Pumping dryer air outside

We have an unusually long clothes-dryer exhaust duct. It travels along the floor, makes three elbow turns to go up about 8 ft., then a horizontal run to the outside. It’s always been a pain to keep the lint from collecting in the ductwork and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the exhaust efficiency is pathetic.
   Many months ago, I acquired the No-Clog Dryer Duct Booster, manufactured by Tjernlund Products Inc., White Bear Lake, MN, one of our regular advertisers. At the time, I put it in the laundry room to be installed “when I get some free time.” Every time I had to move it, I thought to myself, “I really need to install that thing and see if it works as advertised.” It sure wasn’t going to boost any air sitting in its box.
   About three weeks ago, I discovered that a contractor we hired for some remodeling had knocked the dryer duct off of the back of the dryer. Every time my wife dried clothes, most of the exhaust was getting pumped into the laundry room. That was the tipping point.
   The time had come to install the booster. I dismantled and cleaned the ductwork and, before reassembling, cracked open the Duct Booster box, braced for a some-assembly-required, duct-tape-wrapping, new-wiring, wood-cutting, 10-trips-to-Home-Depot, all-day project. I’m more than happy to report that none of that materialized.
   I had to make one trip to Home Depot and had the Booster installed and all ductwork back in place in about an hour. I plugged the Booster in and it did its calibration, as described in the instructions. Yes, I’m one of those who actually reads the instructions.
   The real test was the first load of laundry. That happened the next day. My wife and I were at full attention when she punched the start button on the dryer. The dryer started and a brief moment later the Booster fired up. I expected to hear the screaming of a small jet engine. Instead, whatever sound the Booster made/makes, is drowned out by the dryer.
   Though quiet, it moves some SERIOUS AIR! I went outside and immediately was concerned that lint would soon be plastered on the neighbor’s house. Warm, moist dryer air was howling out of that vent. Back in the laundry room, the usual buildup of heat during a drying session didn’t happen. Bad in the Illinois winters, but great in the summer when drying clothes was always accompanied by extra AC operation. According to my wife, clothes now dry better and much faster.
   My only regret? That I didn’t install the Booster many months ago. I don’t make it a habit of endorsing products (it’s an integrity thing), but there have to be many commercial situations that involve long dryer-exhaust runs. If you have one, put the Booster on your upgrade list, and no, I don’t offer installation services.—Gary L. Parr

Kick some rooftop unit “tires” on this tour

The Lennox Rooftop Unit Rollout Tour lets you kick some HVAC-system "tires."

The Lennox Rooftop Unit Rollout Tour lets you kick some HVAC-system "tires."

If a new rooftop unit is at the center of an upcoming HVAC-system project, you can do a little “tire kicking,” compliments of the upcoming 2009 Rooftop Unit Rollout Tour, offered by Lennox Industries Inc., Dallas. The tour allows specifiers to compare the benefits of various manufacturers’ HVAC systems, including energy usage, control-system intelligence, dehumidification, and comfort control. The tour will also include the Lennox Energence rooftop unit line, said to be the industry’s most energy-efficient light commercial unit.
   The tour will stop in 17 cities across the U.S. and Canada during November and December. Each stop on the tour will include product displays, refreshments, door prizes, and a chance to win a trip to Greece.
   Scheduled stops are:

  • November 3: Dallas and Toronto, Ontario
  • November 5: Kansas City, KS, and Montreal, Quebec
  • November 10: Denver
  • November 12: Boston and Los Angeles
  • November 17: Parsippany, NJ, and Phoenix
  • November 19: Columbus, OH, and Sacramento, CA
  • December 1: Chicago and Portland, OR
  • December 4: Atlanta
  • December 8: Charlotte, NC, and Vancouver, BC
  • December 11: Calgary, AB

   Registration, location, and time information is available at www.lennoxcommercial.com.—Gary L. Parr

Learn green construction in Eng. Soc. of Detroit courses

Need to learn more about green building construction? Maybe a trip to Detroit is in order? In Aug. and Sept. the Engineering Society of Detroit is offering two new classes on sustainable construction. The classes will focus on how to design or redesign buildings so they are more energy efficient and structurally relevant. “Introduction to Sustainable Construction” will be held on Aug. 12 and 13 and Sept. 9 and 10. An HVAC and Integrated Design course will be offered Aug. 20 and Sept. 17. Both will be held at the Engineering Society of Detroit’s newly-constructed, energy-efficient headquarters in Southfield, MI.
   “We’ve been getting more and more into green construction,” said Ron Smith, director of education and community outreach for the Engineering Society of Detroit. “We’re in a great position to bring this education to our engineers.”
   The courses will cover the history and background of the green building movement, the impact of green/sustainable building practices on traditional construction and design, and the certification process for LEED accreditation.
   For information, call 248-353-0735.—Gary L. Parr

Partnership opens new doors for Convia system

The Dashboard is the most recent addition to the Convia system, which is expected to benefit from a new partnership with Wiremold/Legrand.

The Dashboard is the most recent addition to the Convia system, which is expected to benefit from a new partnership with Wiremold/Legrand.

Office furniture designer/manufacturer Herman Miller Inc., Zeeland, MI, took a huge step when it recently formed a strategic partnership between its Convia Inc. (Buffalo Grove, IL), company and Wiremold/Legrand, West Hartford, CT. This partnership helps Convia expand its portfolio of forward-thinking building technologies and energy-management solutions for the commercial building industry. “With key influencers both in and beyond the architecture and design industry taking great strides to improve the efficiency of commercial buildings, and increasing amounts of federal money pouring into energy projects, there is rich market opportunity for solutions that manage and reduce energy consumption,” said Randy Storch, president of Convia.
As part of the agreement, the Convia technology—which encompasses a facility’s power delivery and other infrastructure and applications, including lighting, HVAC, and occupancy and daylight-harvesting sensors, into an energy efficient, easy-to-manage platform—is integrated into Wiremold wire and cable management systems (modular wiring systems, floor boxes, poke-through devices and architectural columns) for a true end-to-end power application. In an industry first, the enhanced “Conviaenabled Wiremold” systems add control and monitoring of office plug loads (the amount of energy drawn by devices from an electrical outlet) and lighting loads.
Leveraging the advanced plug load monitoring and control capabilities made possible through the alliance, Convia introduced its Energy Dashboard application at the NeoCon show, held June 15 to 17 in Chicago. The Energy Dashboard provides real-time  energy-consumption figures for a given space, allowing users to instantly measure, monitor, and track savings. Powered through Convia’s Global Gateway, the Energy Dashboard allows users to quickly create reports that illustrate energy consumption and actual voltage use of total power, plug loads, lighting, and occupancy as it is occurring. To learn more about the Convia system, read “Renovate Buildings with Flexible Platforms,” originally published in our April issue.—Gary L. Parr