusion about connection types. Threaded connections include flare and compression-type fittings (like chatleff or Aeroquip fittings). The threads don't actually make the seal; the pressure pushing the surfaces together is what makes a seal.  Bryan doesn't recommend putting traditional thread locks on flares, but refrigerant oil or mild assembly lubricants can help the flare come together more smoothly without imperfections. However, you need to be careful when using a torque wrench and use the lowest acceptable specification to avoid over-torquing.  Leaks are common problems with flare fittings, but those often happen in cases where flares are poorly made. Scored faces, loose flares, and over-torqued flares are common causes of leaks. However, many modern flaring tools can make perfect flares quite easily. You must also remember to deburr the copper for the best results. Compression-type fittings often have O-rings, which are the parts that actually do the sealing. (Leaks WILL happen without the O-ring in place.) You can use an assembly lubricant with these fittings, but you still have to be mindful of torque spec adjustments.  Pipe-thread connections actually rely on the threads, not pressure or an O-ring, to create a seal. Pipe dopes (or thread sealants) tend to be best on these connections, but you want to leave the last couple of threads bare so that pipe dope doesn't get into the system. As with brazed and soldered joints, the copper used for threaded connections needs to be cleaned, cut squarely, and deburred for best results.  Bryan also covers: Assembly lubricants  Brazing vs. soldering Zoomlock IMC 1107.5.4 Protecting seals during brazing and soldering   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Giving Kids The Tools For Any Job They Want

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2022 53:35


    Bryan explains how parents and educators can succeed at giving kids the tools for any job they want. This podcast was originally a presentation at the 2022 FPEA Florida Homeschool Convention. Jobs, careers, and vocations have changed a lot over the years. Even though those have changed over the years, parents still want their kids' vocations to develop character, foster growth, and bring joy. While kids are young, parents can instill values of grit and diligence; however, parents have to overcome the challenges presented by the instant gratification provided by technology.  Interest-guided learning is a double-edged sword, as it allows a child to pursue their interests but can cut them off from the interest of others. Developing the values of kindness and deference can temper the negative effects of interest-guided learning while maintaining the benefits of interest-guided learning. If a child has an interest in something and can pursue that interest on their own by demonstrating autodidactism, they open themself up to a lot of vocational options. Nowadays, it's a lot more common for people to hold many different jobs or vocations over their lifetime. Encouraging a child to learn different skills allows them to explore non-linear career paths more easily than children who don't learn useful skills. When teaching children, developing mental models and an appreciation for learning is another key to success across vocations. Bryan also talks about: Vocation vs. avocation Grit vs. talent in the pursuit of success Modeling and practicing gratefulness Transferable skills Feeling “stuck” in a vocation Visualizing average molecular velocity Learning about humidity and electrical movement Striking a balance between joy, service, and passion Expectations vs. standards Pursuing college, business ownership, and other career opportunities   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    ERV & HRV - Short #148

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2022 11:30


    In this short podcast episode, Bryan talks about ERV and HRV technologies, including their appropriate applications and limitations. HRVs are heat recovery ventilators (not to be confused with heat recovery units or HRUs), and ERVs are energy recovery ventilators. The main difference between these two lies in the type of heat they move; HRVs only move sensible BTUs, whereas ERVs move sensible and latent BTUs.  As you bring air in from outside, you're discharging roughly the same amount of air (though modern technologies allow you to manipulate the pressure a bit more). The goal of the HRV or ERV is to recover some energy from the air exiting the structure and incorporate it into the incoming airstream. The airstreams cross over each other, and there is heat transfer but not air mixing. (ERVs also allow for the exchange of moisture.) Two fans drive the direction of energy flow, and a mesh or a porous desiccant medium facilitates the interaction between the airstreams. You will get some energy savings with an HRV or ERV, but savings are dictated by the amount of air moved and the temperature differential between the airstreams. In general, you will see HRVs up north (in low-humidity markets) and ERVs down south (in higher latent-heat markets). However, even ERVs aren't very effective in conditions with low energy transfer and high moisture UNLESS they're used with a ventilating dehumidifier. Bringing in fresh air is good for indoor health and safety, as it helps dilute the presence of VOCs, viruses, and harmful gases. HRVs and ERVs help us manage the air we bring in. Bryan also covers: Integrating ERVs with bathroom ventilation Safety considerations to consider for outdoor air Positive pressurization Demand ventilation with CO2 sensors Learning about ASHRAE 62.2   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Refrigerant Changes Coming & The Helix w/ Emerson

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 16, 2022 46:23


    Rajan Rajendran and Jennifer Butsch from Emerson join the podcast to discuss the Helix and some refrigerant changes that are coming. Jennifer is the Director of Regulatory Affairs, and Rajan is the Global Vice President for Environmental Sustainability and former director of the Emerson Helix. Lately, there have been more environmental efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and plenty of large corporations have “net zero” initiatives. Sustainability requires a holistic, systemic approach in our industry; the Helix Innovation Center conducts the research needed for us to handle these sustainability initiatives as effectively and safely as possible. However, the sustainability initiatives frustrate a lot of technicians. There will likely be multiple refrigerant transitions as our industry progresses. Education and knowledge provided by manufacturers and HVAC organizations will be the key to smooth transitions. Many of the replacement refrigerants, including R-32 and R-454B, are A2Ls. These mildly flammable refrigerants have different handling, transportation, and charging procedures than what we're used to. However, we are unlikely to see changes in oils; POE and PVE oil will likely remain dominant in the market. Eventually, we may see more GWP changes. We would also be prudent to focus on preventing and rectifying equipment leaks. Proper maintenance will help us navigate current and possible future changes. Rajan, Jennifer, and Bryan also discuss: The AIM Act and HFC reduction in 2024 GWP-limit petitions in HVAC vs. refrigeration Refrigerants that manufacturers are embracing Refrigerant testing processes Natural refrigerants The weight of refrigerants vs. the weight of air Evaporator coil manufacturing and leakage Built-in leak detection Refrigerant pricing   To learn more about these coming refrigerant changes, check out the AHRI Safe Refrigerant Transition Task Force's resources HERE or Emerson's E360 Platform HERE. If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Pilot Controls - Short #147

