If I had a dollar for every customer or contractor who planned on installing the wrong size central AC I’d never have to leave the house. If I had another dollar for every person who didn’t believe the results of load calculations, I could go on vacation for half the year.
The homes being built today may look identical to a 20-30 year old home, but behave very differently.
My first car, a 1966 Mercedes SL100. It had 4 wheels, a steering wheel, brakes just like any modern car. To someone who has never seen the difference, and except for shape or style, that car looked almost exactly the same as our newer cars.
Comparing even a 15 year old home to one being built today is a mistake that 95 out of 100 contractors, consumers and worse, engineers are making on a daily basis.
The function of properly sized equipment is outstanding in comfort and low on cost.
We still have too many “professionals” citing 400 CFM per ton of cooling. I design homes almost every day that use 1,100 CFM per ton.
Just last week I tested a brand new home, going for 1.1M and it LEAKED almost 2 tons of cooling to the outside. The true shame of it was, had that builder understand or care, like most of my current clients, the loss could have been 3/4 or what the entire home needed.
Why is it only the construction industry that takes pride in “doing it the same way for 40 years” when we are on a constant upgrade cycle with everything else ?
About 8 years ago, I was contacted by an engineer from NYSERDA. They offered me the opportunity to build one of our homes and enter it into the NYS Builders challange. The goal was to build a home nearly off the grid, and do it for under 20k additional. If we succeeded, NYS would pay us the incremental cost back, and monitor everything in the home for 1 year. We jumped on the opportunity and gave one of our customers the opportunity to have up to 20,000 worth of upgrades for free. They said yes and we were off… Thankfully we met our goal, and received our 19,600 rebate. Fast forward, a year after the customer closed. I’m at the end of year inspection and the homeowner says to me, that he knew he was getting something different, but was unsure of what to expect. Had he known beforehand would have paid the 20k out of pocket. His home, 2,600 Sq ft or so had 1200-1400 dollar utility bills for the ENTIRE year. That was Gas for heating and hot water and electric for appliances and cooling. His new home cost on average $100 per month.
Not that the cost was the only amazing aspect, he said his house was the most comfortable home he had ever been in.
If you think about how many days of the year the outside temperature and humidity is perfect, you might guess 5 to 10 days. Figure it’s 10 days for nice easy math. 2% of the year is perfect. That leaves us trying to fix our indoor comfort 98% of the year. That costs way more than most believe, and costs way less to do right the first time.
If your planning on building a new home, there is a code change on 10/3/16 for all of NYS. Thankfully it is going to direct you to the right path, but you will be dependent upon the many so called “professionals”. Do your due diligence, and make sure you pick the right consultant.
Shameless plug, because I can…
I challenge you to find anyone in NYS or even the North East who’s experience and qualifications match mine. I have personally built 20-30 high performance homes and have consulted on hundreds if not thousands in the last 10 years. If your working on a new home now, contact me for more info or simply email me the plans as soon as your architect has them ready.