Mr. Silver provided a tour of the second floor, pointing out that the storage room and kid’s playroom were extremely cold during winter. I will never forget how, after pulling down the attic access ladder, I was hit with a breeze that blew my hair like a fan was blowing on it! I was so excited to dive deep into evaluating this system.

So, where do you start? Using my High-Performance HVAC™ training, I always evaluate homes from scratch, testing and measuring to collect all the data necessary to provide a solution.

After a thorough system evaluation: comfort is achieved with minor changes.

This from-scratch evaluation means performing a Manual J room-by-room load calculation, measuring static pressure and temperature rise, and taking supply temperatures in each register.

I also measure return temperatures at each return grille, measure all ductwork, and count how many supplies and returns are in each room.

This process also includes measuring airflow and evaluating blower wheel conditions and speeds. Performing these diagnostic tests takes about two to three hours, depending on the extent of the diagnostics. While doing these tests, I always try to include the homeowner and then teach them what our measurements mean. This can be very eye-opening for them.

I collect all the data, take pictures and videos of the furnace and ductwork, then start the evaluation.

When evaluating Mr. Silver’s furnace, I saw the system going off on limit, which made me immediately think this was why the system wasn’t heating some of the rooms in the home.

The Silver furnace was installed upright in a “room” in the attic. The height of the supply plenum off the evaporator coil was only seven inches high! How could the air remove the heat from the heat exchanger?

It couldn’t!

I measured a 148°F supply temperature and a 79°F return temperature (69°F Delta T). This furnace was rated for 35-65°F.

The return trunk was “slapped” to the side of the furnace with a filter that was wide open to the attic, along with a bypass humidifier on the return trunk. The system was performing within the static pressure range, but after further inspection, I also found duct leakage as a culprit. That clarified why my hair was moving after opening the attic access.

After collecting all the data, measurements, pictures, and videos, it was time to assemble a solution.

How do you educate your client and present your solution? During the day of the evaluation, there is a lot of information for the client to absorb. At GV’s Heating & Cooling, we put together a Performance Report. In this report, we number each issue and include a corresponding remark and pictures.

For the Silver Residence, we discovered the following seven issues: