Issue #44 Air Conditioning July 13, 2005


Contents: Issue #44
Air Conditioning

  1. Basics: Comfort, History, Theory, Glossary
  2. Plan: Design Values, Sizing AC, Installation Specs
  3. Types: Heat Pumps, Geothermal, Dry & Humid Climates
  4. Systems: Room & Central, Ductless/Split, Hydronic
  5. Other: Passive, Fans & Ventilation, Efficient Homes
  6. Issues: CFCs, Noise, Dirty Socks, Tune-Up & Operation
  7. More: PST Exemption, Current & New Regs, Top Rated
  8. Kenís Top Pick: If You Have Time To Surf Only One Site

1. The Basics: Comfort, History, Theory, Glossary

Thermal Comfort & The Human Body
This great site from Arizona University shows you how the body gains and loses heat, and how different personal, building, mechanical and weather conditions affect comfort

First Century Of Air Conditioning
Although not yet perfect, air conditioning systems have come a long way. ASHRAE puts things into perspective with these history articles. The one on ice cooling brings back memories.

Refrigeration Basics
For those who want to better understand how most AC systems cool the air, this Airekool tutorial provides a fairly detailed but simple overview of Refrigeration Basics.

Glossary Of Air Conditioning Terms
Think sensible heat is smart enough to know where to go? AC Doctor has a glossary explaining most of the common terms used in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry.


2. Plan: Design Values, Sizing AC, Installation Specs

Recommended Design Values (PDF FILE)
The Air Conditioning Contractors Association gives you this handy chart listing common comfort and safety design criteria for residential single-zone and multi-zone AC systems.

Sizing Air Conditioners
Bigger is not better. Disadvantages of oversizing, as well as tips for addressing even temperatures, drafts, quietness, and efficiency are all covered in this Home Energy article.

Residential HVAC Installation Specification
These detailed specification samples from CEE can be used for all stages of installation and maintenance of residential HVAC. There is also a spec for duct installation and sealing.


3. Types: Heat Pumps, Geothermal, Dry & Humid Climates

Heating & Cooling With Heat Pump
For information on both air-source and ground-source heat pumps and related equipment (including thermostats) check out this guide from Canadaís Office of Energy Efficiency.

Geothermal Heat Pumps
The US Department of Energy gives you info on geothermal types, site evaluation, sizing, selecting, installing, economics, reliability, environmental issues, and links to more resources.

For Dry Climates: Evaporative Cooling
Those of you located in the hotter and drier areas may want to check into evaporative cooling systems that add moisture to the air. BC Hydro provides a good overview of them here.

For Humid Climates: Dehumidifiers
If you live in an area with high humidity, then a dehumidifier may be beneficial. CMHC explains relative humidity, proper moisture levels, system types, selection, and operation.


4. Systems: Room & Central, Ductless/Split, Hydronic

Room & Central Air Conditioning Systems
Natural Resources Canada offers this overview of room and central systems. Included are how they work, efficiency, sizing, installation & maintenance, and operating costs.

Ductless/Split Systems
Ideal for renovations or areas where ducts are difficult to install, ductless (sometimes called split) systems are explained by the Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Institute.

Hydronic Cooling
These days a lot of buildings are being heated with radiant floor heating. Oikos describes convector and floor cooling methods that use circulated water rather than ducted air.


5. Other: Passive, Fans & Ventilation, Efficient Homes

Passive Cooling & Sun Control
To lower, or even eliminate the need for mechanical cooling systems there are many different passive approaches, as shown by Square One. Also click on Sun Control on left side.

Cooling With Fans & Ventilation
Some cooling needs can be meet using natural ventilation, ceiling fans, exhaust fans, whole house fans, and evaporative coolers. All are covered here by the US Dept. of Energy.

HVAC Design In Highly Efficient Homes
Energy efficient homes require careful system sizing. NAHB Toolbase explains why and how, along with some insight into new developments of AC systems to better serve this market.


6. Issues: CFCs, Noise, Dirty Socks, Tune-Up & Operation

CFC Refrigerant Phase-out
Canadian regulations call for the removal of CFC & HCFC from refrigerants. You can find the what, when and how of this from the Heating Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Institute.

Air Conditioner Noise (PDF FILE)
Some homeowners, or neighbours, may complain about noise from AC units. This HRAC fact sheet explains what levels are considered acceptable, and how to reduce the noise.

Dirty Socks Syndrome
Have you ever had customers complain about a dirty sock smell coming from their system? Contracting Business.com has a good article covering possible causes and solution options.

Tune-Up & Operating Tips
Courtesy of the Plumbing & HVAC News, here are some tips on what spring inspection and tune-ups should be done, along with suggestions for operating and maintaining an AC system.


7. More: PST Exemption, Current & New Regs, Top Rated

PST Exempt Heat Pumps
Until April 2007, energy efficient heat pumps are exempt of PST if purchased or leased for residential applications. You can find lists of approved products at this BC Ministry site.

Energy Efficiency Heating & AC Regulations In Canada
If you want to know anything about the current minimum energy efficiency standards for heating and AC equipment, this NRCan site has the criteria for each type of system.

New Canadian SEER Rating Regulations Coming
Next year, the Canadian Office of Energy Efficiency is proposing to increase the minimum standards for air conditioners and heat pumps. Details can be found here.

Top Rated Energy Efficient Units
Are you looking for the most energy efficient products available? ACEEE provides listings for room & central AC units, as well as conventional air-source heat pumps.


8. Kenís Top Pick: The ARI CoolNet Site

ARI CoolNet
The Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Institute site has lots of good stuff, including Consumer Information, Publications, Education, Research Ductless, Thermal Storage, and more.


Dittie For Today: On Doing Something

"I must do something" will always solve more problems than "Something must be done."
      - Anonymous  




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