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 14, 2022 7:01


    In this short podcast episode, Bryan talks about pilot controls. He talks about the old-school ignition systems on gas appliances and some similar pilot functions on residential A/C units and heat pumps. When we think about a pilot light on a gas appliance, we can think of it as a small standing flame that sits there ready to ignite the burner whenever gas is flowing. Pilot lights were necessary for old-school gas furnaces, and many of those pilot lights worked with a thermocouple. In many older furnaces, pilots also prevent excessive carbon monoxide from unspent gas. In other words, the pilot is not the main burner; it merely sets up the main burner.  On a typical A/C system, the 24v power is similar to a pilot on a gas appliance; the 24v “pilot” control energizes the system and has a small amount of voltage (compared to the high voltage needed for all of the components to work).  The reversing valve on heat pumps also has a pilot valve; the 24v signal activates the pilot valve with the solenoid, which redirects system pressure to allow discharge gas to slide the valve. That's also why you can't shift the operating mode when the system is off. Solenoid valves in general tend to have pilot functions; they rely on a refrigerant pressure differential that results from 24v electrical signals, not the signal itself. In short, we don't rely on the pilot light or the 24v electrical signal to power the entire equipment. Pilot controls merely help the equipment get started; they have less load on them and trigger or control parts and processes that are more complicated.   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Ethics - Grit and Discipline

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2022 25:58


    Bryan and Robert Orr continue their discussion about ethics by talking about what it means to have grit and discipline in business. They talk about what those characteristics look like in business and in life, and they mention some good books. Grit is a trait that can contribute to an ethical way of life; showing grit means that you follow through with a project until you get the results you want. Both physical and emotional grit are strengths, and those things tend to be more important than talent in our field.  Compared to discipline, grit is a lot more closely intertwined with a person's emotional condition. When we encounter overwhelming negative emotions, grit is the quality that allows us to power through the current state of affairs. Discipline and grit are both based on commitment and resolve, but discipline deals more with actions rather than feelings. Discipline is more about habits, balance, and wisdom. A belief system or set of guidance is what drives discipline. Discipline can also be repetitious and boring, but it can take you farther than raw talent if you dedicate yourself to your belief system, sources of guidance, and goals. Developing discipline requires us to establish habits and sequence those habits. Good leaders and parents are the ones who establish those habits for employees or children.  However, something to keep in mind is that both grit and discipline can amplify a person's bad characteristics. Robert and Bryan also discuss: Grit vs. talent (Angela Duckworth) Does grit count as an ethic? Discipline and delaying gratification Developing grit over time “Real” vs. “true” emotions and thoughts The downfalls of raw talent Thinking about obstacles in a healthy way   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Ethics - Integrity

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2022 33:38


    Bryan and Robert Orr talk about ethics and what it means to have integrity when running a family business. Robert is a lifelong tradesman who is a licensed construction contractor, and he has overseen the construction side of Kalos for many years. Robert initially started off at the Air Force Academy and realized that he didn't feel that the military was right for him. While in Florida, Robert fell into the trades and learned both hard skills and ethics in the process. He started his own house-wiring business at age 21. Later, he went into home inspection and eventually started a business with his son (Bryan) and his brother-in-law (Keith)  Kalos was co-founded by Bryan, Robert, and Keith, all of whom were tradesmen. Even when naming their business, they wanted to focus on ideals that extend beyond them and their individual legacies. They settled on the name “Kalos,” which is the Greek word for “integrity.”  Having integrity in business is a lot more than just following rules and “having principles.” Real integrity is authentic and honest; you're transparent about who you are and deliver on the promises you make. Integrity and customer service are NOT the same thing, but you tend to yield higher customer satisfaction if integrity is at the forefront of your business. Evaluating yourself is also a component of integrity: reflecting on your desires, confronting greed, caring for employees, and choosing to do the right thing. In many small businesses that haven't fully found their stride, integrity can be compromised by fear.  Robert and Bryan also discuss: Christianity in business Integrity as it relates to pricing expectations What it means to be savvy Taking responsibility   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Distributors and External Equalizers - Short #146

    Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2022 10:12


    In this short podcast, Bryan talks about distributors and external equalizers and why we need to use them together. When older Carrier heat pumps (with pistons) would run in heat mode, the metering device would be outside. In those cases, the port on the liquid line would be on the opposite side of the metering device. So, you wouldn't actually be measuring the liquid line pressure (high-side) if you measured it at that port while the system runs in heat mode. However, that pressure would be higher than the common suction pressure. That's because distributors and distributor tubes also have a pressure drop associated with them AFTER the metering device.  Nowadays, TXV systems have external equalizers, which create an equalizing force inside the valve. The bulb pressure forces the valve open, and the equalizer pushes against that pressure to create a closing force. An internal equalizer would work fine on a system without a distributor or distributor tubes; however, those systems are few and far between. We need an external equalizer on systems with distributors because the pressure at the end of the evaporator coil is significantly lower than the pressure picked up by the valve. Without closing force, the TXV would theoretically force itself all the way open and flood the evaporator coil. External equalizers can get clogged, which results in a pressure buildup during the off cycle and forces the valve closed. They can sometimes get clogged when used on a Schrader port without a Schrader depressor inside the equalizer. Some people attempt to fabricate distributors in the field. It works in some cases, but in many cases, it's best to use an engineered distributor for the best performance and efficiency. The distributors are individually designed to create an individual pressure drop.   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Center-Tapped Transformers - Short #145

