Corvallis Weatherization Incentive Program is a fantastic resource for upgrading your homes comfort and lowering your enviromental footprint. Adding things like insulation in crawlspace or attic areas is a great way to keep the temperature witin your house more stable and lowering the demand on your homes heating and cooling.

Sealing leaky ducts that loose conditioned air to the outside environment will mean better performance out of your existing equiptment. many people first contact HVAC companies when they have poor heating and cooling unaware that the conditioned air they pay for is being lost to outside areas. Before you look at the expensive side of the equasion, look at having a an expert evaluate the ducts to see if leakage is a problem. It doesnt make much of a dent for heating and cooling if the air you condition never makes it to the location you desire.

Establishing good interior thremal boundaries will keep your home warmer or cooler for longer periods of time before the equiptment needs to work to condition the air again. Wraping the ductwork that contains your heated or cooled air will ensure that the loss of temperature doesnt take place between the furnace and the vents within the rooms. This is a relatively inexpensive way to make a large difference in the efficiency of your existing equipment.

Nothing is more frustrating to me than seeing clients pay for expensvive furnace or AC replacment when their existing delivery system is in complete failure.

Start small, make informed decisions befor replacing your equipment. Make a difference! The current incentive money available to most home owners makes today more than ever a great tiem to upgrade inefficient homes.

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Here is a new HVAC system that was installed with flex ducts. While the initial cost of this system is less than a sheet metal ductwork system, this type of construction can be rendered usless and even toxic in very short order. Animals nesting in your ductwork is a nightmare! Most people do not intend to install a rodent superhighway that leads to every room in their house. Imagine breathing the air that blows in your house when these guys are nesting in your ducts.

Flex ducts look to be in decent condition? Maybe……

Duct sealing these flex systems is also very difficult as there can be puntures anywhere within the inner liners that cannot be examined or sealed except by replacment. These flex ends rely on simple panduit straps ( zip ties) to seal air within the registers. Connectors can be loosened or broken, chewed off or become brittle and when they do the result is just like blowing a wrapper off of a straw. The pressure from the HVAC system is enough to typically blow the flex ends off of the duct supplies.

Another problem with these is that over time the inner liners that keep the insulation separate from the breathable air can fail. The end result is fiberglass dust spreading through your house and settling on all your flat surfaces. If your house is overly dusty, difficult to keep clean and your filters clog up fast, you may have either leaks in your retur air or failed plastic liners.

We recently had a number of clients call us concernig high pressure window sales in the local areas. While many of these guys put on good presentations the reality is that most of them are far from doing decent work! Figure the fact that most of these guys are offering overpriced products with little to no warramty even though they offer lifetime warranty. A company that goes out of buisness next year has zero liability for warranty next year. One of our own carpenters has had no less than 6 offers i the last two onths from these companies! He was simply amazed at the sales approach these guys were using. Completely false advertising like  ” These windows will save you thousands on heating in just a few years.”  “This offer is limited to this week only” or “If your neigbor does this with you you will recieve an added bonus”.

To understand how these companies work, you have to understabnd the buisness model:

Sale hard and fast, move frequiently, shut down and start up a new buisness before warranties can be called into effect. Stay ahead fo the complaints and keep moving onto new territories.

These guys tend to pray on fast high pressure sales as the way to seal the deal for insuring work. They do not want you to get competitive pricing from other contractors, nor do they want you to inquire of their company history. Most of these salesmen do not know of other company products or the performance qualities of cometing brands. Nearly all of these companies are national and do not have reputations within the community. There is little risk for salesmen who know they are not going to be back through the region again so repeat buisness is not an option. Most of the sales reps require a signature from the homeowner to get paid in the event of a delined offer. Dont sign anything!!!!! Even if it is a refusal of services offer.

Dont fall prey to their gimicky “tests” with heat lamps or meters that are made to punch their sales.  On their own, windows cannot enhance the weatherization of a house that much. This is one reason that windows now have to be combined with other incentives to qualify for most rebates.

Remember that in todays standards windows in their most effective state with tripple insulated argon filled low e glass can only perform to R11 at best. Code requires that all new construction has R19 minimum in walls period.  Windows that perform to even R11 standards are only available with just a few manufacturers and have astronomical pricing attached and even require special installation, shipping and handling.  Aluminum windows are not “Outlawed”, they pose problems with sweating and reduce the thermal break between a warm or cool house and a warm or cool exterior. We dont use them much now because there are more efficeint alternatives.

When you are ready to replace your houses windows, please take the time to get quotes from local builders who have a vested reputation and plan on being here for the long run. An honest builder will not try to sell window replacment when you do not even have insulation in your underfloor framing and crawlspace or attic areas!

Get as much company information as possible.

Dont make snap decisions. A reputable contractor willhonor his price for 30 days minimum.

Check with the Contractor Licensing Board. Make certain that there are no outstanding past client conflicts.

Get salemens names and contact numbers and report pushy or rude tactice to the Better Buisness.

Help put an end to this type of buisness and help look out for your neighbors! If this sales approach has a single sucess in an area you can expect the community to be blanketed soon.

Study of flex ducting removed from a system after 10 years of use.
How much can duct sealing matter? I hear this question quite a lot when trying to explain to homeowners the benefits of duct testing and sealing. When most people consider their HVAC needs their mind somehow easily focuses on the equipment side of the equation. Furnaces and air handlers are efficient at one thing only, conditioning air and sending it downstream. Most of these systems have some sort of filtration system that helps to reduce the contamination of the air delivered. Adding electronic air cleaners and specialized filters can help a system to deliver air with less contaminates. While clean conditioned air principals are known to have a direct link to health , one should consider that the benefits of adding filters and cleaners only works when the system is sealed and in good condition. If a system has flex ducting you are more likely to have difficulty getting clean air within your home. Flex ducting is a easy and less expensive way to install air runs to a house but it is important to remember that flex ducting is known to have a lifespan to it. While manufacturers fail to put a timeline on their ductwork for lifespan, anyone who has spent time within a crawlspace has seen the effects of repeated heating and cooling on the plastic liners within a flex duct system. While the outside of the flex duct may appear in good standing order, there is only one way to tell of the interior liner has been compromised, removal and inspection.

Here is a photo of the interior of a flex duct that was recently removed from a system. The flex appeared to be in great condition on the exterior but our initial testing of the system showed such poor results that we started removing the ductwork to check. The flex duct in the photo was installed new less than 10 years ago when a new high efficiency furnace replaced the old house furnace. A new trunk line for the system was installed and new flex duct was added to deliver air to the floor registers.
The above photo shows the deterioration of the inner lining on the flex duct. What is seen is the fiberglass insulation that lines the duct and has been blowing through the house since the inner liner deteriorated. The second photo is the actual floor register with all the contamination dust and debris from just below the retrofitted register. Imagine this junk blowing through your house for 10 years.

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644 NW 4th St. Corvallis, OR

Greg Christianson

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