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  1. #53
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Missouri, USA
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    329

    I'm not impressed.. ...

    Look, we all need the money, but when it comes down to it, the builder should be held accountable, if you are selling a system at such and such amount per ton and they bock at you, move on don't say well ok for that much I can do blank.. ... This is why we are in the situation we are in. Pvc made everyone a plumber and flex made everyone an hvac guy, I'm right aren't I ? Quit doing mediocre work, the homeowner may not know but you know what ? Your peers will, we see that crap you shoved in the crawl, oh and flex in the soffit you ought to be ashamed of yourself, what happened to the tinner's ? I am sick of trying to sell apples when I'm competing against oranges, it's not the same system so don't offer the same price, I'm talking all metal sized right systems that will provide 20 or 30 years of comfort, not two to five on account of your flex pulled into flex and so called "distribution boxes" get your crap together and if not go back to McDonald's or whatever you were doing before, Long live the tinner, be honest and sell something you would install in your own home.. ...

  2. #54
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    67,875
    If only it were that easy.

    You will always find buiders looking for a HVAC contractor(and other trades) that will do the job for 20 bucks less.
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  3. #55
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
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    4,264
    That's for sure. Besides, if it were done right the first time we retrofit artists wouldn't have anything to do. I make my living cleaning up these messes!
    There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action....Mark Twain

  4. #56
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
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    11,317
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian GC View Post
    …and heaters used to always intake off the floor until someone about twenty- five years ago had the brilliant idea to intake off the ceiling.
    I'll give you this much, Brian. A ceiling return is very often associated with HVAC equipment being in an attic, which IMO is the absolute WORST location for air handlers and ductwork, bar none. HVAC equipment and ducting in an attic essentially extends the thermal boundary of the house into the attic, with marginally insulated materials subject to excessive heat gain and heat loss. To add insult to injury, it most often leaks, aggravating thermal boundary flaws the house itself may already have.

    My “device” is a box that covers the ceiling return and has two chutes that run down the wall. It is temporary and is made of 3/4” Styrofoam and blue taped to the wall. The framing, ducting, and drywalling will come later.
    Key word should definitely be the word "temporary".


    I take notice of the registers in homes and I’ve never seen a register stir all the air in a room to adequately reduce stratification. It would require incredible flow or small rooms to achieve that. One similarity all the houses have is they are much colder near the ceiling return. That problem is eliminated with my device.
    Most of the supply registers that likely even your own HVAC subcontractors install are the cheap stamped steel variety, which choke airflow and have lousy throw and spread patterns. You may be looking at the supply registers, but blaming a ceiling return for the problem. Regarding ceiling returns, see my first comment above.

    BTW - Manual T or D, it doesn't take a book to figure this out, just a little common sense.
    Manual T and D are backed by field testing and engineering; they're not merely "rule of thumb" books.


    I’m not arguing the inner workings of a heating system, I’m talking about simple principles that any architect, structural engineer, HVAC contractor, or GC could comprehend.
    If the principles were simple to grasp, all of the above you listed should have no problem figuring it out. Seems either the principles are not all that simple to grasp, or the principles ARE understood but ignored, because location of equipment trumps all other reasoning. Since you mentioned wagering at some point in this thread, the overarching mandate of locating HVAC equipment in an attic is where I'd put my money in respect to the blame game.


    There are two different kinds of efficiency to measure in a system:
    The heater unit efficiency, which is essentially the power (btus) required to change air temp. from its intake to the output (a factory spec.).
    Furnace efficiency is measured by actual BTU output vs. input. After it leaves the furnace, it becomes a matter of how well the air distribution system prevents the actual heat output of the furnace from being diminished before reaching a supply grill. You allude to this in the following quote:

    T
    hen there is the efficiency of the system, which is the amount of power (btus) required to heat the entire area. A flawed ducting system could ruin the efficiency of the system while not affecting the unit efficiency. Lowering the run-time by improved ductwork increases system efficiency.
    So, as a general contractor, do you have any actual say where the HVAC ductwork can go? Can you influence decision making enough to keep it out of an attic? Or, if it must go in an attic, can you exude enough influence on the homebuilider or prospective homeowner to consider a sealed attic, insulated at the roof deck vs. attic floor?

    This does nothing to address the millions of existing house units with attic ductwork and equipment. For those to perform well, it often takes more than merely tweaking supply grills and return air locations. It often entails focusing on the thermal boundary of the house itself to increase comfort levels and reduce energy consumption.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  5. #57
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    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
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    11,317
    Quote Originally Posted by overscore23 View Post
    Pvc made everyone a plumber and flex made everyone an hvac guy, I'm right aren't I ?
    And now we have CSST for running natural gas...don't you just know that stuff is ALWAYS run with the utmost care and concern for safety?