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2022 11:37


    In this short podcast episode, Bryan talks even more about sine waves and center-tapped transformers. Power is generated at the power plant when an energy source (such as steam) is used to drive a drive shaft. The resulting current can be mapped as sine waves, which actually represent points on a circle; there is a rotational magnetic field around stationary conductors, and the sine waves allow us to envision the positive and negative alternations as the rotation happens. Center-tapped transformers use “neutral” as a reference point. The secondary winding on a center-tapped transformer may have 240v power, but the center tap splits that 240v power into two legs of 120v power. There are two sine waves completely out of phase with each other, so we get 240v from peak to peak. Both sine waves cross at neutral. Even though the split-phase power consists of two separate sine waves, an oscilloscope would interpret the voltage as a single up-and-down wave with a higher peak and a lower valley. Center-tapped transformers do not necessarily create another phase of power; they merely turn neutral into a reference. If we were to measure that split-phase power as a single 120v sine wave with an oscilloscope, we would have to use neutral as our reference. To measure the separate sine waves for a total of 240v, we would need three probes: a reference at neutral and one reference on each side. Many European countries only use a single sine wave; center-tapped transformers are not commonplace in those countries, and neither is split-phase power. However, the split-phase power in the USA allows for more versatility; we can supply power to 120v appliances where we would otherwise need to use 240v ones.   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Beer & Power Factor - Short #144

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2022 15:30


    Bryan describes the tricky concept of power factor and why we should care about it. He also compares power factor to a beer mug to make the topic easier to understand. Power is often represented on a sine wave, which is a curvy line that marks the state of electrical energy at different points on a circle. Power gets stronger and weaker, and it goes above and below the neutral line depending on the excess or deficit of electrons. Unity power factor refers to a power factor of 1, indicating that voltage and amperage are perfectly balanced; there is no lag. However, an inductance (a form of resistance) opposes the current and causes an imbalance between current and voltage. Power loss or quality refers to the difference between the input and output power that results.  Apparent power refers to volt-amps, which we'd traditionally consider to be the wattage; however, in an inductive load, the true or real power (wattage) accounts for that power loss and comes from volts x amps x power factor. We can imagine power factor as a mug of beer: apparent power (VA) is the entire mug, the foam is reactive power (wasted), and the beer itself is real power. The power company only charges for the real power, not the reactive power. However, a power factor closer to unity can help prevent motor windings or wires from overheating. To get closer to unity power factor, we need to make sure we have a run capacitor of the correct size. You can measure power factor with a power quality meter. Bryan also covers: Voltage and current Root mean square Inductive reactance Capacitance and how capacitors work Transformer VA ratings   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Motor Speed Facts - Short #143

    Play Episode Listen Later May 10, 2022 9:55


    Bryan lays down some motor speed facts in about 10 minutes in this short podcast episode. We can figure out how quickly a single-phase motor (PSC) will run if we understand how many cycles it will make per second. In the USA, the standard hertz is 60 Hz (60 rotations or magnetic alternations per second). Motors are inductive loads that create an electromagnetic field with a spinning rotor and stationary stator; the amount of poles on the stator determines how quickly the rotor spins (RPM). In the RPM counts, there are some allowances for slip. Slip varies depending on the load, with excessive loads causing more slip. Some multi-tap blowers have additional winding resistance and decreased current (due to the extra taps), which increase the slip. The rated load RPM usually accounts for the RPM at high speed, not medium or low speed with added resistance. On the other hand, variable-speed motors or ECMs are powered by a variable frequency (sometimes a variable frequency drive or VFD). The motor control takes the incoming electrical frequency and converts it into a new frequency (turning AC power to DC and controlling the cycle rate). These motors also tend to be more efficient as a result. The RPM is more variable on these motors with VFDs, whereas we could only manipulate the RPM of single-phase motors by changing the number of poles. When replacing a motor, you can't use a replacement motor with a higher rated RPM than the original motor. The only way to change the RPM is to get a new motor with a different number of poles, increase slip to make it slower or decrease slip to bring it closer to synchronous speed, or adjust the frequency.     If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Value Design in High Performance Home HVAC w/ Comfort Squad

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2022 53:32


    Neil Comparetto and John Semmelhack of the Comfort Squad join Bryan to discuss high-quality value design in a high-performance home. They explain how they design HVAC systems (heat pumps) for low-load homes in ways that are affordable, efficient, and comfortable. High-performance, low-load homes need to be energy-efficient AND comfortable, and it can be a challenge to get both. Manual J calculations aren't as common as they probably should be, and it can be difficult to get accurate data about air leakage, power consumption, and radiant gains as well. So, John and Neil try to collect their own data and do aggressive load calculations to avoid the fudge factors that are all too common. The air velocity inside the ducts tends to be lower in these sorts of systems. When you have relatively low airflow in the ductwork of high-performance homes, you don't need as many ducts or for the ductwork to be particularly large. With minimalistic ductwork, supply register placement, face velocity, and throw become very important, especially because those factors are responsible for air mixing. When the duct design conditions are right and the load has been matched, you typically get long runtimes and good air mixing. In many cases, John and Neil use variable-speed motors in their outdoor units that allow for high heating performance. The capacity ranges are wide, allowing the units to run even during exceptionally low-load conditions. They also use flex ducts due to their pre-insulation, noise suppression, and inexpensiveness; they just try to keep it sealed and avoid compressing the ductwork.  Neil, John, and Bryan also discuss: Monitoring load conditions with software Design considerations for filter grilles and central returns Room pressurization and airflow testing Transfer grilles The Coanda effect and curved-blade registers Vent sizing Flex duct installation best practices Duct fittings ERVs   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Putting Contractor Success First w/ METUS

