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  1. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tagb0000 View Post
    No kitchen hoods exist in the home. There is a downdraft vent in a kitchen island but it is not used.

    What is the recommended location for the meter? Will it store the data without being connected to a PC? (I read the manual, but did not see a clear indicator of the connectivity requirements for storage.) I can connect it to a laptop and set it up virtually anywhere if necessary, but will need the laptop for work during the day. If my office (first floor) is sufficient, I can connect it there easily.

    P.S. As I was getting ready to order the recommended unit, I saw a unit that also reads humidity. Should I splurge for that one?
    Reference: http://www.co2meter.com/products/tim...midity-monitor
    The meter your are considering does not data log. It is not critical to data log. The other CO2 meter that logs requires being connected to a pc.
    Regarding <10%RH, few meter are able to accurately measuring <25%RH. Two occupants in a 4,500 sqft. home with an air change in 4-5 hours will have very low %RH.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  2. #15
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    Thread Starter
    I waited one day for a friend to bring some equipment by (read: loaner) and to perform a load calc. Instead of by buddy coming with his equipment, someone from the sales side of the shop stopped by with a clipboard. After explaining the problem, his recommendation was to replace the AC and furnaces with higher efficiency equipment. His logic was that the first floor furnace did not come on at all during his one hour visit. The upstairs unit came on for a few minutes. The house is very tightly sealed now and thus does not much heat, so the units rarely come on, and being gas, the dry out what little air they circulate. The more he talked about new units, the less I listened.

    I am back to ordering a CO2 meter - if I cannot find one at a local HVAC supply store tomorrow. Is a CO2 logger (as recommended by Teddy Bear) the only measurement I need at this time? I am willing to get the logging portion - as I think it makes sense to track the measurements. Would other points (RH, Temp, etc.) be valuable? I have my eye on this one: http://www.co2meter.com/collections/...or-data-logger

  3. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tagb0000 View Post
    I waited one day for a friend to bring some equipment by (read: loaner) and to perform a load calc. Instead of by buddy coming with his equipment, someone from the sales side of the shop stopped by with a clipboard. After explaining the problem, his recommendation was to replace the AC and furnaces with higher efficiency equipment. His logic was that the first floor furnace did not come on at all during his one hour visit. The upstairs unit came on for a few minutes. The house is very tightly sealed now and thus does not much heat, so the units rarely come on, and being gas, the dry out what little air they circulate. The more he talked about new units, the less I listened.

    I am back to ordering a CO2 meter - if I cannot find one at a local HVAC supply store tomorrow. Is a CO2 logger (as recommended by Teddy Bear) the only measurement I need at this time? I am willing to get the logging portion - as I think it makes sense to track the measurements. Would other points (RH, Temp, etc.) be valuable? I have my eye on this one: http://www.co2meter.com/collections/...or-data-logger
    I have not used the meter specific meter you have picked. But it looks good for the money.
    Regarding your comment about heating systems drying out the air, not true. When air is heated, the %RH decreases, but the moisture content does not change. It's a small point.
    Tracking the temp/%RH/CO2 ppm indoor levels verses outdoor levels plus knowing the number of occupants will provide the info needed to estimate the effective amount of fresh air moving through your home. You will see the level of moisture and CO2 varies with operation of equipment in the home and weather conditions outside.
    Using blower door testing measures the leakage area in the outer shell of the home with a specific pressure on the home. Then a calculation is applied that attempts to estimate the amount of air leakage through the holes at the average winter temps and wind speed. During moderate temps and calm winds, the air leakage through the holes drops to a minimal level.
    Typically, most home get enough fresh air during average winter conditions but need supplemental mechanical ventilation during calm, mild conditions, and occupancy. Green grass climates have high outdoor dew points and require supplemental dehumidification through 3 seasons.
    A whole house ventilating dehumidifier is one method of providing filtered fresh air, circulatin g the fresh air throughout the home. Also the dehumidifier part will maintain <50%RH when the outdoor dew point is high and the a/c does not run enough.
    This idea that something is wrong with a home if it needs supplemental humidification or dehumidification is typically wrong. Large homes with minimal occupancy will need humidification when the outdoor dew points are below the ideal indoor dew point. They will also need dehumidification when the outdoor dew points are above the desired indoor dew points and there is no/low cooling loads. Occupants add to the moisture levels
    Looking forward to the info on your home.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  4. #17
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    Sep 2009
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    Arnold mo
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    This idea that something is wrong with a home if it needs supplemental humidification or dehumidification is typically wrong.

