Blog › November 2011

West Vancouver home purchasers asking


My clients in West Vancouver while buying or building a home with my company often ask me what is HVAC system.

HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioining) refers to technology of environmental comfort.

Heating

There are many different types of heating systems. Central heating is often used in cold climates to heat private houses and public buildings. Such a system contains a boiler, furnace, or heat pump to heat water, steam, or air in a central location such as a furnace room in a home.

Ventilation

Ventilation is the process of "changing" or replacing air in any space to control temperature or remove moisture, odors, smoke, heat, dust, airborne bacteria and/or carbon dioxide, and to replenish oxygen. Ventilation includes both the exchange of air with the outside as well as circulation of air within the building. It is one of the most important factors for maintaining acceptable indoor air quality in buildings. Methods for ventilating a building may be divided into mechanical/forced and natural types.

Mechanical or forced ventilation

"Mechanical" or "forced" ventilation is provided by an air handler and used to control indoor air quality. Excess humidity, odors, and contaminants can often be controlled via dilution or replacement with outside air. However, in humid climates much energy is required to remove excess moisture from ventilation air.

Kitchens and bathrooms typically have mechanical exhausts to control odors and sometimes humidity. Factors in the design of such systems include the flow rate (which is a function of the fan speed and exhaust vent size) and noise level. Direct drive fans are available for many applications, and can reduce maintenance needs.

Ceiling fans and table/floor fans circulate air within a room for the purpose of reducing the perceived temperature by increasing evaporation of perspiration on the skin of the occupants. Because hot air rises, ceiling fans may be used to keep a room warmer in the winter by circulating the warm stratified air from the ceiling to the floor.

Natural ventilation

Can be achieved with openable windows or trickle vents when the spaces to ventilate are small and the architecture permits. In more complex systems warm air in the building can be allowed to rise and flow out upper openings to the outside (stack effect) thus forcing cool outside air to be drawn into the building naturally through openings in the lower areas. These systems use very little energy but care must be taken to ensure the occupants' comfort. In warm or humid months in many climates maintaining thermal comfort solely via natural ventilation may not be possible so conventional air conditioning systems are used as backups. Air-side economizers perform the same function as natural ventilation, but use mechanical systems' fans, ducts, dampers, and control systems to introduce and distribute cool outdoor air when appropriate.

Air conditioning

Air conditioning and refrigeration are provided through the removal of heat. Heat can be removed through radiation, convection, and by heat pump systems through a process called the refrigeration cycle. Refrigeration conduction media such as water, air, ice, and chemicals are referred to as refrigerants.

An air conditioning system, or a standalone air conditioner, provides cooling, ventilation, and humidity control for all or part of a house or building.

The refrigeration cycle uses four essential elements to create a cooling effect. The system refrigerant starts its cycle in a gaseous state. The compressor pumps the refrigerant gas up to a high pressure and temperature. From there it enters a heat exchanger (sometimes called a "condensing coil" or condenser) where it loses energy (heat) to the outside. In the process the refrigerant condenses into a liquid. The liquid refrigerant is returned indoors to another heat exchanger. A metering device allows the liquid to flow in at a low pressure at the proper rate. As the liquid refrigerant evaporates it aborbs energy (heat) from the inside air, returns to the compressor, and repeats the cycle. In the process heat is absorbed from indoors and transferred outdoors, resulting in cooling of the building.

In variable climates, the system may include a reversing valve that automatically switches from heating in winter to cooling in summer. By reversing the flow of refrigerant, the heat pump refrigeration cycle is changed from cooling to heating or vice versa. This allows a residence or facility to be heated and cooled by a single piece of equipment, by the same means, and with the same hardware.

Central, 'all-air' air conditioning systems (or package systems) with a combined outdoor condenser/evaporator unit are often installed in modern residences, offices, and public buildings, but are difficult to retrofit (install in a building that was not designed to receive it) because of the bulky air ducts required to carry the needed air to heat or cool an area. The duct system must be carefully maintained to prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria such as legionella in the ducts.