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 28, 2022 36:43


    Lacey Dietz with METUS and Scott Arnold with Rycor HVAC join the podcast to talk about how the industry can start putting contractor success first. They talk about Mitsubishi Electric (METUS)'s commitment to contractor success and what that looks like. METUS's contractor program aims to provide training, support, and recognition to create a community of successful contractors. Support comes in the form of marketing, training, tech support, and customer service, and those services are available to contractors who sell and represent Mitsubishi's products. As a contractor who works with Mitsubishi, Scott has been able to specialize the labor in his business and grow his business as one that specializes in installing Mitsubishi systems. Mitsubishi also provided top-quality training and allowed Scott to streamline his training process and get his apprentices feeling confident and ready to go into the field quickly. Adoption rates for Mitsubishi's ductless technology have increased over the past couple of years, especially as people have spent more time in their homes and started re-thinking indoor comfort. Those who are educated about heat pumps also tend to appreciate the technology as well as the mini-split units' small footprints in their homes. The mini-split units' smaller environmental impact than unitary systems is also a plus.  Lacey, Scott, and Bryan also discuss: Scott's work with heat pumps in New York Programs that benefit contractors Mitsubishi's products and supply chain management Diamond Contractor program and tiered contractors Mitsubishi's lead generation program and referrals Ductless vs. unitary systems Bringing education into sales Dealing with business growth in a challenging labor market Overcoming objections   Learn more about Mitsubishi and its products, visit https://www.mitsubishicomfort.com/, and you can learn how to become a contractor at https://discover.mitsubishicomfort.com/contractors.   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Retrotec - IBS 2022

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 26, 2022 8:40


    Sam Myers with Retrotec talks to Bryan about pressures in the home and why they matter for HVAC solutions at IBS 2022. Technicians focus a lot on ductwork and airflow, but many of them don't focus on how the building envelope impacts HVAC performance. A lot of the HVAC equipment's performance is affected by the push and pull of air caused by leaky areas in the building envelope. If you have a room with too much air and another room with too little, you will have unbalanced pressures. Unbalanced pressures may result in discomfort and latent load issues, especially when unconditioned air is pulled in through the attic. Sealing the envelope well and using dampers as necessary can minimize the comfort issues caused by pressure imbalances in the home. Instead of just using manometers for static and gas pressure, we can also use high-resolution manometers under doors to pick up pressure differences. However, the manometer MUST be high-res to pick up those subtle (but palpable) differences in pressure. A blower door is also a great tool, especially when you use it with a thermal imaging camera; the blower door amplifies the temperature effects that a thermal camera will detect, especially if you also have a good delta T.   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Birmingham training class

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 21, 2022 162:39


    This podcast is a class that Bryan taught for BTrained in Birmingham, AL. He covers troubleshooting, installation, and commissioning best practices with a focus on the fundamentals. To be a good troubleshooter, you must be able to find the problem, identify the source of the problem, fix the problem, and optimize performance based on your data, the customer's comments, and your observations. The Five Pillars of diagnosis aren't comprehensive diagnostic or charging criteria, but they can help you charge or diagnose a system. Isolation diagnosis works best for electrical components; you isolate the problem area from the system and see how the system works without the suspected issue. If the system operates normally without the component in question, then we can conclude that our hypothesis about the “problem” part was correct. Wide-narrow-wide troubleshooting is an approach that allows you to inspect the entire system, zero in on the problem, and optimize the entire system. By starting wide, going narrow, and going wide again, you can troubleshoot holistically. Installations take place in several phases: pre-planning, planning, demo, installation, and commissioning. Many people place a lot of emphasis on the demo and installation and neglect the conversations and procedures associated with pre-planning, planning, and commissioning. Bryan also covers: Heuristics and mental shortcuts Evaporation vs. boiling Rules of thumb Head pressure, suction pressure, and compression ratio Energy transfer fundamentals What superheat and subcooling really indicate Restrictions and temperature drop Delta T “Redneck” compressor test Testing circuits Useful measurements and test instrumentation Causes of compressor failure Measuring airflow Low vs. high static pressure Bringing tribal knowledge to building design Ductless systems, ventilating dehumidification, and sensible heat ratio Manual J, attics, and combustion air Radiant barriers and heat transfer Supply relative humidity Dehumidifier configuration and system design Bad envelopes Vented attics Duct upgrades Total effective length and turning vanes Evacuation   Learn more about BTrained at https://btrained.net/ or on the BTrained YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnlDsWHT68gVwPrYYO5vhrw.  If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Ross Trethewey IBS 2022 - Short #141

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 19, 2022 15:21


    Bryan has a bit of an industry nerd out with Ross Trethewey from “This Old House” and TE2 Engineering at IBS 2022 (the International Builders' Show). Ross's education and career have focused on mechanical engineering, especially with sustainable solutions. In building science, the key mindset is to think of the building as a system. Using that school of thought, Ross has developed building science and HVAC solutions that also consider indoor air quality and ventilation, such as hybrid VRF systems.  Many of Ross's solutions take the best aspects of air-source and ground-source heat pumps and apply those to hydronics. Some exciting applications for those types of systems could include simultaneous heating and cooling as well as the integration of domestic hot water. Demand control ventilation has been used for a long time in the commercial world, but its possible use in residential applications is another exciting thing to consider. With proper control devices, DCV would give us the opportunity to control temperature, humidity, VOCs, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and radon. In residential applications, DCV has to be a delicate balancing act, as bringing in too much outdoor air would require us to condition that air. High latent loads also present challenges to some of the ventilation solutions in development. Serviceability is another challenge to DCV usage in residential applications; whenever an innovative system is brought to the market, very few people will know how to fix and maintain those systems. One of the possible solutions is to create instruction manuals and give education similar to what already exists for package units. 3D models and animations also help make complicated systems easier to understand. Ross's presence on “This Old House” marks the third generation of Tretheweys on the show. Ross is excited to talk about building science and HVAC innovations and concepts while on the show. Heat pumps are also getting better, especially due to inverter-driven compressors, enhanced vapor injection, advanced control systems, and ECMs. Heat pumps are safer than gas-fired equipment, and we have made them work well in subzero temperatures (because we're nowhere near absolute zero). If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Replacing a Compressor - Step by Step

