Moving Air in Habitats Without Ducts

November 25, 2010

This much is true with most home heating, cooling and ventilation designs: no matter how appealing or green an abode might be, a person can usually pinpoint the cold spots in a house or the ones that are too warm.

Not to fret.

A Minnesota-based company – Tjernlund Products, Inc. – sells a number of low-cost ductless systems that move air from one part of the house to another, whether through walls or through floors.

Here are two products:

  • AireShare™ Level-to-Level Fan – Can move air from level to level. The unit either blows air up to a higher level or, when installed in the opposite orientation, down to a lower level. It can move stove or fireplace heat up or down a level or move cool air from a basement up to the main living space.
  • AireShare Room-to-Room Transfer Fan – The tool for homes with split systems; pulls cool air from floor level or warm air from ceiling level to provide more even distribution.

This case study from the Tjernlund website is worth reading:

“Harbor View Windows, Heating and Air, Inc., based in Brookings, Oregon, has installed ductless split system heating/cooling for two years and is a top producing dealer. Ductless systems offer high-energy savings, but can also have comfort challenges if an air handler is not installed in each room.

“Rooms without air handlers are subject to being too hot or cold. On a recent multi-family project using ductless systems, Harbor View was able to overcome this problem by installing an average of two AireShareTM room-to-room ventilators per five-room townhouse. The ventilators, made by Tjernlund Products, effectively distribute conditioned air to rooms without air handlers.

“According to Pat and Sherry Nied, Harbor View’s owners, “This was a 168-unit town home development. The threebedroom, two-bath units ranged from 1,500 square feet to 2,000 square feet. The builder’s goal was to offer homes with tangible features that separated his product from others in the area and thus would be more attractive to potential buyers. Energy savings is one of the important features because people are now more conscious of it than ever.

“Using a split system was an ideal way to achieve the level of energy conservation the contractor was looking for. However, Nied recognized the downside of using the system in four or more room applications. “Typically there’s a vent in every room with a conventional heat pump system. But with the split system we used, we were limited to heating and cooling only three rooms. This meant air handlers in the main living room, kitchen and master bedroom, leaving two or sometimes three rooms without any conditioned air.””

Tjernlund Products no doubt had great reason to develop its ductless products. It is located in White Bear Lake, MN – a cold enough place during the long winters, that inventive minds had no problem stepping up to the plate.


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Glenn Meyers

Writer, documentary producer, and director. Meyers is a contributor to CleanTechnica, and founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.
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