Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Lets Talk Ventilation – Easy Explanations to Ventilation Terms Part 3 (O – Z)

Lets Talk Ventilation – Easy Explanations to Ventilation Terms Part 3 (O – Z)
In our last two Blog Post we started a series to help explain some of the more common terms used in the ventilation industry. We continue the series with the following:

Oscillating: When used in the description of an Air King Air Circulator, it is the ability of the fan's head to move from side to side providing a larger coverage area.

OSHA: Occupational Safety & Health Administration - Part of the United States Department of Labor. Learn more at www.osha.gov.

Powder Coat: Painting system where dry powder is charged and sprayed onto metal and then "baked" on. Provides an extremely durable and long-lasting finish.

PSC: Permanent Split Capacitor. Component used to initially charge the motor on start up.

RPM: Revolutions Per Minute. Unit of measure for how many revolutions are accomplished in a one minute time period.

SJT: Stranded Junior service Thermoplastic cord set. Rated for up to 300 Volts.

SO: Stranded Oil resistant compound cord set. Rated for up to 600 Volts.

Sone: A sone is an internationally recognized unit of loudness. The sones translate laboratory decibel readings into numbers that correspond to the way people sense loudness. Double the sone is double the loudness. In everyday terms, one sone is equivalent to the sound of a quiet running refrigerator in a quiet kitchen.

Standard 90A: Standard set by the National Fire Protection Agency in regards to ceiling radiant fire dampers. Learn more at www.nfpa.org.

Thermostat: Devise used in certain Air King models that allows the user to set a temperature range where the unit will automatically turn on or off.

UL: Underwriters Laboratory. UL is the trusted source across the globe for product compliance. Benefiting a range of customers - from manufacturers and retailers to consumers and regulating bodies - we’ve tested products for public safety for more than a century. Learn more at www.ul.com

UL 555: Standard set by the National Fire Protection Agency in regards to ceiling radiant fire dampers. Learn more at standardscatalog.ul.com/standards/en/standard_555_7

Ventilation: The act of exchanging air from one location to another.

Volts: An electromotive force. Most household products within North America operate on 120 Volts. Watts Unit of electric power measurement.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Lets Talk Ventilation – Easy Explanations to Ventilation Terms Part 2 (E – N)

In our last Blog Post we started a series to help explain some of the more common terms used in the ventilation industry. We continue the series with the following:

ENERGY STAR: A government-backed program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. Learn more at energystar.gov.

ETL - Intertek: ETL (Electrical Testing Laboratories) was founded by Thomas Edison in 1896 and in their words, "Intertek provides quality and safety services to businesses across the globe. We help our customers improve their products, assets and processes to make them more successful in their chosen markets". Learn more at intertek.com/.

Fluorescent (CFL): Compact Fluorescent Lighting - Energy efficient lighting option that uses a chemical reaction of gases inside a tube to generate light. Fluorescent lighting is more efficient that standard incandescent lighting but new technology in LED lighting is slowly phasing out Fluorescent lighting.

Fusible Link: Term used with fire rated dampers. The fusible link is two pieces of metal joined together that will release when the temperature reaches a set point (212° on Air King models), breaking the link and allowing the curtain to seal off the ducting.

GFCI Circuit: Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. Switch utilized for high voltage electrical shock protection. The GFCI will shut off an electric power circuit when it detects that current is flowing in a way it is not meant to, such as through water or a person.

Grease Filter: Filter used to catch grease and other contaminates from entering the unit. Most commonly used with range hoods. Grease filters should be cleaned at least once per month or more depending on usage.

Hanging Brackets: Used to mount certain Air King exhaust fans. They attach from one ceiling joist to another ceiling joist and allow the installer to position the exhaust fan between them. Can also be referred to a Hanger Bars or Hanging Rails.

Horizontal Exhaust: Exhaust that enters into the duct work on the horizontal plane (out the side or the back of a unit).

