Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Performance Counts!

Building EnergyStar homes for a rental market is a great step towards sustainability, but performance is a major matter. Over the past few weeks we've had a learning curve and some glitches with various systems. Here's some of the highlights from the line of products used:

- Bosch tankless hot water has maintained a steady temperature for three fixtures running at once. With a tankless system, though, just don't call for temperature extremes (ie all the way hot before going to preferred temperature). I think this habit comes from drawing as much hot water as possible from a traditional tank system to warm up cold pipes fast, but this makes the tankless run cold.

- One day after a tenant reported mold growing under the kitchen sink, SERVPro of New Bedford Specialist Gary OToole met me on-site to determine a remediation plan. Could the building be too tight? It turned out the mastic sealing the joint between the wall and floor kind of looks like mold under the cabinet. What a relief to discover the tenant was mistaken! Thank you SERVPro of New Bedford - SERVPro of the South Coast for the reassurance when I called with this "problem."

- In the winter the heat pumps kept things nice and cozy, but this summer staying cool in the high temps and humidity was a challenge. In general the heat pumps seemed to work best with some help such as window coverings, added fans, and keeping the thermostat set high or in dehumidify mode. In general the systems provided relief (after testing the charge and getting the condensate lines to drain properly) but it seems fine tuning will continue. 

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