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Residential Commissioning to Assess Envelope and HVAC System Performance

Residential commissioning is a new procedure to ensure that a house can perform optimally or at least meet basic safety, health, comfort, and energy intents. Many procedural elements, such as visual inspection and functional performance diagnostics, already exist in a fragmented environment. Most can be integrated into new industry guidelines for testing and tuning system performance in new and existing houses. This paper describes a consolidated set of practical diagnostics that can be used now to commission envelope and HVAC system performance.

Residential Commissioning: A Review of Related Literature

The literature review reported here is the first step in a larger 30 month-long project that will lay the groundwork for a residential commissioning industry in California focused on end-use energy and non- energy issues. The intent of the review is to facilitate access to existing literature related to residential commissioning. Emphasis is placed on reviewing documents published over the past 20 years, which represents the period of time over which building commissioning and closely related issues have been actively reported.

Residential Ventilation and Energy Characteristics

The role of ventilation in the housing stock is to provide fresh air and to dilute internally-generated pollutants in order to assure adequate indoor air quality. Energy is required to provide this ventilation service, either directly for moving the air or indirectly for conditioning the outdoor air for thermal comfort. Different kinds of ventilation systems have different energy requirements. Existing dwellings in the United States are ventilated primarily through leaks in the building shell (i.e., infiltration) rather than by mechanical ventilation systems.

Review of air flow measurement techniques

Airflow measurement techniques are necessary to determine the most basic of indoor air quality questions: "Is there enough fresh air to provide a healthy environment for the occupants of the building?" This paper outlines airflow measurement techniques, but it does not make recommendations for techniques that should be used. The airflows that will be discussed are those within a room or zone, those between rooms or zones, such as through doorways (open or closed) or passive vents, those between the building and outdoors, and those through mechanical air distribution systems.

Saving Tons at the Register

Duct losses have a significant effect on the efficiency of delivering space cooling to U.S. homes. This effect is especially dramatic during peak demand periods where half of the cooling equipment's output can be wasted. Improving the efficiency of a duct system can save energy, but can also allow for downsizing of cooling equipment without sacrificing comfort conditions.

Selecting whole house ventilation strategies to meet proposed ASHRAE standard 62.2: energy cost considerations.

ASHRAE Standard 62.2P is being proposed to address residential ventilation issues. As housing, especially new housing, gets more airtight and better insulated, it has become clear that many homes are under-ventilated. The Standard contains requirements that provide minimum ventilation rates and source control measures necessary for acceptable indoor air quality. This paper uses previously reported analytical techniques to compare the energy costs of various ventilation strategies for a wide variety of climates and housing types.

Sensitivity of forced air distribution system efficiency to climate, duct location, air leakage and insulation

This study was performed in order to find suitable efficiency and leakage specifications for Energy Star duct systems and provide recommendations on duct insulation specifications. This analysis looks at a typical house, with a selection of duct locations, climates, duct insulation (R-value), and duct leakage. A set of calculations were performed with reduced capacity and airflow to look at the effect of variable capacity systems.

Simulation of Residential HVAC System Performance

In many parts of North America residential HVAC systems are installed outside conditioned space. This leads to significant energy losses and poor occupant comfort due to conduction and air leakage losses from the air distribution ducts. In addition, cooling equipment performance is sensitive to air flow and refrigerant charge that have been found to be far from manufacturers specifications in most systems.

Sources of formaldehyde, other aldehydes and terpenes in a new manufactured house

Formaldehyde, less-volatile aldehydes, and terpene hydrocarbons are generally the predominant air contaminants in new manufactured and site-built houses. This study was conducted to identify the major sources of these compounds in a typically constructed, new manufactured house. Specimens of materials used within the house envelope were collected from the production facility. These were individually preconditioned for 19 4 days and tested for emissions of formaldehyde and the other target compounds using small-scale chambers.

Stopping Duct Quacks: Longevity of Residential Duct Sealants

Duct leakage has been identified as a major source of energy loss in residential buildings. Most duct leakage occurs at the connections to registers, plenums or branches in the duct system. At each of these connections a method of sealing the duct system is required. Typical sealing methods include tapes or mastics applied around the joints in the system. Field examinations of duct systems have shown that these seals tend to fail over time periods ranging from days to years.