“It took a great deal of planning, research and decision-making to reach a determination on the best approach to returning heat and providing cooling to a house that had never had a central climate control system,” says Nila Chaddock, board chair of the Cockayne Historic Preservation Committee. “It was very important that we have a vendor with excellent credentials to install the geothermal system. It was the experience and reputation of Rumer-Loudin that made the decision for us.”
Ohio-based mechanical contractor Rumer-Loudin — which is run by the husband-and-wife team of Sid Loudin, president, and Kellie Loudin, vice president — worked on several aspects of the project, including the installation of the air ducts, geothermal system and steam humidifier. Sid Loudin was the estimator on the project, as well as liaison between Cockayne and general contractor Centennial Preservation Group of Columbus.
The full article can be found on Plumbing and Mechanical Magazine’s Website.
We told you previously about upgrading the Cockayne Farmstead with geothermal technology. Now, the Farmstead and Rumer-Loudin, Inc., have been featured in Green Builder Magazine:
General contractor Centennial Preservation Group chose Rumer-Loudin, Inc. to install the geothermal system. Based in Barnsville, Ohio, the company installed some of the first geothermal systems in the region in the 1990s, and has installed some 400 systems in the tri-state area to date, says Sid Loudin, the company’s owner.
“We had to be careful not to destroy any parts of the house, and we didn’t want any exposed ductwork,” says Loudin. He came up with a unique solution to distribute conditioned air, running flexible stainless steel ducting through several of the fireplace chimneys. The chases end just before coming into view.
The full article can be read on the Green Builder Magazine website.
Cockayne Farmstead, originally named Glen Dale Farm, located in Glen Dale, West Virginia, was originally an internationally prominent American Merino sheep farm covering over 300 acres in the 1870’s. When the reclusive final heir, Samuel A. J. Cockayne, passed away in 2001, he left his home and contents to the city of Glen Dale. The Marshall County Historical Society and The Town of Glen Dale set about to preserve the farmstead.
The Cockayne Farmstead Preservation Committee was formed and one of the first things they did was make application for the Farmstead to be placed on the National Registry of Historic Places, which occurred in December of 2002. They developed a master plan, conducted an archeology survey, and began preserving the exterior of the home using various grants and donations. That phase was completed on November 3, 2009.
When preservation of the interior began, one of the first tasks was to log, tag, and remove over 1500 items accumulated over three centuries such as art, glassware, furniture, and correspondence. When the interior work was completed and the items returned for display, their preservation as well as that of the home was of utmost importance and climate control with energy conscientiousness was a primary factor.
Original “green” technology for the home included strategically placed windows, attic dormers and doors for ventilation and light, fireplaces in every room, and a wrap-around porch. Current “green” technology was going to be a bit more sophisticated with a remotely monitored and controlled temperature and humidity system , a geothermal heat pump and steam humidifier. All of this new technology needed to be installed with little structural impact.
For the geothermal heat pump portion of the project, Rumer-Loudin, Inc. was chosen because of their 24 years of experience installing geothermal systems in residential and commercial properties. As well, due to the property’s proximity to the Ohio River, Sid Loudin, President, knew there would be challenges drilling the wells. During a commercial geothermal installation on the Ohio side of the river, ancient riverbed was encountered, consisting of primarily gravel until bedrock was struck. The gravel keeps falling in and filling the holes so Sid knew the driller had to be able to case the wells until gravel was no longer an issue. Dillan Drilling from Darlington, PA, a West Virginia licensed driller, was chosen to complete that portion of the loop installation. Because dirt was being disturbed at an historic site with an Indian burial mound nearby, an archaeologist had to be available to examine any artifacts which may have been unearthed.
Another challenge was how to configure the loop. Over the years, the farmstead had been reduced to the home plus 1/2 acre of ground. To accommodate the linear footage necessary for the 6 ton loop, four 320 foot wells were drilled rather than fewer and more shallow wells.
To move air without disturbing walls with duct installation, the fireplace chimneys were used as chaseways and lined with stainless flex pipe. Insulated ductwork was installed in the attic. The geothermal compressor bearing unit was accommodated by a second floor bathroom, but the pumps to circulate the loop water were installed in the cellar. The brand and model used was a Bosch 6 ton 2-stage model TA071 with a high pressure Bosch flow center model 7738. The system went into operation in October of 2013.
