Load on HVAC Systems Due to Leakage of Air – New Design to Overcome the Issue

Load on HVAC Systems Due to Leakage of Air – New Design to Overcome the Issue

David Meadows, the CEO of Advanced Design LLC, has proposed a new building design, capable of reducing HVAC energy loads by as much as 60%. He did a thorough analysis of heating and cooling loads, and came across some interesting discoveries.

The heat emitted from humans does not make a notable contribution to air conditioning costs; in fact, in winters, this heat helps maintain the room at a comfortable temperature. So why is still so much heat lost, forcing air conditioning systems to work harder and incurring greater costs? Air leakage is the primary culprit.

The Building Code Specifications

The building codes require that every construction should have four air turnovers in 60 minutes. The HVAC system should also bring in about 25 cubic feet of air for every person in every minute.   Now let’s determine these calculations for a building that takes up an area of 2000 square feet and is 10 feet high.  This means that the building should have 2000 x 10 x 4 air turnovers in every hour. For 5 residents, the HVAC system should bring in 15 x 5 x 60 cubic feet of air per hour. Adding the numbers, the building requires 84,500 cubic feet of air per hour.

Considering Florida, this much air can also bring in 507 pounds of water in the form of humidity that is removed with 5 tons of air conditioning or around 2,.5 turns for  a building with an area of 1,000 square meters. A standard building design uses an air conditioning system of 1 ton for an area of 300 square feet.  This totals to around 6.67 tons of conditioned air, without considering additional heat from the sun, people, equipment or lights.

What do all these numbers tell us? A standard air conditioning system is incapable of handling heat load on a hot day.

David Meadows Proposed Idea

David Meadows has suggested that the only air allowed to enter a building should be through open doors, and all other entry points should be sealed tightly. This significantly reduces the load on HVAC systems, requiring only 5 tons of air conditioning. Meadows has developed methods that pressurize and seal a building, allowing only 0.5 air turnovers in an hour. The requirements laid forth by building regulations appear to be faulty, and Meadows is working to get the building codes modified.





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