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 14, 2022 39:39


    In this podcast, Bryan goes through the entire process of replacing a compressor step-by-step. This process is what the Kalos team uses to replace a failed compressor and make sure it doesn't fail again. Before replacing a compressor, you must figure out how the compressor failed; grounded conditions often lead to acid, so it's a good idea to test for acid and see if you need to address a burnout. In any case, make sure you have the correct tools for the job (including a compatible replacement compressor). When you arrive at the job site, be sure to confirm the diagnosis and check to see if the unit has a hard start kit. That's also the time to do a visual inspection, checking airflow as well as the filter, blower, and coil cleanliness. Recover and weigh out the refrigerant charge. Unscrew the foot bolts and lift the old compressor out. Then, seal the compressor once it's out. If you're dealing with burnout, clean out or replace the accumulator (you will install/reinstall it shortly). Cut out and replace the existing liquid line drier and install a suction drier in a place where it can be easily removed.   When piping in the new compressor, make sure you protect heat-sensitive parts and do a quality brazing job. Install the new capacitor and hard start kit, too, keeping wiring away from places where it may chafe. Test for leaks, evacuate the system, charge the system, and check your five pillars as well as voltage. Finish by cleaning the drain and double-checking airflow. Bryan also covers: Misdiagnosed compressor failure Parts needed for replacing a compressor What makes a compatible replacement compressor? Billing and pricing Alloys and fluxes Replacing TXVs, capacitors, contactors, and reversing valves Cutting vs. unsweating  Suction driers and pressure drop Charging considerations   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Refrigerant Top off, Drop in and Retrofit - Short #140

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 12, 2022 8:28


    In today's podcast we hear from John Sheff who was the director of Public and Industry Affairs for Danfoss at the time of this recording.   We learn how John's passion about energy efficiency, decarbonization and sustainability combines with his professional experience in Public Affairs, Government Relations, Project Management and Business Development to help develop strong solutions that meet our industry's needs.   We hear about the barriers to deep energy retrofits, limitations of the push for electrification as well as how people are thinking beyond the individual building to tackle building emissions.   We also talk about the need for variable speed technology HVAC systems that can ramp up or down to accommodate commercial space that is operating at varying degrees of capacity. And we touch on need to maintain constant, variable airflow as opposed to on/off air flow in indoors spaces with respect to what we have learned in response to COVID-19.   You can learn more about Danfoss products at this link: https://www.danfoss.com/en-us/   And read more on Danfoss' position on ESG at this link: https://www.danfoss.com/en-us/about-danfoss/company/sustainability/esg-ranks-and-ratings/   This episode was recorded in August 2021.

    The Value of Networking for Techs w/ Trevor

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 7, 2022 29:49


    Trevor Matthews, the founder of Refrigeration Mentor, is back on the podcast. This time, he and Bryan talk about the value of networking for HVAC techs as the conference season comes to a close. Many trade events are networking opportunities that allow you to build relationships with other tradespeople, educators, mentors, and even other companies. You can also learn many trade and business tools that help you as a technician. Many technical and business conversations occur at trade events, and there is a lot to learn from those, whether you're directly involved or just listening. It can also be useful to sit in on classes or presentations about topics that you don't directly deal with, such as building science. Networking also has value for technicians because it can provide several means of personal development. Making connections with potential mentors can open the doors to new career opportunities, even in places where you wouldn't have expected yourself to work.  If you see someone you want to talk to at an event, feel free to go up and talk to them. Trade events are places where people expect to get to know one another, so many of the people who attend them genuinely want to talk to others in the trade. People like Trevor are happy to share their knowledge and help you develop yourself as a technician. You can also send people emails introducing yourself to them before the event if you're a bit introverted and uncomfortable putting yourself out there. Trevor and Bryan also discuss: Being isolated in a “bubble” Choosing to work or visit conferences Networking to avoid getting stuck Planning trips around trade conferences  The 2023 HVACR Training Symposium Specialized conferences Refrigeration Mentor   Learn more about Trevor's work at https://refrigerationmentor.com/.  If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    How to EFFECTIVELY implement educational growth w/ David Richardson

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 24, 2022 34:45


    David Richardson of NCI joins the HVAC School podcast to talk about how we can implement educational growth effectively throughout the trade. NCI started as a premium training resource about airflow testing, but the organization eventually started teaching about combustion testing as well. When we improve the industry, we need to be able to have concrete ways to see what we've been doing wrong or what we can do better. Test instruments allow us to see the whats and whys behind what we do. Education needs to be focused on bringing those test instruments into training AND teaching others how to use them properly.  Once we find a way to understand the invisible aspects of what we do, we can get into systems thinking and grasp the more abstract concepts much more easily. When people are introduced to concepts in a logical sequence, they can build their knowledge on what affects the system and why it does do.   When we tie everything together, including using solid data, testing in and testing out, and using sources to help you interpret data, we can implement educational growth more effectively. Most of all, we can learn how to translate the technical into practical, which helps us communicate with the customers in ways that matter. However, the most important thing about test instrumentation and applying it to learning is understanding why you are doing those tests or why you want to do them. David and Bryan also discuss: The purpose of traverse tests The mechanics of NCI's teaching (PATH to performance) To charge or not to charge for combustion analysis What NCI does and how to get involved with NCI   Learn more about NCI or get involved with their training at https://nationalcomfortinstitute.com/.  If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Comfort Investigation on TV w/ Corbett Lunsford

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 20, 2022 18:09


    Corbett Lunsford of Home Diagnosis joins Kaleb to record a podcast about comfort investigation on TV. The two of them discuss how comfort investigation works on TV shows, what Home Diagnosis hopes to accomplish, and some building performance tips. Home Diagnosis is mostly aimed at homeowners, but HVAC technicians would also benefit from the show, as it dives into science and testing. The show promotes consumer education and contractor accountability. Diagnostics and testing are absolute MUSTS for providing the best possible solutions and transforming your business. You put yourself in another league when you take measurements and have the data to create tailored solutions. In other words, you can't manage what you can't measure, and if you're not testing, you're guessing. The current paradigm shift in the industry has to do with custom designs. Physics, chemistry, and microbiology are all important facets of applied science to consider when coming up with a custom solution. Many buildings have distinct microbiological profiles, including bakeries with yeast or cheese production or aging facilities. Natural events and human activity can change these buildings' microbiological profiles. Ventilation is part of the equation of home performance, and it's a pretty delicate one that HVAC techs can control. When it comes to ventilation, we would be wise to avoid selling products we don't understand. Ventilation solutions may also be appropriate for one structure but inappropriate for another, so we need to think about the applications of these solutions. Corbett and Kaleb also discuss: Comfort vs. efficiency vs. control ERVs vs. HRVs and humidity How the market influences custom solutions Preview of challenges in Season 3 of Home Diagnosis Microbiology of structures   Learn more about Home Diagnosis at https://homediagnosis.tv/.  If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Commercial HVAC Predictive Control w/ BrainBoxAi