    I, along with other pro's, have consistently advised homeowners that a "typical" home that is too dry in winter, too humid in summer, and which RH levels rise & fall as the outside RH rise and fall, most likely have excessive air leakage in the home. This is what is "typical", and our advise is "typically" correct. Our advice is based on sound Building Science principals. Only two people living in a McMansion is, IMO, atypical, and normal people living in a normal sized home do not need to be falsely led to believe their dry home in Winter is normal and they should just throw in a humidifier to fix the problem.

    Fix the home's thermal envelope first, THEN determine whether or not a humidifier is required.
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
    http://www.mohomeenergyaudits.com

  5. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tipsrfine View Post
    This idea that something is wrong with a home if it needs supplemental humidification or dehumidification is typically wrong.

    I, along with other pro's, have consistently advised homeowners that a "typical" home that is too dry in winter, too humid in summer, and which RH levels rise & fall as the outside RH rise and fall, most likely have excessive air leakage in the home. This is what is "typical", and our advise is "typically" correct. Our advice is based on sound Building Science principals. Only two people living in a McMansion is, IMO, atypical, and normal people living in a normal sized home do not need to be falsely led to believe their dry home in Winter is normal and they should just throw in a humidifier to fix the problem.

    Fix the home's thermal envelope first, THEN determine whether or not a humidifier is required.
    I agree with some of what you say. A 2,500 sqft. home with 4 occupants that is <30%RH does not need a humidifier. It needs air tightening. Yet this same house after being "fixed" needs supplemental dehumidification during low/no cooling loads and +55^F outdoor dew points. If not the high moisture level in the home will grow mold and dust mites.
    Any home that has adequate fresh air infiltration/ventilation needs dehumidification when the outdoor dew points are +60^F to maintain <50%RH.
    Fix all the homes you can. I am for it. Yet most homes need fresh air ventilation and dehumidification during +55^F outdoor dew points and occupancy for indoor air quality and comfort, fixed or not.
    If all most be fixed first before summer dehumidification is applied, not many will be dehumidified.
    Thanks for your comments.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  6. #19
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    I'm in agreement with the benefit of having a dehumidifier.
    An answer without a question is meaningless.
    Information without understanding is useless.
    You can lead a horse to water............
    http://www.mohomeenergyaudits.com

  7. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tipsrfine View Post
    I'm in agreement with the benefit of having a dehumidifier.
    Peace has come to the HVAC valley. Unfortunately too few homes will get blower door test or dehumidifiers because most home owners do not understand the problem.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  8. #21
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by teddy bear View Post
    Unfortunately too few homes will get blower door test or dehumidifiers because most home owners do not understand the problem.
    The independent who performed the blower door test in 2010 (prior to spray foam installation and crawl space sealing) is coming back Monday to perform another blower door test. He is bringing his testing equipment and intends to perform another assessment of the general air quality. Other than the blower door test, CO2 levels and RH levels, what should I be sure he checks?

    Would it be worthwhile to this audience to provide the brand/model/etc. of the mechanical, furnace and other related gear?

    I have not ordered a CO2 meter yet. I am investigating renting some more sophisticated equipment in lieu of purchasing. There is a company near my home that rents indoor air quality testing equipment. I am waiting on a call back from the store to confirm the availability and price. Any thoughts?

    Equipment being considered: http://pine-environmental.com/produc..._temp_monitor/

  9. #22
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    A spot check on CO2, Temp, and %RH is not is not as helpful as long term monitoring with typical conditions.
    The meters you posted do not measure CO2. Only temp/%RH.
    Buying a meter for $100 that measures CO2 and you use the meter over more typical conditions including after the fix is more interesting.
    REgards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  10. #23
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    May 2004
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    from what you wrote:

    - One attic fan was removed/sealed. The other is in place with a thermostatically controlled switch. It typically only switches on during the extreme heat of the summer.
    & something about it being near peak of the roof...
    it makes me wonder if this roofline was foam insulated. if it was...
    it isn't sealed as the pav allows ambinet air/temps into attic.