The architect was Heritage Architectural Associates. The general contractor was Centennial Preservation Group. The control system was installed by Quantum Controls Group. 2Funding for the interior preservation, including climate control, came from a federal Transportation Enhancement grant and through a Cultural Facilities Capital Resources Grant awarded by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts as well as donations from many citizens and businesses.
Why preserve such a place? As the Farmstead website states, “The house and contents are a living museum, representative of the lifestyles, values and work ethic of those Americans who helped to build this State and this Nation.” Read more about this project on the The Intelligencer/Wheeling News Register website.
Rumer-Loudin, Inc. has been appointed an Accredited Bosch Contractor (ABC). Accredit Bosch Contractors are members of a select group of professional heating and air conditioning installers. They are individually selected by Bosch Thermotechnology Corporation, then inducted into the program, factory-trained, and equipped with the information and tools required to install, service, and maintain Bosch and Buderus equipment to the highest professional standards.
ABC contractors commit to attend factory training and routinely perform quality installation of one or more products such as geothermal heat pumps, heating boilers, tankless water heaters, heat pump and solar hot water systems.
Only ABC members may offer their customers an exclusive no-cost one-year extended warranty in addition to the standard factory warranty, for added peace of mind. After installing the customer’s Bosch or Buderus heating or cooling system, the ABC contractor registers the products on the customer’s behalf, and the customer receives a certificate of registration as proof of the extended one-year warranty as well as the standard warranty.
According to Jim French, the North American VP of Sales for Bosch Thermotechnology, “Rumer-Loudin, Inc. exhibits the skills, technical experience, commitment to customer service and sound business practices to become an Accredited Bosch Contractor. Bosch is pleased to welcome Rumer-Loudin, Inc. to its ABC Member Program.”
There are several things you can do to be sure your air conditioner will perform well for the season.
First of all, be sure your breaker is on to your outdoor unit. Many times the breaker was shut off for some reason or tripped over the winter and we get a service request and all that was wrong is the breaker needed reset. Also, be sure your filters are clean.
Check to be sure no weeds have grown or debris has fallen into the outdoor unit. Also, check for nests. Unfortunately, earwigs, ladybugs, wasps, and other critters can find their way into contactors and other controls so you can be sure those types of interferences are gone. Also, be sure your registers are unblocked and open.
Sometimes a room gets too warm and the damper in the register is closed but needs opened in the air conditioning season or furniture has been rearranged and the registers are covered. Also, some ducts have dampers in them, accessible in the basement and they need opened for air conditioning season.
You would want to also be sure your outdoor coil is clean of grass clippings and dirt.
Check the drain for your air conditioner to be sure it is free flowing and won’t back up to fill up the evaporator coil pan and allow water to run into your furnace. It is a damp environment so it promotes growth of icky stuff (never found out scientific name) that can clog your drain.
Taking care of all these items can go a long way toward maintaining the most efficient operation of your system and prolonging its life. Of course, if this is difficult for you to do or to remember to do, we can sign you up for a maintenance agreement and perform 2 checks per year, one for the heating season and one for the air conditioning season. Look for more information on our website on how to purchase a maintenance agreement.
Results of Low Humidity
Extremes in low and high levels of humidity, the amount of water particles (moisture) in the air, can cause discomfort in our living and working environments. This time of year, one of low humidity, many people experience dry, chapped, itchy skin and scalp, increased static electricity, respiratory problems, and notice their woodwork is changing, which is exhibited by loose joints and cracking. Low humidity can also shrink window and door seals, which affects air leakage and energy costs.
A common misconception is the furnace running makes the air drier. It is rather the reduced ability of cold air to hold moisture that is the real troublemaker. Warmer air has the ability to hold more moisture. However, this time of year there is little to none for it to hold. There are three basic things that affect the humidity level in your home: weather conditions and temperature levels outside; how it is protected from dampness and leakage; and daily activities like bathing, cooking, washing and drying wet clothes.