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 17, 2022 41:13


    Blake Standen and Omar Tabba of BrainBox AI join the HVAC School podcast to talk about commercial HVAC predictive control. This conversation focuses on applying artificial intelligence to existing building systems, including the HVAC, to predict performance under certain weather and occupancy conditions. If you have controls that can predict performance and adapt, then you can maximize energy savings. A commercial HVAC system may include air handlers, chillers, boilers, RTUs, and all sorts of energy-consuming technologies. These systems also have controls that help direct the infrastructure, and artificial intelligence can help optimize the controls, make performance predictions based on forecast data, and make those controls communicate with foreign controls from other companies (such as via BACnet).  BrainBox AI uses a cloud to collect and hold the data it needs to predict what a building will do and help control the infrastructure. Controls react to errors, and the goal of BrainBox AI is to predict errors before they happen. For example, AI can help solve short cycling under certain weather conditions. However, buildings that use pneumatics rather than digital controls and older systems may not be good candidates for AI solutions. One of AI's challenges is that it requires multiple layers of training: you're training the controls engineers, facilities staff, AND the AI itself. Another challenge of AI is that people don't fully understand that it's not the type of automation that takes people's jobs; we can minimize those perceptions with education.  Blake, Omar, and Bryan also discuss: Machine learning vs. artificial intelligence Accuracy of prediction models Virtual testing environments Apathy as a challenge What happens when controls go offline or are adjusted? Tethered services Application programming interface (API) Controlling comfort and energy consumption vs. greenhouse gas emissions BrainBox's global partnership with ABB   Learn more at https://www.brainboxai.com/.  If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    3 Phase Energy Savings w/ Falkonair

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 16, 2022 26:19


    Chris Micallef, the CEO of Falkonair, joins Nathan Orr at AHR to discuss energy savings for three-phase equipment. They also explore some of Falkonair's controls for compressors, especially on DC inverter equipment. Falkonair has software that allows users to control all types and brands of three-phase compressors with compatible variable frequency drives (VFDs). The software recommends the compatible VFD based on the amperage readings. Falkonair aims to bring this software to the refrigeration industry and then move on to HVAC contractors and data centers. The control unit adjusts the compressor speed to respond to changes in refrigerant charge levels (based on discharge temperature). These controls protect the compressor and maintain efficiency, even under less than ideal operating conditions. Energy efficiency can increase by 35% with Falkonair's control units in place. You can expect longer runtimes, a reduction in short cycles, and a reduction in humidity. If the refrigerant loss is too great, then the control can also shut down the compressor. However, it should take less time for a facility manager to notice that refrigerant loss is happening. The controls use temperature probes, so they don't cut into the refrigeration circuit. Although VFDs are good for reducing vibrational wear and tear, we have to be aware of potential issues with harmonics. Harmonics can damage the bearings, especially on pumps that don't have oil constantly lubricating the bearings. Chris and Nathan also discuss: VFD sizing considerations How Falkonair's AI works with hot gas bypass  Software commissioning Oil return sequences on DC inverter systems Hertz ranges and limitations per compressor type How Falkonair's control units can exceed 35% efficiency gains   Learn more about Falkonair at https://falkonair.com/.  If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Internal Apprenticship w/ Brynn Cooksey

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 15, 2022 8:28


    Brynn Cooksey joined Eric Kaiser for a podcast about internal apprenticeship, its benefits, and how to make it work. Brynn is the general manager of Air Doctors Heating and Cooling LLC, a well-respected HVAC contracting company in Detroit, MI. Air Doctors Heating and Cooling LLC has its own in-house apprenticeship program based on Department of Labor guidelines. The apprenticeship program caters to new techs out of trade school and focuses on rigorous training. There is some administrative paperwork, but there are no additional administrative expenses. The only expenses of the apprenticeship program come from training and wages. Most of the administrative work comes from recordkeeping. Bumps in pay come with milestones, and RSES certification is available at the highest level of Brynn's program. Once techs receive their RSES CM, they become official journeymen and continue to learn more about the trade through incentivized training.  The technicians at Air Doctors seem to like the training program. The program is very structured when it comes to training, hours, and pay, so the techs like predictability. Reduced callback rates are positive effects of the apprenticeship program; Brynn's current callback rate is less than 1% (was 3% before the program was put into place). The apprenticeship program is easy to set up with the government, and it makes companies eligible for national and local grants. Approved apprenticeship programs can also take advantage of other benefits, including labor scouting to grow the workforce. Everything about the apprenticeship program recognition process was free. Many businesses can take advantage of these programs to grow their workforce and train promising technicians who can transform the business.   Email Brynn for more information at brynn.cooksey@airdoctorshvacservice.com   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    New Educational Options w/ Faraday

