The Blog

Transpired Solar Walls

Building orientation plays an integral role in the way a building heats or cools during the course of a day. Transpired solar walls, also referred to as solar air heating, are green, efficient, and a cost effective method of supplemental air heating. These solar collectors take advantage of south facing exposure and preheat ventilation air

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Clean Agent Fire Suppression

NFPA (The National Fire Protection Association) defines “clean agents” as “an electrically non-conducting, volatile, or gaseous fire extinguishant that does not leave a residue upon evaporation.” A clean agent fire suppression system consists of the agent storage containers, release valves, heat detectors, control panel, piping, and discharge nozzles. Clean agent fire suppressions systems are typically

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Are You on Schedule?

More specifically is your heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) system on schedule?  Do your toilet room fans run at night when you are not there? Are you heating or cooling the entire building when no one is working? Changing temperature setpoints and scheduling HVAC equipment to turn off when the building is unoccupied is an easy way

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Water Softening Systems

Hard water is found in many water supplies across the country. Hardness is the measurement of the concentration of calcium and magnesium compounds found in water. These compounds enter the water system from groundwater sources. Calcium and magnesium compounds can become separated from the water and cause scaling in equipment and piping. Scale can decrease fixture flow rates, decrease

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Why Your Freeze Stat Trips

A freeze stat is a sensor located in your HVAC system that is designed to minimize the potential of freezing a water or steam coil in your air distribution system.  A true freeze stat is directly interlocked to shut down equipment and requires a manual reset if it trips.  This is different than a low

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Electronically Commutated Motors

Electronically commutated motors (ECMs) have quickly become standard in the HVAC industry. They can have unexpected operating characteristics that are very different than their predecessor; the alternating current (AC) permanent split capacitor (PSC) motor. An ECM is a brushless, direct current (DC) motor that operates at a synchronous speed. ECMs utilize integral inverters so they

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Natatorium Corrosion Is A Medley of Factors

Natatoriums are typically the most corrosive environment that facility staff will maintain. The design architect, HVAC engineer, and pool consultant need to reduce the factors that lead to corrosion, but all the designers involved and the facility personnel need to be keenly aware of the cause of natatorium corrosion. The primary drivers of corrosion in the natatorium

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Relative Humidity is “Relative”

Psychrometrics can be a complicated field of study. However, a psychrometric chart can be a simple, invaluable tool to help HVAC engineers and owners understand the relationship between air temperature and humidity.  Relative humidity (RH) is a term that most people are familiar with, but its relationship with dry bulb (DB) temperature is typically under-appreciated.  RH

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The Days of the Simple Wall Switch Are Gone!

The days of providing a simple wall switch to control lighting are GONE. The last few revisions of the energy codes, whether the International Energy Conservation Code or ASHRAE 90.1, has continually increased lighting control complexity. However, with this complexity significant energy reduction, and thus lower operating costs, can be achieved resulting in relatively short

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High Efficiency Replacement Boilers

As we leave the heating season, many building owners begin repair and replacement projects in their boiler plants. Boilers that burn fuel to heat water have been around for thousands of years and technologies that we would recognize today date back to the early 1700’s. More recent trends in boiler construction and control focus on

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