HVI: The Home Ventilating Institute - HVI - is a non-profit association of the manufacturers of home ventilating products. HVI offers a variety of services including, but not limited to - test standards, certification programs for airflow, sound, energy performance for heat recovery ventilators, market support and three annual meetings to discuss common industry issues. Through a Certified Ratings Program, HVI provides a voluntary means for the residential ventilation manufacturers to report comparable and creditable product performance information based upon uniformly applied testing standards and procedures performed by independent laboratories. Together these activities help to promote the health and growth of the home ventilation while providing consumers with valuable information and confidence in their choices. Learn more at hvi.org.

Incandescent: Common household lighting option. Many incandescent lighting option have been phased out over the past several years in favor of more efficient lighting option such as CFL and LED.

Infinite Speed Control: Controls the speed of the motor. The user has the ability to set the unit at any desired speed level.

Keyhole Slots: Mounting system for installing units where the mounting screws or nails can be put into place and then the unit is lifted over the screws and slid into place.

NFPA: The mission of the international nonprofit NFPA is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Established in 1896, NFPA serves as the world's leading advocate of fire prevention and is an authoritative source on public safety. In fact, NFPA's 300 codes and standards influence every building, process, service, design, and installation in the United States, as well as many of those used in other countries. NFPA's focus on true consensus has helped the association's code-development process earn accreditation from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Learn more at nfpa.org.

Night-Light: Low wattage light feature. Air King products that have this feature utilize either a 4 Watt or 7 Watt bulb.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Lets Talk Ventilation – Easy Explanations to Ventilation Terms Part 1 (A – D)

Have you ever had a conversation with an expert in their field of study and it seems like they are talking in a different language yet expect you to understand everything they are saying? Unfortunately we in the ventilation field can be charged as guilty of this offense, using terms that most people have no idea what we are talking about. Fear not, we are here to help. We are going to take the next few blog entries to work through some of the common terms used. We mind as well jump right to it:

AMPS: Is a unit of measurement that expresses the strength of current of electricity – how much electricity is flowing.

ASHRAE 62.2: is a minimum national standard that provides methods for achieving acceptable indoor air quality in typical residences. The standard has three main components: Whole House Ventilation, Local Exhaust, and Source Control. The recommendations that follow are for most common conditions, extreme conditions require additional consideration. Air King has done many posts on the elements of ASHRAE 62.2 you can also get more info at http://www.airkinglimited.com/page/ashrae622.html

Blower Wheel: Also referred to as the fan blade or a squirrel cage. Spins to generate ventilation power within the unit.

California Title 24: An energy efficiency standard for residential and nonresidential buildings in California to reduce energy consumption. As it pertains to ventilation, it provides minimum standards for the performance of the products that may be used, especially when a light combination unit is to be a part of the installation

CFM: Cubic Feet per Minute. Unit of measure for how much air is exchanged in one minute of time. For instance a fan running at 100 CFM can exhaust (or exchange) 10 ft. wide by 10 ft. long by 10 ft. high room in 10 minutes (10ft x 10ft x 10ft = 1000 cubic feet divided by 100 = 10 minutes)

Charcoal Filter: Filter used to eliminate odor from the air passing through it. Needed in cases where air will be re-circulated back into the living area. These can also be referred to as Odor filters.

Combination Filter: A filter used to capture grease and debris as well as to filter out odors. The filter includes a combination of a wire mesh grease filter and a charcoal odor filter. These filters are utilized when a range hood is being used in a ductless configuration.

Contractor Pack: Mainly utilized in larger building projects, a contractor pack consists of two parts – the housing and then the Motor/Blade/Grill (MBG or Trim kit). The housing is sent to the jobsite for installation before the ceilings are installed. Once the home is almost complete, the MBG or trim kit is then installed.

Convertible: Refers to range hoods that can be installed with various ducting options including vertical, horizontal, or ductless.

