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  #1  
Old 09-05-2008, 05:00 PM
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corsair23 corsair23 is offline
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Default Anyone know about a "KVAR" unit?

Long story but ~2 years ago we had ALL of the windows (30 or 'em) replaced in our house to improve the energy efficiency of our home...The company guaranteed a 40% savings on our energy usage...Yeah, well that didn't happen. In fact our energy usage went UP

So, now they are coming up with reasons why our usage went up (last year the reason was they did a shotty job on the window install and didn't seal them right) and trying to come up with solutions. So, this year they have added additional insulation up in the attic (was already at a R38 level and the guy said he took that up to a R40 level ) and now they want to install a "KVAR Unit".

Never heard of a KVAR unit and despite reading the brochure I'm still not really sure what the heck it does nor how it will help? Obviously it won't help to reduce our thermal usage...

Good idea? Bad idea?? Help
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:25 PM
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wasn't by chance thermal advantage, was it?

they did my windows and while i'm pleased with the installation work, i've noticed no savings whatsoever, and i had old single pane windows through the back of the house and the "double pane" windows that were upfront were not installed correctly and i couldn't blow as hard as the wind that was coming around my old windows, so their new windows should've made a huge improvement
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:45 PM
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We replace our 20+ year old seal-blown windows with new ones. Cost an arm and a leg, and saves us 30% on our gas bill (quite shocking when we reviewed our annual numbers).

I'm not sure what your asking. I wouldn't consider putting new-fangled equipment in my house until I had done an energy/efficiency audit. Find out where the heat is leaking out, and fix the cause.

The KVAR appears to be some sort of electrical appliance. I don't see how your electricity bill could be higher from new windows -- unless you have electric heating?

If you're trying to find out why you have higher electric bills, a Kill-a-watt (meter) is your friend.

http://www.amazon.com/P3-Internation...0658270&sr=8-1

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Old 09-05-2008, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuclearlemon View Post
wasn't by chance thermal advantage, was it?
Why yes it was
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Jeff Z. (the "not quite as skinny" one)
TLCA #17037
'97 LX450 - aka "The Whale"
'97 FZJ80 Antique Sage AE #267, stock
12/74 FJ40, 2F, SM420, 4" Lift, ARBs, 33" MTRs

:

"...anything else i can do for you guys, how about i wash your car or mow your lawn while you figure out your firewall system? I am now boarderline insane/unibomber." Kipper

"That assumes I'm even capable of pulling and stabbing..." Jacket

"I really like having a detachable unit." Beater
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  #5  
Old 09-05-2008, 07:00 PM
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corsair23 corsair23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hants View Post
I'm not sure what your asking. I wouldn't consider putting new-fangled equipment in my house until I had done an energy/efficiency audit. Find out where the heat is leaking out, and fix the cause.
They've done two energy audits now...First one showed that the new windows were not sealed correctly. The second one showed no leaks and that things "should be" good to go. It wasn't


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hants View Post
The KVAR appears to be some sort of electrical appliance. I don't see how your electricity bill could be higher from new windows -- unless you have electric heating?
A/C in the summer = electricity, crappy windows = higher electricity bill

The KVAR unit is just another one of their suggestions to solve the problem. They are trying very hard to keep me from going to the DA because they have been/are in deep doo doo with the state for false advertising etc. and each time someone complains to the state the state can pop them for $10K
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Jeff Z. (the "not quite as skinny" one)
TLCA #17037
'97 LX450 - aka "The Whale"
'97 FZJ80 Antique Sage AE #267, stock
12/74 FJ40, 2F, SM420, 4" Lift, ARBs, 33" MTRs

:

"...anything else i can do for you guys, how about i wash your car or mow your lawn while you figure out your firewall system? I am now boarderline insane/unibomber." Kipper

"That assumes I'm even capable of pulling and stabbing..." Jacket

"I really like having a detachable unit." Beater
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  #6  
Old 09-05-2008, 07:19 PM
Rock Dog Rock Dog is offline
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I put in my own replacement windows, Foam insulated the heck out of the openings. I went from 1968 aluminum frame single pane windows to vinyl double pane windows and see a big difference.. The funace does not run as often either...

Chances are it is not the windows themselves, but a lack of insulation around the windows.... You could always do the heat lamp test to see if the windows (the glass) is up to snuff.
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Old 09-05-2008, 07:20 PM
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Electrically a kvar is (k)ilo (v)oltage-(a)mp (r)eactive. You are sold electricity based on VA (or really watts), which is the combined complex power. The total watts and var of an alternating source will be the total complex VA delivered. But the power company will try and make as much of the total power equal the real power, since that's what your meter runs on. When you hear people talk about adding capacitance or having heavily inductive loads, the complex part of reactive components is essentially free energy. So they will add caps to users who are running lots of motors, for example. In this case, the unit is probably caps that will make your house load more reactive, which will reduce your bill. It will not reduce your actual load (your energy use will go up slightly), though. When (maybe if) Public Service figures it out they will put inductance or capacitance on your service to correct for the non-metered apparent (reactive) power. They want a power factor as close to 1 as possible because any reactive power in the system makes their efficiency go down. Whether or not they notice on your service, hard to say, but probably not. But at the same time to justify the cost you will have to really screw up the power factor and they will likely eventually notice when you go down 50% in usage.
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Old 09-05-2008, 09:09 PM
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In a few months, an IR video will tell you exactly where the heat is escaping... You want a big temperature differential to really show it.

Did they put a blower in your door to see how much/where you're leaking?

I still don't see how new, high-efficiency windows would cause your bill to go up??? Did you see them installed? Were they using ample foam sealant? Do you feel (hot) drafts near any windows?

When we had ours replaced, we had one of our sliding doors that had a virtual hurricane coming from one corner. They came out and basically re-installed it, and the draft is gone.

Our original ones leaked so much that you could feel a breeze by every window in the winter!
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  #9  
Old 09-06-2008, 09:33 AM
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As said before, sealing around the windows is the most important thing. Go low tech and use a candle to check for drafts, flame moves to the window you have a draft. If so, have them come back and fix it or if they say (&^%$( get some foam/caulking and do it yourself.

We did it on some of the windows around the house and it made a difference. These are the original windows,1994, double pane etc. so no one to blame anymore

Got to love being a homeowner............
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  #10  
Old 09-06-2008, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hants View Post
Our original ones leaked so much that you could feel a breeze by every window in the winter!
my original windows were hurricane force breezes when it was windy. the new windows were installed much better and i don't get the "breeze" that i used to . it's also nice having windows that open and close easily and fold in for cleaning.

they did do the pressure test thing and i've found quite a lot to seal up.
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