Submitted by Maria.Kapsalaki on Mon, 10/28/2013 - 13:58
The importance of reducing adventitious infiltration in order to save energy is highlighted by the relevant building standards of many countries. This operational infiltration is often inferred via the measurement of the air leakage rate at a pressure differential of 50 Pascals. Some building codes, such as the UK’s Standard Assessment Procedure, assume a simple relationship between the air leakage rate and mean infiltration rate during the heating season, the so-called leakage-infiltration ratio, which is scaled to account for the physical and environmental properties of a dwelling. The
Submitted by Maria.Kapsalaki on Mon, 10/28/2013 - 11:54
Air tightness is an important property of building envelopes. It is a key factor in determining infiltration and related wall-performance properties such as indoor air quality, maintainability and moisture balance. Air leakage in U.S. houses consumes roughly 1/3 of the HVAC energy but provides most of the ventilation used to control IAQ. There are several methods for measuring air tightness that may result in different values and sometimes quite different uncertainties.
Duct leakage is 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 taped seals tend to fail over extended periods of time. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has been testing sealant durability for several years.
Most dwellings in the United States are ventilated primarily through leaks in the building shell (i.e., infiltration) rather than by whole-house mechanical ventilation systems. Consequently, quantification of envelope air-tightness is critical to determining how much energy is being lost through infiltration and how much infiltration is contributing toward ventilation requirements. Envelope air tightness and air leakage can be determined from fan pressurization measurements with a blower door. Tens of thousands of unique fan pressurization measurements have been made of U.S.
The air leakage of a building envelope can be determined from fan pressurization measurements with a blower door. More than 70,000 air leakage measurements have been compiled into a database. In addition to air leakage, the database includes other important characteristics of the dwellings tested, such as floor area, year built, and location. There are also data for some houses on the presence of heating ducts, and floor/basement construction type. The purpose of this work is to identify house characteristics that can be used to predict air leakage.
This report summarizes the state of the art on building air tightness by reviewing the current and recent literature on both research and practice. The focus of this report is on techniques to measure the tightness of the building envelope and on what has been learned by doing so. This report reviews over 100 of the most important publications relating to the topic. The report covered the fundamentals of air leakage including the hydrodynamics of leaks, which has led to all of the measurement techniques currently in use.
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 typically shown that these seals tend to fail over extended periods of time. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has been testing sealant durability for several years. Typical duct tape (i.e.
Measurements on three gas and two electric furnaces have been made to examine the field performance of these furnaces and their interactions with their forced-air distribution systems. The distribution systems were retrofitted as part of this study and the impact of retrofitting on furnace performance is discussed. In addition to field measurements, this paper will discuss how forced-air furnace systems are treated in proposed ASHRAE Standard 152P, and applies the resulting equations to the systems tested in the field.
Infiltration has traditionally been assumed to contribute to the energy load of a building by an amount equal to the product of the infiltration flow rate and the enthalpy difference between inside and outside. Application of such a simple formula may produce an unreasonably high contribution because of heat recovery within the building envelope. Previous laboratory and simulation research has indicated that such heat transfer between the infiltrating air and walls may be substantial.
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. Blower doors are used to measure the air tightness and air leakage of building envelopes. As existing dwellings in the United States are ventilated primarily through leaks in the building shell (i.e., infiltration) rather than by whole-house mechanical ventilation systems, accurate understanding of the uses of blowerdoor data is critical. Blower doors can be used to answer the following questions:.