    I understand the economic forces that brought about PVC pipe, flex duct, and CSST. Homebuilders want quick turnaround on anything they build, so they look for faster ways to get a house out of the ground and into a mortgage. It is the homeowner that gets stuck with disintegrating flex duct and CSST run too close to roofing nails or not protected properly in a wall from errant picture hanging screws or nails. It's the homeowner who glares at his thermostat and wonders why such a modern system can't keep him warm in winter or cool in summer. It's the homeowner who lives with the nightmare of an improperly constructed post-tension slab foundation, or even an improperly built conventional rebar slab, and who must bear the cost of remediation when the foundation moves abnormally over time. It's the homeowner who must live under a superheated attic summer after summer because homebuilders are stuck fast to blowing insulation onto the attic floor vs. keeping the heat gain down in the attic in the first place.

    And...it's $$$ for those who make their living correcting these deficiencies in construction and design.


    Quit doing mediocre work, the homeowner may not know but you know what ? Your peers will, we see that crap you shoved in the crawl, oh and flex in the soffit you ought to be ashamed of yourself, what happened to the tinner's ?
    Many homeowners do know, or come to know after receving a brutal awakening when these systems fail to do what they should do.


    I'm talking all metal sized right systems that will provide 20 or 30 years of comfort, not two to five on account of your flex pulled into flex and so called "distribution boxes" ... Long live the tinner, be honest and sell something you would install in your own home
    The fifty year old metal ductwork in my own house is rocking along just fine, thanks to tin knockers long ago who ran the pipe. The original flex ducting used in the seventies and eighties is already being ripped out due to deterioration of the gray vinyl jacket in superheated attics. How long the new mylar coated flex will last has yet to be seen. Probably longer...it often gets ripped out because it didn't go in right. Installed correctly - that's the real issue for today's flex ducting - I could see it going fifty years, especially if the attic was sealed and insulated at the roof deck.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  6. #58
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    If it makes you feel better... even the drains and sewer vent in my 1960's home are copper. Only the newer renovations used PVC. It's the first time I've seen that. Yup... 3" copper in some places. that should last...ohhh... forever! All gas pipe is iron, except hte chepa HWH installation that use copper tubing with no drip leg. I'm going to get that fixed in the next few years... now that I know better.

    The ductwork is metal with no flex. althouhg they went cheap and used wall cavities for the HVAC returns... which means it likely leaks between the walls and pulls some air through the attic depending how well the top of the walls are capped. I don't think they were using any caulking when hanging drywall back then. I'm not sure they even used screws.


    But I agree that greed has taken over the market to maximize everyone's profits and the HO is also partly to blame because they value square footage over quality. If code allows homes to be placed to be 20.00 feet apart, then build 'er 20.01 feet apart. I'm suprised that haven't figured out how to do 2 story manufactured homes built in 4 or 6 prefabed sections. Pump 'em out in a factory and slap 'em in.

    Drop in some precast concrete wall sections for the footings, slap in some concrete caulk, then drop the 4 or 6 house sections in place... with a little more industrial sealant, hook up the utilities, throw on the sheathing and siding and you're done. 4-5 days tops! Heck you could even pre install the carpet and furniture. Just have teh HO click boxes on a internet web page, fill in the account number for their home loan and click "OK".

  7. #59
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Great Lakes Region
    Posts
    575
    so is everyone now saying that low returns are a huge improvement in comfort and efficiency and the money should be spent but never will be? or did this thread just spiral out of control?

  8. #60
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
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    3,374
    Quote Originally Posted by shophound View Post
    Manual T and D are backed by field testing and engineering; they're not merely "rule of thumb" books.
    I realize these manuals are Bibles to the industry but I have performed field tests too. The results are amazing. If the HVAC experts can’t recognize this or if they are simply disregarded, their credibility in my opinion is diminished.

    Quote Originally Posted by shophound View Post
    If the principles were simple to grasp, all of the above you listed should have no problem figuring it out. Seems either the principles are not all that simple to grasp, or the principles ARE understood but ignored, because location of equipment trumps all other reasoning. Since you mentioned wagering at some point in this thread, the overarching mandate of locating HVAC equipment in an attic is where I'd put my money in respect to the blame game.
    They do not grasp it because they have never seen what is accomplished with such a simple change like this does. Also, the HVAC manuals obviously won’t lead a person to it either. So where are they to gather this knowledge? BTW I have heard of HVAC contractors who follow this rule, but they are few.