    I'd suggest that things are not as sealed as you believe.
    if you have a pav in the top attic...that isn't a sealed attic.
    is foam on this roofline?

    or does the foam stop on a roofline below this?

    are there walls of the floor on the top floor that are shared
    with attic space? is this the area that doesn't heat/cool properly?

    will blower door people be testing attic for leakage from outside
    attic to inside attic?
    I see/test a lot of homes with foam that are not unvented semi conditioned
    sealed attics. the main source of leakage are at complicated rooflines,
    roof to attic floor seal & misunderstood thermal boundry.

    I'd want testing of foam 'sealed' attics,
    house leakage number seperate from attic leakage number
    and duct leakage numbers.
    xxx cfm at 50 pascals for attics, house & xxxcfm @25 pa for all duct systems.

    do you have a doorway into attic? or is access pull down stair cases, or hatch?
    please clarify?

    if you have a doorway into attic...set the blower door up in the doorway.
    measure leakage from ambinet into attic.
    then take a can of paint & check peremiter of attic at eaves/soffit attic floor
    to roof connection. I think you'll find leakage.

    as for crawlspace...how is it insulated?

    and just for refrence 200 cfm of duct leakage..is half a ton.
    expensive to heat/cool air that doesn't make it into the house.

    even with foam sealed attics, ducts need to be mastic sealed to
    minimum leakage standards. there is enough house to attic leakage
    to achieve the semi conditioned attic that a foam sealed unvented
    attic provides. thermal bypasses, recessed lights, attic hatches,
    attic staircases, oversized cuts in ceilings hidden by bath fan
    covers, supply vent covers to name the most common leakage
    sites from attic into house.

    pay attention to what everyone here is telling you, and get
    some good hard usable numbers & information from
    blower door test & duct leakage tests. insist upon testing
    attics for leakage of outside air.

    best of luck.


    .
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  11. #24
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks for the notes, Energy Rater. I will definitely ask for a test of the attic leakage.

    Quote Originally Posted by energy_rater_La View Post
    from what you wrote:
    - One attic fan was removed/sealed. The other is in place with a thermostatically controlled switch. It typically only switches on during the extreme heat of the summer.
    & something about it being near peak of the roof...
    it makes me wonder if this roofline was foam insulated. if it was...
    it isn't sealed as the pav allows ambinet air/temps into attic.

    I'd suggest that things are not as sealed as you believe.
    if you have a pav in the top attic...that isn't a sealed attic.
    is foam on this roofline?
    or does the foam stop on a roofline below this?

    …snipped…

    do you have a doorway into attic? or is access pull down stair cases, or hatch?
    please clarify?

    .
    I am not sure what “pav” means but suspect it is a term for “fan”.

    The attic has two sections – both of which were sprayed. One is accessible via walk up stairs and considered finished space (what I refer to as “third floor”). This area also has unfinished storage space, including two water heaters and various duct work. The other attic area is accessible via hatch, is unfinished and contains the air handler and furnace for the second and third floors.

    The foam was sprayed throughout the attic including the roof line as well as smaller areas (including vertical walls) accessible through small doors. The area surrounding the remaining fan was also sprayed. The remaining fan is accessible via a small hatch. This area is directly above the finished area of the third floor.

    Quote Originally Posted by energy_rater_La View Post
    are there walls of the floor on the top floor that are shared with attic space?
    .
    Yes, the finished third floor area exterior walls are unfinished attic space.
    Quote Originally Posted by energy_rater_La View Post
    is this the area that doesn't heat/cool properly?
    .
    The finished area on the third floor was very difficult to cool in the summer prior to spraying foam the attic. Now, it is much easier to cool, and requires virtually no heating the winter, as you probably understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by energy_rater_La View Post
    as for crawlspace...how is it insulated?
    .
    From the invoice:
    Seal and insulate crawlspace. 10mil White vapor barrier on ground (over 6mil vapor barrier), air seal all exterior penetrations and foundation vents, install a supply line of air from the AC system. Remove and dispose of floor insulation.