Duct Free / Ductless: A unit that recirculates the air back into the living area. Generally some type of odor filter is needed to operate. No duct work is needed with a unit that is ductless.

Our hope is this helps explain some of the common terms thrown around in the ventilation field. In our next blog post we will take a look at E – N terms. To learn more visit www.airkinglimited.com

Monday, February 5, 2018

Ventilation Diagnostic – 5 Ways to Check Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan

The ventilation of your home is a very important component of proper Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). If it is not working properly or is ineffective, it can lead to larger issues. Here are 5 ways you can insure your exhaust fans are operating properly:

1.    Sizing – A common error made when choosing an exhaust fan is the size or how much air does it move. This is measured in Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM). A quick way to see if you have the right amount is to measure the length and width of your bathroom and times those numbers together. For instance a 10 foot by 10 foot bathroom is 100 square feet. The general rule is a minimum of 1 CFM per square foot. In our example you will need at least a 100 CFM exhaust fan. Typically there is a sticker inside your fan that lists the CFM. If not and you can locate the model number of the fan, you can use a directory such as HVI (hvi.org) to look-up the airflow. If the airflow of the fan is less than what is needed, you might want to consider replacing the unit. Note: there are other factors such as duct length, height of ceilings and more that can contribute to the airflow of the unit. For our purposes we are just concentrating on some simple ways to check.

2.    Obstructions – Once you have determined that the airflow of you fan is what it should be the next item to look at is obstructions. Depending on where your fan is exhausting to will determine how easy this is to do. First do a visual test. Do you see any debris in or around the wall or roof vent? Common obstructions are items like birds nests. If your vent has louvers, make sure they are working and are not frozen shut. CAUTION: if you need to use a ladder or climb on your roof, make sure to adhere to all safety measures to avoid injury.

3.    Cleaning – After checking for obstructions outside, it is now time to check inside in the form of dirt and debris build-up in the fan. The performance of your fan can be reduced if it is not properly maintained. If there is a build up of dirt or debris on the fan blades/blower you are probably not getting the full airflow. The good news is this is an easy fix. Follow the cleaning instructions in the user manual that came with your fan (or access them through the manufacturers website). Make sure to follow all safety precautions including turning off the power supply to the fan before starting.

4.    Living Test – We sometimes think we have to have some expensive piece of equipment or call an expert in to diagnose things. That is not the case with bathroom exhaust fans. There is a very simple test we will call the living test. Is your bathroom fan working the way you want it to? After you get out of the shower is the room full of steam for what seems an eternity? Does mold and mildew grow faster than you can clean it? These are some common signs that your fan might not have enough airflow to do the job. As listed above, you can try and see if it is an obstruction or it needs cleaning but you might want to consider increasing the airflow by replacing the unit. Even if you determine that the airflow of the fan matches the size of the room, different factors can be at play that might require a larger CFM fan.

5.    Function – When we talk about function, we are talking about two factors – mechanical and user. For mechanical, is the fan physically working? When you turn the fan on, does it operate? I think it goes without saying that if the fan is not operating, it either needs to be repaired or replaced. This might sound like a duh moment but we are always amazed how many times replacing an exhaust fan seems to be a secondary project. The second factor is the user. How many times have you used a bathroom without turning the fan on? We are not judging and forgiveness is available. The main reason people give for not using a bathroom exhaust fan is the sound. Even if the right sized exhaust fan is installed, if it isnt turned on because of the sound level, then it is as if there is no exhaust fan there at all. There are two ways to solve for that issue. One would be to replace it with a quieter model. Exhaust fans have come a long way and now, there are many models that operate at an almost silent level. A second way is to install either a humidity or occupancy sensor that will automatically turn the fan on and off taking control out of the hands of the occupants. That wont solve the sound issue, but it will ensure the fan is operating.

To learn more about ventilation, available exhaust fans and Indoor Air Quality, visit the Air King site at www.airkinglimited.com