Getting SEERious for the Moment

Starting January 23, 2006, the Department of Energy (DOE) will begin to enforce legislation that will increase the minimum SEER required for residential air conditioners from 10 to 13 SEER, thereby instituting a substantial reduction in the energy consumption of residential air conditioners. The last time the US government increased minimum energy efficiency requirements for residential air conditioners was in 1992. At that time, SEER requirements were raised from 8 to 10. “The Alliance to Save Energy believes that increasing the minimum SEER rating to 13 may save the country as many as 150 new power plants.” SEER stands for... Read More

Down to the Wire

Are you looking to cut the wires out of your nurse call replacement? Wireless nurse call is spreading into the skilled nursing arena because it allows for simple and rapid installation into any building, regardless of age. This is especially important for existing facilities where installing new equipment is invasive and time consuming. Wireless also allows residents the flexibility to be anywhere in their room or the nursing facility and have their call button along. Despite the flexibility of its installation, there are concerns with using wireless nurse call in skilled nursing facilities. These concerns include adequate facility coverage, battery... Read More

Lighting the Way to Energy Savings

Last year Pennsylvania adopted a comprehensive statewide Building Code. Like many states, Pennsylvania opted to adopt the family of ‘International Codes’ written by the International Code Council. As part of this family of codes, which includes the International Building Code, International Mechanical Code, and International Plumbing Code, Pennsylvania also adopted the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Energy Conservation Codes are relatively new codes, when compared to traditional building codes, and design professionals are still adapting to their requirements. The goal of this article is to review some of the requirements of the electrical portions of the 2003 IECC. While the... Read More

Good Filters, Bad Filters: What Happens When Dirty Filters Are Left in Place

Everyone knows that keeping clean filters in an air handling system is important to maintaining good indoor air quality. What everyone may not know is that leaving dirty filters in place can have an equally negative impact on indoor air quality, becoming a significant source of indoor air pollution. A recently published review of studies conducted by independent researchers throughout the last twenty years conclusively demonstrates that dirty filters are a key contributor to poor indoor air quality. The studies show that the problem was not with the filters themselves, their installation, or their location in the system, but with... Read More