45 episodes

Building HVAC Science covers a broad array of topics in building science and HVAC diagnostics, as well as human comfort, health, and safety. Hosted by HVAC measurement and building performance expert Bill Spohn, this show will take a deep dive into all things that relate to buildings and people in the built environment.

Building HVAC Science -Comfort, health & energy efficiency Bill Spohn

    • How To

Building HVAC Science covers a broad array of topics in building science and HVAC diagnostics, as well as human comfort, health, and safety. Hosted by HVAC measurement and building performance expert Bill Spohn, this show will take a deep dive into all things that relate to buildings and people in the built environment.

    EP45 Making Homes Perform better – HVAC tips with John Semmelhack

    EP45 Making Homes Perform better – HVAC tips with John Semmelhack

     
    “The only think I have learnt over the years is that if you enjoy your work and put in best efforts it will show. If you follow this process, things work out. But if you go chasing a formula, success will elude you.”
    Mahesh Babu



    While building his own house, John Semmelhack’s innate curiosity grew as he researched the best was to design and build a home.
     
    This lead him to start his own business, Think Little.
     
    The name of his business is deceptive as John is truly a big thinker, who acts in quiet ways to create comfortable, energy efficient and durable homes that have excellent indoor air quality.
     
    Lend us your ears to learn how following simple, yet important processes lead to amazing results. 
     
    We discuss HVAC Air filtration and why and how to get super-inexpensive, extremely effective filtration 
     
    He employs test and measurement at every appropriate juncture as well as post work, continuous monitoring for IAQ, energy and comfort. These factors are easier to measure than ever before! 
     
    John also reviews aspects of running this type of business including the variety of services he has developed over the years.
     
     
    John Semmelhack is the owner of Think Little (www.think-little.com) and co-owner of Comparetto Comfort Solutions, a pair of home performance consulting and contracting firms based in Charlottesville and Richmond, Virginia. Think Little specializes in building enclosure and mechanical system design and commissioning for single-family and multi-family Passive House and zero-net-energy homes in the mid-Atlantic. Comparetto Comfort Solutions focuses on high performance HVAC installations for new homes in the Charlottesville and Richmond markets, as well as home performance contracting to help meet clients’ comfort, indoor air quality, durability and energy efficiency goals. 

    • 33 min
    EP44 What's new in Home Performance 2.0 with Nate Adams

    EP44 What's new in Home Performance 2.0 with Nate Adams

    “True genius lies not in doing the extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
    General Louis H. Wilson, Jr.



    Building science principles are few and fairly straightforward; ordinary, perhaps.
     
    HAM: A lot of it amounts to control the flow of Heat, Air and Moisture.
     
    But, like so many things in this world, the devil is in the details.



    Listen in as I chat with my good friend Nate Adams (a true genius) to get an update on his extraordinarily execution of ordinary measures in his new concept of Home Performance 2.0.
     
    This is a follow up to Episode 36, where I interview two of the HP 2.0 practitioners, Neil Comparetto and Michael Housh.
     
    Measurements (so near and dear to my heart) are at the core of what he and his HP 2.0 army are all about.
     
    For a more complete overview, tune in to a recording of his recent webinar on HP 2.0: www.bit.ly/NATE-HP20
     
    Nate’s book, The Home Comfort Book, is perfect for consumers or practitioners alike and can be found at TruTech Tools or on Amazon.
     
    You can reach Nate at Nate@EnergySmartOhio.com.

    • 55 min
    EP43 Radon 101 with Dick Kornbluth

    EP43 Radon 101 with Dick Kornbluth

    May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.
    George Carlin



    Yep, Radon is force of evil.
     
    Pure evil.
    Colorless.
    Odorless.
    Deadly.
     
    But sneaky. It’s deadly over decades.
     
    My good friend Dick Kornbluth joins me to unravel the intricacies of all aspects of Radon – a colorless, odorless, poisonous radioactive gas.
     
    Dick explains how and where radon is formed, how it gets into the air we breathe and the health impact it has on us.
     
    He reveals where the famous 4 picocuries per liter exposure amount comes from, underscoring that there is NO SAFE LEVEL.
     
    The US EPA has a treasure trove of information on Radon at www.epa.gov/radon
     
    Dick shares with us his extensive and practical experience in how radon gas moves through a structure, how it is measured and how Radon mitigation systems work along with a note about radon resistant construction.
     
    Dick is very engaged in the home performance world, and believes an improved understanding of Radon is key part of the home performance goals of healthy, more durable and energy efficient homes and buildings.
     
    You can reach Dick at Dick@DickKornbluth.com
     
    TruTechTools carries a broad array of radon detectors.
    Learn more at this link: https://www.trutechtools.com/radon

    • 37 min
    EP42 Smart buildings and HVAC Controls- News you can use with Eric Stromquist of ControlTalkNow Podcast

    EP42 Smart buildings and HVAC Controls- News you can use with Eric Stromquist of ControlTalkNow Podcast

     
    I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
    Jimmy Dean



    While we picked a specific topic, this is a wide-ranging episode with my friend in the industry, Eric Stromquist of Stromquist.com – 2nd generation controls distributor based out of Atlanta, GA.



    We discuss our thoughts and opinions on:
    How hard it is to actually get access to people – cold calling is basically dead
    Closed vs. open architecture in building automation systems
    C suite execs focus on productivity, which ties in to all building systems
    How the internet has changed the way information is shared- knowledge hoarding is done
    The psychological effects of improper lighting
    And much, much more.
     
    Eric teams up with Ken Smyers to manage a ton of educational and informative resources centered around building controls and automation that you will find at  www.ControlTrends.org They even have their own Awards ceremony that takes place before the AHR Expo!
     
    Eric is an avid podcaster and actually had me on his show in Episode 311!
    YouTube link: http://bit.ly/YT-ControlTrendsBS 
    Podcast link http://bit.ly/ControlTrendBS  starting 31:39

    • 36 min
    EP 41 Great Indoor Air Quality Can Improve Your Health with Ty Newell of Build Equinox

    EP 41 Great Indoor Air Quality Can Improve Your Health with Ty Newell of Build Equinox

    To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.
    Buddha



    HVAC and building performance contractors are seeing more homes built or retrofit to tighter levels. Blower door test outs like 3, 2, 1 ACH50 or less.
     
    What do you do when the “house can’t breathe?”
     
    Hopefully, you see the humor in that statement.
     
    Of course - you build it tight and ventilate it right! 
     
    (Credit for that phrase likely goes to Earle Perera and Lynn Parkins as the title for their article in the June 1992 Building Services Journal a UK publication)
     
    Listen in as Ty Newell founder of BuildEquinox shares with us how he got to the point of feeling the need to create his own ventilation product, the CERV2: Conditioning Energy Recovery Ventilator.
     
    This unique product senses when to run, ventilates or recirculates the “fresh air stores” in the space using a small variable output heat pump. It incorporates slick controls and internet connectivity.
     
    Plus, I cannot wait to be using it the new high-performance home we are building for occupancy by the summer of 2020.
     
    Learn more about the product and more importantly the philosophies behind the product by surfing over to www.BuildEquinox.com
     
    The BuildEquinox site has numerous white papers, tech specs & installation info, recording and upcoming webinars and more. You can also learn about the net zero house (which includes the CERV 1) that Ty built.

    • 45 min
    EP40 Why You need to Pay Attention to National Standards Affecting HVAC Installations with Jeremy Begley

    EP40 Why You need to Pay Attention to National Standards Affecting HVAC Installations with Jeremy Begley

    In this age of high technology and Jedi Knights, we often overlook the need of personal involvement, but we do so at our own risk.
    William H. McRaven (American Solider)


    Attention all HVAC Techs:
    Soon someone will be looking over your shoulder.
     
    Not it’s not the Homeowner, with severe coffee breath and a million little questions, it’s going to be a Home Energy Rater giving a grade to your HVAC installation.
     
    What???!!!
     
    Yes, like it or not, this will happen.
     
    And it is justified.
     
    It’s because the work done by HVAC Technicians is so important; important to the occupant’s comfort, safety and health as well as their utilities bills AND the utility companies in general as they try to balance the supply and demand of energy. 
     
    Residential HVAC energy demand is a big topic in the utility world. (We’ll do a podcast on this later.)
     
    Listen in as Jeremy Begley of HVAC Design Partners of Cincinnati, OH shares with us how paying attention to standards as helped to shape his entrepreneurial career. Specifically, the upcoming ACCA/RESNET standard on Grading the Installation of HVAC Systems.
     
    One timely note here: the comment period on the first draft of a new RESNET standard (BSR/RESNET/ACCA 310-201x, Standard for Grading the Installation of HVAC Systems) closes on Aug 6, 2019. If you want to review and/or comment go to this link ASAP www.bit.ly/RESNET-ACCA-310
     
    Jeremy’s got a lot to share with the both the HVAC and Building Performance industries. He came on the podcast to encourage others to review and engage in this and other important HVAC Standards.
     
    The methodology in the standard has five steps – a design review, a total duct leakage test, a Blower Fan CFM test, a Blower Fan watt draw test, and a non-invasive evaluation of refrigerant charge (NIST found in MeasureQuick). These five tasks should be completed in sequence and upon completion the results are evaluated for compliance with thresholds. The result of this process is anywhere from a failing system to a grade 1, 2, or 3; with 1 being the top grade and all grades yielding extra points in the HERS rating.
     
    Besides being important to HERS ratings, it is basic physics and the methods described have positive impact outside of the rating world.
     
    Learn more about the standard itself by going to http://bit.ly/RESNET-310-INFO, where you will find a link to RESNET conference slides on this topic and a link to the other podcast I host, RESTALK, where I interviewed Wes Davis (ACCA) and Den Gamble (EPA) on this standard.
     
    If you want to learn more about the services and training (coming) that Jeremy offers you can reach out via the contact form on his website: www.HVACDesignPartners.com

    • 52 min

Top Podcasts In How To

Listeners Also Subscribed To