An alternative to central systems is the use of separate indoor and outdoor coils in split systems. These systems, although most often seen in residential applications, are gaining popularity in small commercial buildings. The evaporator coil is connected to a remote condenser unit using refrigerant piping between an indoor and outdoor unit instead of ducting air directly from the outdoor unit. Indoor units with directional vents mount onto walls, suspend from ceilings, or fit into the ceiling. Other indoor units mount inside the ceiling cavity, so that short lengths of duct handle air from the indoor unit to vents or diffusers around the room or rooms.

Dehumidification in an air conditioning system is provided by the evaporator. Since the evaporator operates at a temperature below dew point, moisture in the air condenses on the evaporator coil tubes. This moisture is collected at the bottom of the evaporator in a pan and removed by piping to a central drain or onto the ground outside. A dehumidifier is an air-conditioner-like device that controls the humidity of a room or building. It is often employed in basements which have a higher relative humidity because of their lower temperature (and propensity for damp floors and walls). In food retailing establishments, large open chiller cabinets are highly effective at dehumidifying the internal air. Conversely, a humidifier increases the humidity of a building.

Air-conditioned buildings often have sealed windows, because open windows would work against an HVAC system intended to maintain constant indoor air conditions.

All modern air conditioning systems, down to small "window" package units, are equipped with internal air filters. These are generally of a lightweight gauzy material, and must be replaced as conditions warrant (some models may be washable). For example, a building in a high-dust environment, or a home with furry pets, will need to have the filters changed more often than buildings without these dirt loads. Failure to replace these filters as needed will contribute to a lower heat-exchange rate, resulting in wasted energy, shortened equipment life, and higher energy bills; low air flow can result in "iced-up" or "iced-over" evaporator coils, which can completely stop air flow. Additionally, very dirty or plugged filters can cause overheating during a heating cycle, and can result in damage to the system or even fire.

It is important to keep in mind that because an air conditioner moves heat between the indoor coil and the outdoor coil, both must be kept just as clean. This means that, in addition to replacing the air filter at the evaporator coil, it is also necessary to regularly clean the condenser coil. Failure to keep the condenser clean will eventually result in harm to the compressor, because the condenser coil is responsible for discharging both the indoor heat (as picked up by the evaporator) and the heat generated by the electric motor driving the compressor.

Outside, "fresh" air is generally drawn into the system by a vent into the indoor heat exchanger section, creating positive air pressure. The percentage of return air made up of fresh air can usually be manipulated by adjusting the opening of this vent.



Best Route To Affordability


The best solution to high Metro Vancouver housing prices is to dramatically increase the housing supply, according to UBC professor Michael Goldberg. Goldberg, Professor and Dean Emeritus with the Sauder School of Business at UBC, said that if property developers were allowed to build a surplus of residential units, the costs would come down. And high-rise condominiums is the best product to build. Demographic shift is being seen toward smaller households, older and retired people who have lost interest in single-family homes and a working population who would prefer to live in the city rather than commute from the suburbs. "Foreign purchasers of real estate in Vancouver are making valuable investments here", said Goldberg and Canadians should be creating a favorable environment for these investments. The City of Vancouver should abandon regulations that protect "views of the mountains" said Goldberg. He considers the mountains to be high enough that buildings are not going to interfere sufficiently with the views to bother with a regulation. Building height limits also should be dropped in Vancouver according to Goldberg. He says that market condition should dictate height of buildings, not planning regulations. U.S. cities such as Chicago have minimal planning regulation and no height limits, explained Goldberg. Chicago has about three times more built floor area per square foot of land than in Vancouver. Goldberg contends that planning regulations hold back the efficient construction of new buildings in Vancouver to meet a growing demand for real estate. A restricted supply of residential units is in turn pushing up the cost of property development and housing. Michael Goldberg provided Property Biz Canada with the following list of pluses and minuses for the construction of tall buildings: Tall Building Pluses - Make more efficient use of urban land; - Create customers for Skytrain, Canada Line and buses; - Add to urban built form supply efficiently and lower price per buildable square foot; - Allow for urban core open-space; - Encourage mixed uses further adding to urban efficiency and reduction in traffic; and - The only way to reduce building and occupancy costs without expanding freeways.