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 13, 2022 25:43


    Alex and Nicole of Faraday join Kaleb Saleeby and Ty Branaman to talk about new educational formats and options in the HVAC industry. Alex is the founder of Faraday, and Nicole is the head of operations. Ty is a notable HVAC educator who supports Faraday and its mission. Faraday is a free educational program that prepares apprenticeships for fieldwork, allows them to get EPA 608 certification, and helps place them in jobs with paid training. Although the program is free, there is a rigorous selection process to make sure only the most serious candidates join the program. The human aspect is very important to training, and Ty is one of the people who brings that to education programs. HVAC training is multifaceted, and the appliances are just the beginning. Training focuses on science and math as well as craftsmanship, which isn't what a lot of people think about when they think of HVAC. Faraday focuses on bringing the abstract and artistic concepts of the trade to training. However, Faraday also acknowledges just how important skills are to a person's career and life in general. Faraday also has live sessions with guest speakers, and these are available to current students and alumni. Lifelong learning and investment are important to Faraday, and the programs create a support system for students even after completion. Alex, Nicole, Ty, and Kaleb also discuss: Faraday's admissions process Ty's contributions to education and the industry Bringing the Masterclass format and delivery to HVAC The ambitions, interests, and fears of young people Costs of training Using Discord for communication and training Teaching life skills Faraday's vetting, coaching, and weed-out processes Producing coachable, well-rounded individuals   If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    HVAC Social Media, AHR & AMRAD Capacitors w/ HVAC_ASH

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 10, 2022 36:12


    Ashley (aka hvac_ash) joins the podcast to talk about how HVAC fits into social media, AHR 2022, and AmRad capacitors. Ashley works with Global the Source on the sales and distribution side of the business. Becoming an HVAC influencer is smart, especially when there is a dedicated audience in the industry. When you gain traction online, that can branch into marketing, which helps get the word out even more. It's also a great way to make connections organically once you have traction and learn from others' industry-related content. Ashley also has firsthand experience with the HVAC trade's obstacles for women. She believes that making groups like Women in HVACR more marketable and focusing on recruiting young women will help break those barriers down. There needs to be more effort to the recruiting process than just posting ads and job postings on social media. Global the Source is a distributor of AmRad products, including the well-known American-made capacitors and Turbo line of start capacitors (Turbolytic) and hard start kits (TES5). The quality of the AmRad capacitors' foil and the oil has been tested widely, even on the HVAC School YouTube channel; the conclusion is that AmRad capacitors are made of high-quality materials and last longer than many others. Ashley and Bryan also discuss: What it means to be a master distributor Being an HVAC influencer on Instagram Visiting AHR as an influencer and sales professional Strategic recruiting for underrepresented demographics AmRad's Turbo product family New AmRad products for failed run capacitors and stuck relays   Follow Ashley on Instagram (hvac_ash) and DM her with questions or email her at ashleyl@globalthesource.com. Learn more about Global the Source and some of the AmRad products at https://globalthesource.com/.  If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Net Zero HVAC w/ Bill Spohn, Eric Kaiser and Kaleb Saleeby

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 10, 2022 61:30


    Bill Spohn joins Eric Kaiser and Kaleb Saleeby at AHR 2022 to talk about his experiences designing and living in a home with NetZero HVAC.  NetZero HVAC refers to system design with tight coordination with the house to make it as efficient as possible. Some of these systems are so tight and efficient that they approach passive house standards (0.6 ACH50). Bill lives in a modular home that also generates more energy than it consumes, and it doesn't rely on natural gas. The greatest expenses of Bill's NetZero home came from all the custom factors, as it didn't make sense to price many of the features on a square-foot basis. The heating and cooling system is also unique, as it is completely separate from the ventilation system, which is a Build Equinox CERV. On the IAQ side, the CERV monitors outdoor temperature and humidity, indoor CO2, and indoor VOCs. Bill also has a HAVEN central air monitor inside the CERV system as a backup. Bill's HVAC system is an air-source heat pump that provides two tons of heating and cooling and has low-temperature capabilities. The two-ton unit works for a 4400-square-foot home. Bill, Eric, and Kaleb also discuss: Energy independence Controlling radiant heat gains and window construction Construction and material fabrication Monitoring energy usage Energy recovery ventilation (ERVs) Thermal bridging at work in Bill's walls Knowledgeable customers Jim Bergmann's help with troubleshooting Radon issues Bill's podcast Solar inverters Measuring tool accuracy   You can learn more by listening to Bill's podcast, Building HVAC Science. You can subscribe to the podcast on any podcast app of your choice or get an overview at https://buildinghvacscience.libsyn.com/. You can also check out Bill's blog at https://spohnhome.com/.  If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Data Logging w/ Collin Olson and Eric Kaiser

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 9, 2022 35:40


    Collin Olson, the staff physicist of The Energy Conservatory (TEC), joins Eric Kaiser at AHR 2022 to talk a bit about data logging. Data logging refers to the act of using sensors to record data over time and then analyzing that data. TEC dipped its toes into data logging with the APT and then TECLOG. Data logging allows us to take and store multiple readings as well as extrapolate data into graphs, making it easier to analyze performance. The TECLOG4 software is the most up-to-date version. TECLOG is a simple software to use with basic training. The understanding of building science continues over a lifetime, but the actual software can be learned in approximately 30 minutes. TECLOG is free with TEC's hardware, such as the DG-1000. To get started, all you need is a precision manometer and a computer. However, it's worth nothing that the DG-1000 stores a lot of data, meaning that you can launch data logging sessions on the gauge without your computer. Some of the most important measurements are related to drafts and backdrafting. There are 250 Pascals in an inch of water column, and the DG-1000 can pick up very small changes in the Pascals and can indicate when depressurization happens and when it poses a risk. Improperly installed vents can also produce alarming drafting conditions due to air density; data logging can pick up that sort of information. Collin and Eric also discuss: The history of TEC's APT Wind and its effect on building pressures Event markers and hotkeys The link between depressurization, flue gases, and weather conditions Managing multiple blower doors at a time   Check out TEC's software, including TECLOG4, at https://energyconservatory.com/downloads/.  If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Unique K-12 HVAC Incentives, Commercial Regulation Changes and More w/ Mark Tozzi from Carrier

