Technical

Survey Respondents Say Drill More, Pursue Alternative Energy

October 6, 2008
This year as the price of oil and gasoline sharply rose, the impact of high energy prices weighed heavily on the United States economy. To find out how readers feel about the energy issue, an informal online survey was conducted on The NEWS Website, keying on oil drilling and renewable energy.
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Field Modifying Fittings and Duct

September 22, 2008
Field modifying fittings and duct can save time and money. If you install residential ductwork on a performance basis (X number of dollars for the job) as I do, it is sometimes a real benefit. You have to know how fittings are made before you can alter them.
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How an Open Building Automation System Cuts Costs, Increases Flexibility

September 8, 2008
Having a specification that allows for any system option and protocol leads to a more complex system, one that is more cumbersome to install, commission, and maintain. It is recommended to pick one common protocol for the entire building control system infrastructure. Costs go down and maintainability goes up.
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The Key Role of Retrocommissioning in Building Sustainability

August 18, 2008
The concept of sustainability has gained interest in direct proportion to the recent increases in energy costs. There is a frequently overlooked initiative that can have the most significant impact on reducing energy usage in buildings and can set the stage for future efficiency initiatives: retrocommissioning.
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Whole Building Design

August 4, 2008
Designing, constructing, or renovating high-performance buildings requires a whole building approach. This differs from the traditional design/build process, as the design team examines the integration of all building components and systems and determines how they best work together to save energy and reduce environmental impact.
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Improving School Environment and Performance

July 7, 2008
Green school programs are touted mainly for saving energy, but research at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) indicates that bettering a school’s indoor environment also increases health and comfort, which in turn promotes increased attendance, student attentiveness, and teaching effectiveness.
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EPA Offers Tips on Proper Use of Programmable Thermostats

June 23, 2008
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched an effort to help Americans save on their summer cooling bills with advice on how to properly program their thermostat. HVAC contractors can pass along these tips to customers to help them stay cool while keeping more cash in their pockets.
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Air Filtration and Energy Efficiency

June 9, 2008
The energy used by HVAC systems is based on the resistance of the air passing through the filter; the lower the filter’s resistance, the lower the energy consumption will be. However, even though one speaks of filters, it is really the filter media that has the biggest effect on minimizing energy consumption.
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Extending a Motor's Operating Life

May 19, 2008
The operating environment, conditions of use (or misuse), and quality of preventive maintenance determine how quickly motor parts degrade. The best safeguard against thermal damage is avoiding conditions that contribute to overheating. Bearing failures account for nearly one-half of all motor failures.
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Aluminum Evaporators for Ammonia

May 5, 2008
Air-cooling evaporators used in ammonia systems have traditionally been made using galvanized (zinc-coated) carbon steel. There are other metals that are compatible with ammonia, including stainless steel and aluminum. Aluminum, in fact, can provide several benefits.
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Mini Split Installation

Twin Cities contractor Aabott Ferraro helped retrofit an older St. Paul home.

Podcasts

NEWSMakers: Doug Dougherty

Doug Dougherty, president and CEO of the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) joins the program to discuss the latest happenings with GEO, including the drive to get included in state and federal definitions of renewable energy, plus the future of geothermal.  Posted on July 25.

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R-22 PHASEOUT POLL

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