    Equipment in the attic has its own set of flaws. Putting it in the attic is what brought about ceiling returns because it simplified the install. It aids in the performance of the AC and weakens the performance of the heater.

    Quote Originally Posted by shophound View Post
    Furnace efficiency is measured by actual BTU output vs. input. After it leaves the furnace, it becomes a matter of how well the air distribution system prevents the actual heat output of the furnace from being diminished before reaching a supply grill. You allude to this in the following quote:
    ...Not only reaches the supply grills but heats the entire house. The efficiency I refer to is how long a heater must run to raise house temp a given amount. A flawed or inadequate ducting system (and attic ductwork) can easily diminish the system efficiency by 50%. Unit specs of efficiency are too easily quoted by HVAC contractors as what a HO has in his house. Other factors (ducting and attic installs) are glossed over when quoting the real efficiency of the system.

    Quote Originally Posted by shophound View Post
    So, as a general contractor, do you have any actual say where the HVAC ductwork can go? Can you influence decision making enough to keep it out of an attic? Or, if it must go in an attic, can you exude enough influence on the homebuilider or prospective homeowner to consider a sealed attic, insulated at the roof deck vs. attic floor?
    I don’t build new homes but I did recently lay out the ducting-runs on a job and forced the HVAC contractor to install a low return. He didn’t agree with my theory, but most HVAC contractors don’t. I also walked a job where they had the room to install the unit in the attic but they installed it in a closet, like the old days. Ducting ran under as well as in the attic but it had low return. My hat was off to the designer of it…wish I could have seen it run.

    Quote Originally Posted by shophound View Post
    This does nothing to address the millions of existing house units with attic ductwork and equipment. For those to perform well, it often takes more than merely tweaking supply grills and return air locations. It often entails focusing on the thermal boundary of the house itself to increase comfort levels and reduce energy consumption.
    Saving on heating bills involves many aspects of a house. I agree, floor returns are only one of many.

    Brian

  9. #61
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    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian GC View Post
    I realize these manuals are Bibles to the industry but I have performed field tests too. The results are amazing. If the HVAC experts can’t recognize this or if they are simply disregarded, their credibility in my opinion is diminished.


    Brian
    No.

    You came upon something that covers up the real problem. And are calling it the invention of the century.

    But, you never bothered addressing the real issue.

    You, are the one that is not looking past his nose.

    Try putting in the proper type supply registers.

    I realize this won't make you as much money a doing your little duct shoots, then framing out drywalling and finnishing.
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  10. #62
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    Mar 2008
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    Long Beach, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    No.

    You came upon something that covers up the real problem. And are calling it the invention of the century.

    But, you never bothered addressing the real issue.

    You, are the one that is not looking past his nose.

    Try putting in the proper type supply registers.

    I realize this won't make you as much money a doing your little duct shoots, then framing out drywalling and finnishing.
    I’ve never made a dime on any of this and don’t intend to. Much of what I do is seal house envelopes, so it is related to my regular job. Witnessing such an oversight in your industry is what I feel is appalling. If the HO can be shown how to improve their deficient heating system, I show them. If it leads back to the HVAC installer taking shortcuts, so be it. I’m in this to save unsuspecting people on their energy bills and to live in comfort, not the money.

    Go ahead and call it the “invention of the century”, I’ll call ceiling returns the “crime of the century”.

    Brian

  11. #63
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    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    You say you tested this.

    But, you haven't. Since you never tried using the right supplies.
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  12. #64
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Great Lakes Region
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    575
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian GC View Post
    I’ve never made a dime on any of this and don’t intend to. Much of what I do is seal house envelopes, so it is related to my regular job. Witnessing such an oversight in your industry is what I feel is appalling. If the HO can be shown how to improve their deficient heating system, I show them. If it leads back to the HVAC installer taking shortcuts, so be it. I’m in this to save unsuspecting people on their energy bills and to live in comfort, not the money.

    Go ahead and call it the “invention of the century”, I’ll call ceiling returns the “crime of the century”.

    Brian
    so if your job is sealing house envelopes (im guessing that means saving people money on thier energy bills) and your saving people 50% on thier heating bill by showing them your invention. Why are you not charging them for this? surely anyone would be glad to pay for an idea that would save 50% on thier heating bill.

  13. #65
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    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    Or, is he saying, that his sealing the houses, isn't what saves them money.
    Just the return work.
    So his house sealing is worthless.



    So Brian.

    How do you determine what is saving them money.
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