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 8, 2022 23:34


    Mark Tozzi from Carrier comes on the HVAC School podcast to talk about unique HVAC incentives in K-12 schools. When schools closed down during COVID-19 lockdowns, a new series of incentives came out for schools. Many of these incentives include access to technology, and improvements to HVACR equipment are covered under those programs. Schools can benefit from geography-tailored solutions, including air-cooled chillers in the Southeast and products meant to improve IAQ, including filtration upgrades and dehumidification strategies. To provide valuable solutions to schools, HVACR professionals and manufacturers need to get involved in local conversations, such as on school boards or at the district level. The incentive is quite broad, and it provides schools AND HVACR professionals with many opportunities. The funds need to be spent by 2023, so we can focus on doing business with schools this year. However, as we seize these opportunities to help our communities, we also need to make sure that we have the labor, training, and ambassadorship to make these initiatives successful. As an industry, we need to focus on recruitment and training to stimulate interest in the industry. Not to mention, as equipment advances, technicians need to be able to catch up with newer technology. The COVID-19 pandemic has put our industry into the spotlight, and people are paying more attention to their air quality and our work than ever before. Through community opportunities, recruitment, and education, we can hope to improve our industry. Mark and Bryan also discuss: OptiClean air scrubbers Buy boards How the HVAC industry might appeal to younger generations When are HVAC contractors seen as valuable to the general public?   Learn more at carrier.com.  If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Changing HVAC Regulations w/ Chris Forth of Johnson Controls

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 6, 2022 14:04


    Chris Forth, the VP of regulatory codes and environmental affairs at Johnson Controls, joins Bryan for a live podcast at AHR 2022. This time, they discuss changing HVAC regulations and what that will mean for contractors, technicians, and installers. Johnson Controls focuses on institutional chillers, controls with digital platforms, air handlers, filtration, and alarm systems. Lately, Chris has gotten the industry ready to convert existing products and systems to high-efficiency equipment for low-GWP, A2L refrigerants. The transition to A2L refrigerants will be different from the transition from R-22 to R-410A. We needed to change the oil type (mineral oil to POE) and make equipment for different pressures when we went from R-22 to R-410A. However, the pressure and oil needs of A2L refrigerants are very similar to R-410A; the main obstacle is dealing with mild flammability. Every six years, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sets minimum efficiency standards, and they determined that it's time for an upgrade. In other words, 14-SEER straight-cool A/C systems will no longer cut it in some places. In the Southeast, equipment that doesn't meet the new standards must be INSTALLED before 2023. (In other cases, the date of manufacturing is what matters.) Now, contractors need to be sure that they can install 14-SEER units before 2023 if they order them. Otherwise, contractors may be better off ordering 15-SEER units now to ensure that they can install the equipment. Chris and Bryan also discuss: North vs. south efficiency ratings AHRI match How manufacturers will be affected by these regulations American Innovation and Manufacturing Act (AIM Act) The self-extinguishing properties of A2L refrigerants   Learn more about Johnson Controls at https://www.johnsoncontrols.com/.  If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    Control Over IAQ w/ Kevin Hart from Haven

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 3, 2022 25:54


    Kevin Hart, the CEO of HAVEN, joins Kaleb Saleeby live from AHR 2022 to discuss how we can control IAQ with central air monitors and controllers. HAVEN, formerly TZOA, is an IAQ company that focuses on protecting building occupants' health by controlling air quality. HAVEN's approach to managing IAQ starts with collecting data about the air. Without that data, we can't come up with solutions tailored to individual buildings. We need sensors to gather that data, which would traditionally mean that we'd need a decentralized system with sensors everywhere. However, HAVEN takes a centralized approach to measuring and controlling indoor air quality. HAVEN's central air monitoring system is not an ordinary box product. Monitors constantly provide data that help HVAC professionals find points of improvement in a home and form a solid professional relationship with homeowners. The goal is to use data as a bridge to connect the homeowner and contractor as well as build trust. One of HAVEN's new projects is to expand into remote HVAC diagnostics. The search for deviations in heating, cooling, and comfort will allow HAVEN to get more involved in the HVAC industry and communicate diagnostic help and solutions more effectively.   Kevin and Kaleb also discuss: HAVEN's name and vision Avoiding false positives for harmful substances with centralized monitoring Equipment longevity Stagnancy of air in homes in moderate climates The issue with constant 50% relative humidity Outdoor air quality and comparative analysis IAQ as a luxury rather than a necessity Predictions for the HVAC industry   Learn more at https://haveniaq.com/ or become a HAVEN Pro today at https://pro.haveniaq.com/.  If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

    A FASCINATING New Power Generation / Water Heating Solution w/ Enginuity

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 2, 2022 33:47


    Jacques Beaudry-Losique, the CEO of Enginuity Power Systems, joins Nathan Orr live at AHR 2022. Enginuity manufactures energy-efficient engines that produce more power than traditional engines and recover waste heat to act as water heaters. Enginuity engines can run on propane and natural gas to help you run almost entirely off the grid and participate in electricity buyback programs. These units operate independently of the electrical grid and can act as generators during power outages and have a small footprint. However, a backup battery system is recommended for these units to maximize efficiency. Enginuity has a residential and commercial line. The E | ONE is best suited for residential applications, and the E | TWO is better for heavier commercial applications. The U.S. Army has been one of the most prominent supporters of Enginuity, which also manufactures its units exclusively in America. Distribution is done through a third party, including business owners and technicians; Enginuity doesn't deal directly with homeowners or building staff. As a result, A/C service technicians, installers, plumbers, and refrigeration technicians may end up being the people in the middle who do maintenance on Enginuity generators. After this conversation with Jacques, we are very interested in seeing what the future holds for Enginuity and combined appliances. Jacques and Nathan also discuss: The electrical grid's stability Enginuity's revolutionary piston design Ease of startup and commissioning Pricing questions Enginuity's target market and training resources for that target market Engine life expectancy Enginuity's projected rollout timeline and expansion plans Decentralizing power dependence Solar vs. fossil fuel energy The problem with power plants   Learn more about Enginuity at https://enginuitypowersystems.com/.  If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, subscribe HERE. Check out our handy calculators HERE.

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