Truth in AirFlow

It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.

-Mark Twain

 

We here at AirScape have spent a lot of time and effort testing and ensuring that our products provide the airflow and the energy use that we state. Take a look at this interesting video of our test chamber.

We just heard that one of our competitors (QC Manufacturing aka Quiet Cool Fans) has entered into a settlement agreement with the California Energy Commission. The most important part of that agreement is this:

“From December 15, 2015, to July 18, 2016, QC sold or offered for sale either directly or through retailers, distributors, or installers whole house fans in California that were listed in the Database with greater air flow and air flow efficiency data than could be verified by the Commission’s testing laboratory, in violation of sections 1606(a)(3)(E)(l) and 1608”

There are no Federal standards other than truth in advertising laws to specifically keep people in our industry honest. So we are grateful to the California Energy Commission for ensuring that customer receive what they paid for.

Thanks to our great customers and we look forward to keeping your homes cool this summer !

Here are some useful links.

CEC Docket Log

Actual Settlement Agreement

Coming Soon to Southern California: Rolling Blackouts

Every summer has its own story. For residents of Southern California, this summer’s story is going to include a chapter about rolling blackouts. The L.A. Times wrote the prequel earlier this month. To summarize, the natural gas leak this winter at the Aliso Canyon Underground Storage Facility has left Southern California short on natural gas, which means that, come summer, the region’s utilities could be unable to generate enough electricity to meet demand. To prevent the entire grid from, power managers will institute rolling blackouts by cutting electricity to certain individual sectors of the grid at moments of peak demand.

To many, the possibility of a blackout seems quaint. Who doesn’t enjoy the occasional candlelit dinner? And what parent doesn’t wish their kids would watch less television? The reality of blackouts, however, is deadly serious. Electricity provides us with more than just entertainment. We depend on it to, among other things, refrigerate our food, power hospital equipment, and illuminate traffic signals. We hardly notice it when it’s there, but without electricity are lives are much less safe.

Read more

Designing the 5.0e

5.0e, Front
5.0e, Front

Our newest model of whole house fan, the 5.0e, is has been available on our website since spring. We’re extremely excited about it. Not only is this our first new fan in several years, but it is also our most powerful and our most efficient fan ever. Moreover, we’re manufacturing a greater portion of this fan “in-house” at our Medford, Oregon facility than any of our other fans. We’re also seeking a patent for some of the innovations behind its performance. As our patent is finally “pending”, we can now share the story of the 5.0e’s development.

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Now Introducing… Solar-powered Whole House Fans!

Not really. The headline above is a little tongue-in-cheek. Readers of this blog will know our fans are designed to be run at night, when cool outdoor temperatures can be drawn indoors. Since photovoltaic cells can’t generate electricity at night, directly powering a whole house fan with solar generated electricity isn’t possible—unless, of course, one wants to run their fan during the day, which would heat the home rather than cool it!

We do, however, frequently receive calls from homeowners wanting to know if they can run a whole house fan directly off of their home solar array. We wish they could. Because they’re a more efficient substitute for mechanical air conditioning, whole house fans greatly compliment solar by reducing the size of array needed to provide the same cooling. But again, photovoltaics don’t work at night.

To operate a whole house fan with electricity generated by a solar array, homeowners need some sort of energy storage device that would allow them to store electricity they generate but do not use during the day. Then, this stored electricity could be drawn down through the night to power the whole house fan.

In short, they need a battery—which is why we’ve followed Tesla’s recent announcement of their new Powerwall home battery system with great interest. Home battery systems have been available for some time now. But they have never been as prominent in the popular discourse as they are now, makings this the ideal moment for a blog post “back of the envelope” analysis about using a home battery to operate an AirScape fan.

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XR High Insulation Model Whole House Fans

Starting in July 2014 we are offering R-49 insulation on our AirScape line whole house fans (R-47 on the 1.7 WHF).  These will be separate part numbers (-XR designation) from our standard units.  R-49/R-47 insulation will not be available on Kohilo fans.

How do we get R-49 into the doors?  A combination of standard fiberglass insulation and VIP panel (vacuum insulation panel) technology. VIP is a relatively new technology that offers an R–Value (thermal resistance) up to ten times greater than commonly used forms of insulation, such as Styrofoam and six times greater than polyurethane. The chart below gives us a visual comparison of VIP panel R values vs. other common insulation on a per inch thickness basis. (image courtesy of ThermoCor)

vip_graph

Why not R-49 on Kohilo fans? VIP insulation is relatively heavy and necessitates mechanical actuators to open and close these insulated doors.  Gravity dampers used on Kohilos, and a few other fan manufacturers, are not able to handle the added weight of insulation.

If you would like to read more on VIPs, check out the manufacturer’s website:  www.thermocorvip.com

Responsible Manufacturing

Carbon Dioxide emissions are in the news again as we experience more violent weather in 2014 and a drought in the west.

We know our customers care about reducing energy consumption and the corresponding Carbon emission reduction.  So when time came to upgrade our production machinery and assembly lines we made sure we choose equipment that has the lowest energy footprint possible.  For example our high speed CNC punch is an AC servo motor driven turret which uses less than half the energy of a typical hydraulic machine and a 1/3 of the energy use of a machine of 15 years ago.

In addition, we made the conscious choice to supply the energy required to produce our whole house fans from renewable sources. Today, our on-site Solar PV array provides all the energy required to power our cutting and punching equipment as well as a significant portion of our assembly line.

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Did you know an AirScape whole house fan could be your best energy savings investment?  Read on: http://airscapefans.com/learn-about/energy-savings.php