Category Archives: wsu

WA State Energy Code’s New HVAC Requirement

This week one of our staff went to a WSU Extension Energy Program training in Wenatchee with a focus on duct sealing and testing requirements for the 2009 Washington State Energy Code for HVAC: 503.10.3 Sealing. We have two Energy Star Performance Technicians on staff so this class was more of a refresher course on duct testing but we did benefit from understanding more about the changes to the new HVAC requirements. Basically, the code is in a trial period. Contractors must test the HVAC now but do not have to meet the target rate of allowable leakage during this 120-day testing period. In April 2011 a judicial committee will listen to arguments from all sides and make a decision about the 503.10.3 Sealing WA State Energy Code.

We performed a HVAC leakage test on a home in South Wenatchee. The new construction home performed well. It would have passed the new requirements. It was interesting to note the small leakages that could be easily fixed by mastic. The equipment used for testing the HVAC includes a duct blaster, manometer and blower door which could add up to $5,000. This is a new expense to contractors. There is also discussion about requiring third party testing due to conflict of interest. Should HVAC contractors be able to test their own work?

 Here are a few interesting facts we learned in class this week. Did you know that 40% of a home’s fresh air comes from the crawl space or garage? Thinking about cleaning those spaces right now…aren’t you!? This is also a good time to remind you to open your garage door any time the car is on. A family of four can emit up to 3 gallons of water into a home daily from sweating, showering, cooking, etc. Where do the 12 gallons of water go? Be sure to use your oven and bathroom exhaust fans regularly!

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Real Estate Data Reports from WSU

Washington State University’s School of Business created the Washington State Center for Real Estate Research in 1989.  You can visit the WSU page to view data reports.  They provide useful information, research and analysis of the current real estate market.  Reports include apartment market surveys, county home sales reports, regional planning profiles and many others.  There is even an option to “Build Your Own Report” using data collected since 1993.  You can customize the reports to view monthly, quarterly or yearly performance of housing markets statewide or by county.  While they offer plenty of free information WSU also provides a yearly subscription to detailed market information delivered to you quarterly for $60 per year.  You can view the 1st Quarter Housing Market Snapshot of Washington State counties here:  http://www.wcrer.wsu.edu/default.aspx