Oleg Tsaryov

North and West Vancouver Realtor. Help you to buy and sell home in Greater Vancouver.

 

Articles are from various sources and courtesy to Real Estate By Weekly and others.

 



West Vancouver real estae update.


As we approach the end of 2011 real estate prices in most urban areas of British Columbia continue to rise. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is showing gains in average price of over 10% from 2010.Yet many clients, especially those in the under $500,000 price point in Greater Vancouver, are wondering why their properties are not reflecting this increase.

Vancouver is still in a recovery phase from the drop in price in the lower end of the market which occurred during the financial crisis of 2008. The increase in price seen "on average price" is greatly affected by the higher end of the market, which has seen significant gains over the past year. These gains are reflected in the increase of purchasers from Asia, particularly China.

 

This influx of buyers, not seen on this scale since the 1990s, has created a market which is a "top down" market. Most real estate markets are supported by the bottom of the market. This means the first time buyers buy an apartment from someone who is moving up to a townhouse who is buying from someone moving from the townhouse to a house.

In a top down market, offshore buyers purchase more expensive homes from existing owners who may be downsizing or making a sideways move. When prices hit a certain point, these offshore buyers have to look at smaller houses as they can no longer afford what they may have purchased a year ago. Thus the market is now supported from the top down.

With net-inmigration still over 50,000 per year, Vancouver should do very well over the next 5 years. The lower end of the market is just starting to react to the top down conditions. Especially as turbulent stock markets push investors back to brick and mortar investments such as real estate and precious metals.

Most of the buyers now consentrating to purchase real estate in West Vancouver. The most popular areas in West Vancouver today are Ambleside, Dundarave and British Properties.

 

 

West Vancouver Realtor

Oleg Tsaryov



West Vancouver Real Estate October Statistics


Greater Vancouver at lower end of balanced housing market

With a sales-to-active property listings ratio of 15 per cent, the Greater Vancouver housing market continues to hover at the lower end of a balanced market and has been trending in that direction over the past five months.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties on the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) system reached 2,317 in October, a 1 per cent decrease compared to the 2,337 sales in October 2010 and a 3.2 per cent increase compared to the previous month. Those sales rank as the second lowest total for October over the last 10 years.

“Right now, prospective home buyers have a good selection of properties to choose from and more time to make decisions,” Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president said. “Home sellers should be mindful of local market conditions to ensure they are pricing their properties competitively.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,374 in October, which is on par with the 10-year average. This represents an 18.3 per cent increase compared to October 2010, when 3,698 properties were listed for sale on the MLS®, and a 23 per cent decrease compared to the 5,680 new listings reported in September 2011.

The total number of properties listed for sale on the Greater Vancouver MLS® system currently sits at 15,377, which is 9.3 per cent higher than the 14,075 properties listed for sale during the same period last year. October was the first month that the total number of property listings showed a decrease this year.

The MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver over the last 12 months has increased 7.5 per cent to $622,955 in October 2011 from $579,349 in October 2010. However, since reaching a peak in June of $630,921, the benchmark price for all residential properties in the region has declined 1.3 per cent.

Sales of detached properties in October reached 974, which represents virtually no change from the 976 detached sales recorded in October 2010, and a 34.5 per cent decrease from the 1,487 units sold in October 2009. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 11 per cent from October 2010 to $884,778, but decreased 1.3 per cent compared to the previous month.

Sales of apartment properties reached 958 in October, a 2.6 per cent decrease compared to the 984 sales in October 2010, and a decrease of 40.4 per cent compared to the 1,607 sales in October 2009. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 3.2 per cent from October 2010 to $402,702, but decreased 0.7 per cent compared to the previous month.

Attached property sales in October totalled 382, a 1.3 per cent increase compared to the 377 sales in October 2010, and a 37.4 per cent decrease from the 610 attached properties sold in October 2009. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 6.5 per cent between October 2010 and 2011 to $519,455, and increased half a per cent compared to the previous month.

Download the complete stats package by clicking here. 

 

 

all info has been provided by real estate board of Greater Vancouver