Q&A with Byron – Green Items


When we left our intrepid “looking for the balance in green” hero, he was mentioning a few of the new items being promoted. Things like HRV’s and ERV’s. An HRV is a Heat Recovery Ventilator and an ERV is an Energy Recovery Ventilator. The HRV basically balances the incoming and outgoing air in the house. The ERV is a close cousin doing the same, but with the added feature of regulating the humidity. These products are becoming more heavily promoted but as ecohomemagazine.com says “in mild climates, the energy consumed by an HRV may exceed the amount you can save”. As for the ERV, Sam Rashkin, the national director of the Energy Star program for the EPA, said reports showed a high propensity for the equipment not to work properly once installed. However, even after those comments, his team has resolved to mandate minimum ventilation for the upcoming Energy Star standards. His comment was “the new standard raises the bar so much higher for a home’s tightness that we have to get fresh air into them.”

Small commercial here:. We have been providing “fresh make-up air” as a basic part of our HVAC systems in all our homes for at least the past 20 years. Guess we have been “balanced” for long time.

But back to Mr. Rashkin, his Energy Star program is a worthy endeavor to decrease energy use. You have seen the stickers on appliances, windows, doors and even on homes. When he talks about “raising the bar so much higher”, that really applies in Oregon. Since we are one of the states with the highest standards, when the Program requires a minimum of 15% better than code, for us “webbed footed, moss covered, Gortex loving” folks, it really is a high standard.

I know I had promised to talk about the Snackwell┬« effect so watch this space and next time we’ll go over that.

May you find the home you envision.