HVAC Heats Up

I know know that when my new eco-friendly home is finished, the finished structure will have a HERS rating of 5 if everything goes according to plan. With 100 representing the least energy efficient home possible and the number zero representing the most energy efficient structures, my home will be very close to net zero.

As you know by now, my plan for a tight building envelope is a big part of what is going to make this possible. Since I plan to control the flow of air into and out of my new home with multiple layers of high R value insulation, installing the right HVAC mechanical components and systems is critical to maintaining indoor comfort.

Over my years of building homes, I’ve learned that achieving optimal indoor comfort is a lot like making a soufflé - the right combination of ingredients must be prepared in the correct order and constructed to perfection. In our case, the “ingredients” are our air-to-air exchangers, water circulatory, and other mechanical systems that will regulate the flow of heat, cool, water and air throughout our home. “Preparing” those ingredients in the correct order means making sure the system is optimally designed for a home of our square footage, keeping our construction methods on other parts of the home in mind when designing these systems, and making sure the systems are created and installed in the correct order.

“Perfection” is a bit more of a grey area - to me, my idea of comfort isn’t necessarily what I feel when I’m inside a home, but the absence of a feeling - I don’t want to feel too hot or too cold, I don’t want the air quality to be noticeable, I want to focus on enjoying time with my wife and daughters instead of fiddling with the thermostat.

For this episode, I visit Tony Silverio of Silverio Mechanical LLC to learn more about what types of systems are available for my home, and how my wall construction plans fit into this step. Tony has been working in the HVAC field since the 1980s and is extremely knowledgable about eco-friendly systems and how they play into unconventional construction techniques like the ones I am using to build my new home. What do you think of my plans so far? Join the conversation and let us know!

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