    Note, the following item was *not* done:
    Install Fan In A Can for Furnace Combustion Air Supply - Optional but required for code compliance

    Quote Originally Posted by energy_rater_La View Post
    and just for refrence 200 cfm of duct leakage..is half a ton.
    expensive to heat/cool air that doesn't make it into the house.

    even with foam sealed attics, ducts need to be mastic sealed to
    minimum leakage standards. there is enough house to attic leakage
    to achieve the semi conditioned attic that a foam sealed unvented
    attic provides. thermal bypasses, recessed lights, attic hatches,
    attic staircases, oversized cuts in ceilings hidden by bath fan
    covers, supply vent covers to name the most common leakage
    sites from attic into house.

    pay attention to what everyone here is telling you, and get
    some good hard usable numbers & information from
    blower door test & duct leakage tests. insist upon testing
    attics for leakage of outside air.

    best of luck.

    .
    Thanks for this information. Every little bit helps.

  12. #25
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    sorry..pav powered attic ventilator

    the fan in smaller attic should have been covered from inside
    the attic & spray foamed to completely seal it off from ambient air.
    in this smaller attic, as in the larger attic, the foam should make a
    complete seal from roofline to attic floor. any storage flooring at these
    areas should have been removed so that the seal can go to the ...I say
    attic floor, not to be misunderstood as storage floor...but the ceiling of the living
    space below. this is the largest leakage site I find.
    even 1/8" around the perimeter of the attic allows ambinet air into the attic.
    add it up...and it makes a large leakage area.

    when you say that not only was the roofline sprayed, but also the
    verticle walls...these are exterior walls of the house?
    of the attic side of the walls in attic that have upstairs rooms on
    other side of walls?

    I know...lots of questions...but I can't see it from here!

    for the crawlspace invoice...seal & insulate.
    insulate how? foundation walls? I see they
    removed insulation from floors which wouldn't
    be necessary in sealed & insulate crawlspace,
    just trying to understand how/what they insulated
    & with what.

    so your big attic...has a door...good blower door can
    be set up there to depressurize this attic. understand
    that someone will need to get into the area where
    foam seals roof to attic floor...to feel & spray paint leakage.
    I'd diy it. kneepads, flashlight, can of spray paint.
    whatever leakage you find in this attic will be the
    same in top smaller attic.
    the less amount of space to work...the toghter the install..
    the more leaks.

    how much foam was installed? what type open cell...closed cell?
    is the install even looking or does it have dips & voids in it?
    between rafters is it level or does it belly in or out?
    are the rafters covered, sides & faces (flat 1 1/2" 'face of rafter that
    you see looking up at roof)?

    inches of foam & type will allow us to understand what R-value is.
    details of install will determine more info.

    can you post a few foam pics? close up of roofline to attic floor,
    and the one further back? pic of roofline install so we can get an idea
    of how well it was installed?

    so fan in a can is code? I've been wanting to use one for a while now..
    just haven't had the right house!

    I'll try to help you understand as best I can some of the things
    you need to look for and have tested tomorrow.

    best of luck.
    The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole. ~Plato

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Thread Starter
    Today's Blower Door Test results: 3300 CFM @ 50 Pa.

    Test was done at single exterior door. The independent assessor did not believe doing a test at the third floor (attic) area would give any usable data. Further, he estimates there are about four (4) air changes per hour.

    His handheld (which I believe is this device) tester did not seem to indicate any measurable levels of CO. CO2 and other variables seemed to be "normal" according to his tester. Moments after he left - and moments before this posting - I ordered the TIM12.

    The assessor's recommendation was to skip the whole house dehumidifier and replace the 80% efficiency units - possibly starting with the second floor - and install a fresh air vent directly into the air handler. His logic was that a ~$2000 dehumidifier unit will only be used a small percentage of the time (in the most humid part of the summer). Whereas applying that money toward replacing the HVAC and air handler would be used year round AND it would be more energy efficient.

    I will try to post some pictures later today.

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