Relative humidity is the percentage of moisture being held in the air at a certain temperature as compared to how much it could hold at a certain temperature According to an example given at blueflame.org, “When air at a certain temperature contains all the water vapor it can hold at that temperature, its relative humidity is 100 percent. If it contains only half the water vapor it is capable of holding at that temperature, the relative humidity is 50 percent. If the outside air temperature in winter is 0°F and the relative humidity is 75 percent, that same air inside your 70°F home will have a four percent relative humidity. That’s dry! The Sahara Desert has an average relative humidity of 25 percent.”
At a temperature of 20 degrees and above, the optimum relative humidity level is between 35%and 50% (personal preferences differ). A hygrometer, which measures relative humidity, can be purchased at many hardware or electronic stores. Digital hygrometers are the most accurate. For a quick test, in a room other than the kitchen or a recently used bathroom, drop three ice cubes in a glass, add water, then stir. If condensation does not form in three minutes, your air is too dry.
Adding a humidifier to your home can help remedy low humidity problems. There are three basic types: evaporating which puts moisture into the air from a pan of water through absorbent discs or an immersed heating unit as in a cool mist humidifier or vaporizer; portable or room which uses a small fan and wet pad or fine mist to discharge moisture, or a power humidifier which is connected to the ductwork and water supply dispersing moisture directly into the air stream. A humidistat is used on these systems, which works similar to a thermostat whereby a desired humidity level is set and the humidifier will operate as needed to maintain that level. Investing in a humidifier helps conserve energy in winter. According to Trane, people are more comfortable at a lower temperature setting when their air is not as dry.
Construction of your home, how tightly it is built, if it has the proper ventilation and vapor barriers also affect humidity levels. For more information and illustrations, go to www.blueflame.org/datasheets/humidity.html, www.usatoday.com/weather/wdryout.htm, www.sylvane.com/learning-center/understanding-relative-humidity.html, and www.askthebuilder.com/103_Indoor_Humidity_How_Much_.shtml.
Kellie Loudin, Rumer-Loudin, Inc.
Many people turn off their air conditioner while they are at work and then turn it back on when they get home thinking it will save them money. It does not. An air conditioner dehumidifies the home by removing humidity not only from the air but carpet, furniture, curtains, etc. When turning the system off for hours and then back on, it has to start the dehumidification process all over again. You are better off to turn the thermostat up than to turn the system off. Let’s say you typically set your thermostat at 72 degrees, turn it up to 78 or 80 instead of shutting it off altogether.
It is important to get an air conditioning system sized properly. If a system is oversized, it will cool down too quickly before removing all the humidity. That is why you can be in a cool indoor environment, but still feel sticky and uncomfortable. If it is undersized, it will run and run and run and never do the job. An air conditioning system is designed to cool to 20 degrees below the outdoor temperature. So, when we experience those unusual above 90 degree days, most air conditioners will run without shutting of until evening.
Some customers get confused about the thermostat when switching from heating to cooling. Remember, you always turn a thermostat up to be warmer and down to be cooler no matter which mode it is set to operate.
Sometimes people wonder if a maintenance agreement is worth it. Let’s try to put it into perspective. If compared to a car, an average heating and cooling system runs the equivalent of 330,000 miles in a year. Would you run your vehicle that long without service? If it is difficult for you to remember to change your filters, you should definitely invest in a maintenance agreement.
Clogged filters cause air flow restriction, which can cause higher utility bills, and system damage. Frequency of filter changes depends on the type you have. If you just have the fiberglass throw away filters, they are only about 7% efficient and were designed just to keep large items like a plastic grocery bag or piece of paper from being sucked into the blower compartment. They should be changed very 4-6 months. If you have pleated filters, they typically need changed less often. If you have pets or perform construction in your house or install new carpet, check them more often.
Our Maintenance Agreement page has an area where you can view the agreement and also the comprehensive check list. If you are interested in signing up, let the St. Clairsville or Barnesville office know, they will send out the agreement, you sign it, send in payment and we will call to schedule your check up at the appropriate time. As well, you will automatically be offered a renewal. You only sign up for one year at a time, we do not automatically bill you for another year. If you don’t want to renew, that is fine.
