Fan Test Lab part 1 – Out With the Old, In With the New

A little while ago we began to revamp and rebuild our fan test lab to make it bigger, better, and easier to use. We thought it would be fun to share some of the pictures of the construction of this new test facility.

A little background: We test all of our units to ensure that when we say it is 1710 CFM and 157 watts, that it is actually 1710 CFM and 157 watts. All of our Whole House Fans (WHF) are tested as you would install them in your home. Often the other guys will just test the fan itself and “forget” to test their WHF as a system (damper box, fan, duct, and grille). This kind of testing leads to misleading results, specifically greater CFM and lower watts than when installed as a system.

The old: This facility used a traverse method of testing airflow. We used a calibrated and certified hot wire anemometer to test air velocity. Soon after this picture was taken we straightened the silver tube, as we found the two bends were causing pressure waves affecting the testing.

Testing: A 1.7 WHF about to be tested as installed in the attic. We used a multimeter and a power meter, both calibrated and certified, to measure volts and watts.

The new: The new and improved test lab under construction at our warehouse in Medford, OR. Check back soon for more pictures of the construction process.

Aloha… Whole House Fan & Solar Attic Fan Rebates from Hawaii Energy!

We at AirScape are happy to learn of the first whole house fan rebate available in Hawaii! (link) Offered to Hawaii Energy customers, the rebate offers customers $75 back on a whole house fan purchase and $25 back on a solar attic fan purchase. It’s great timing for this type of incentive, because summer is approaching and these efficient natural cooling solutions can help reduce your need for A/C – thus saving you money and sparing the environment.

Get them while they last, though, as the application states it is effective for purchases made from April 1st to June 1st, 2011. We hope for more rebates to roll out soon in Hawaii for all sorts of energy-saving and energy-producing technologies with the recent progress of SB 1520, which would have been left to die if it weren’t for a great showing of public support. Thanks to Hawaii Energy and the Blue Planet Foundation for their efforts to help secure a clean-energy future!

Kohilo* Returns Home

With a warm climate year round and relatively cool nights thanks to the ocean breeze, the state of Hawaii is a perfect place for AirScape Whole House Fans. Not only is the weather ideal, but the cost of electricity is sky high. The average cost for electricity in August 2010 in Hawaii was 28.59 cents per kilowatt hour. Compared to the U.S. Average of 12.02 cents during the same month**, it is obvious that going green by lowering electrical use is not as much a choice as it is a financial necessity for many residents of Hawaii.

Armstrong Builders has partnered with the DHHL (Department of Hawaiian Home Lands) to build affordable green homes in a state where affordable housing is virtually unheard of and utility rates are astronomical. The communities “Kumuhau” and “Lai Opua Village” both include AirScape Kohilo-e Whole House Fans (the Kohilo-e is a special limited edition model using the highly efficient ECM technology designed specifically for Armstrong Builders for use in their projects). Even with the high electrical rate, the fan only costs an average of 5.7 cents an hour on high speed and 1.4 cents an hour on low speed. Compare that to an extremely efficient 2 ton Air Conditioner, which is going to cost 68.5 cents an hour on average, and it’s easy to see why our whole house fans are so beneficial in Hawaii.

As Kaulana H.R. Park, director of DHHL and chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC) said, “Reducing living costs is one measure of a sustainable lifestyle and as native Hawaiians, living a sustainable life is what we strive for.”***

We’re glad we can be a part of this move towards greater sustainability in Hawaii.

*Kohilo is Hawaiian for “a gentle breeze”

**For average electrical rates by state, visit the Energy Administration Website.

***DHHL News Release.