Please call or email with any additional information you may need.
May 10, 2013
Loudin Attends National ASBDC Conference and Capitol Hill Visits
The Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) held their annual spring conference in Washington D.C. from April 14-18, 2013. As a member of both the regional and state advisory boards, Kellie Loudin, Vice President of Rumer-Loudin, Inc., was in attendance along with Daryl Hennessy, Assistant Chief, and Karen Shauri, SBDC State Director, Business Services Division of the Ohio Development Services Agency.
Small Business Development Centers are funded, in part, by the Small Business Administration and are located throughout all fifty states plus U.S. territories. The purpose of the SBDCs is to help small business owners start, grow, and sustain their businesses with education, free counseling, and assistance with funding procurement. Each state typically contributes funding to the SBDCs for operation, as well as regional partners.
During the conference, attendees heard from the Small Business Administration regarding how sequestration is affecting funding for fiscal year 2014, possible new funding for veteran business startups, and a new entrepreneurial education program. A new logo was also revealed, various committees reported on their activities, and members were updated on revisions to the reporting software used to provide impact data. Representatives from Google presented information on their business outreach efforts and what tools are available for businesses to use for launching a website or elevating their position in search results.
Hennessy, Shauri, and Loudin met with staff of 13 out of the 16 Ohio Congressional districts and both Senators to share information about the impact the Small Business Development Centers have made for businesses in their area. Congressman Bill Johnson personally met with the three to discuss the Centers and their benefit to the state. For Congressional District 6, representing in whole or part of 18 counties, the SBDCs created or retained 1,729 jobs, helped 54 businesses start, infused $8,180,356 of capital into the area, and provided 7,490 hours of counseling representing 791 clients.
The SBDCs serving our area are located at Zane State College, Willet-Pratt Training Center and Kent State University at Tuscarawas. Cindy Voorhies and Stephen Schillig are the directors, respectively.
Things to Check Before Requesting a Repair…
No one likes to pay for a repair they may have been able to handle themselves and we don’t like charging for them. Here are some things you can check on your own before requesting a repair. Please be sure you are comfortable doing this, we don’t want you to harm yourself or your home if you don’t know how your system is connected to your electrical and water systems so of course we have to say this is a disclaimer of any responsibility if you don’t do things correctly.
- Check all fuses and breakers. Breakers for the condenser (outdoor) unit for an air conditioner can often become tripped over the winter.
- If you have a digital thermostat and your screen is blank, you could need to replace batteries in the thermostat itself.
- If you have a high efficient gas furnace, which vents gases and sometimes intakes air with white plastic (PVC) pipe, the pipe can get plugged with all kinds of things: ice, snow (if deep enough), birds’ nests, bug nests, dead birds, children putting gravel, marbles, balls and other items in there, and we have even heard of drunk neighbors urinating in them. If the pipes become blocked, a safety in the furnace senses it and will shut the furnace down. If that blockage is removed, often it will fix the problem.
- Also on a high efficient gas furnace, there is usually a condensate drain. If that gets plugged, a safety is triggered and will shut the furnace down. The damp environment invites mold, mildew, and green icky junk to grow, so you may want to try to clear that out to see if it gets you up and running again.
- Make sure you have oil or propane. Yes, we get a few calls a year where we find the tanks are empty.
- Check your air filters. Clogged air filters can cause many problems: lack of air flow, higher energy bills, dirty evaporator coils, cracked heat exchangers, over heating of the furnace causing safety lockouts.
- Check to be sure icy weather hasn’t caused your condenser fan motor to stop working on your heat pump. This can happen when there is sleet or an ice storm. To get rid of the ice, just pour warm water over the fins on the top of the condensing unit.
- An air conditioner removes humidity and a condensate drain typically runs into a floor drain or is pumped out with a condensate pump. If you see water on the floor in the summer, it could be your condensate drain piping is plugged up with slimy gunk. If you get it cleared out, it may stop your water problem.
If you need or want repair, please call, but these suggestions may save you from spending your hard earned money on a repair you could have made yourself. Call 740-425-3134 for Barnesville or 740-695-2487 for St. Clairsville.