Field Test Evaluation of Conservation Retrofits of Low-Income, Single-Family Buildings in Wisconsin: Audit Field Test Implementation and Results Page: 29 of 84
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heating systems use a 24V thermostat circuit to control the gas valve. When the
thermostat detects a need for heat, it causes the gas valve to open, allowing
gas to flow to the furnace or boiler. The run-time meter was wired to the gas
valve so that it would measure the amount of time the gas valve was supplying
gas to the furnace. The fuel consumption rate of the furnace or boiler was
measured so that the hours of run-time could be used to find the quantity of
The fuel consumption rate of the heating system was measured by timing the
fastest dial on the utility gas meter as it made one revolution with the furnace
on and all other gas appliances off. A revolution of the fastest dial on the
meters encountered, taking 20 to 60 s, represented one or two ft3 of gas. The
time to complete a revolution can be measured to an accuracy of about 0.1 s. If
the measurement is done properly and if the utility meter is working correctly,
this implies that calibrations are accurate to about 1%. Some heating system
timings were recorded to the nearest second; these measurements should be
accurate to 2-3%. This method of measuring the heating system firing rate
involves a small error because of the gas pilots used by the heating system and
other gas appliances.
The furnace pilot usually consumes 1 ft3 of gas/h, and other pilots are
smaller. All the pilots in a house consume 1-3 ft3 of gas/h, leading to
over-estimations of the furnace firing rate of 1-5%.
3.3.2 Utility Meters
Each house had both gas and electric utility meters which were read at
approximately weekly intervals when the elapsed-time meters were read. The
total house gas and electric data were inexpensive to collect and proved useful
in checking the reasonableness of the heating system fuel consumption data. In
several cases, the gas meter data showed that a furnace fuel consumption
measurement was questionable or erroneous. Section 3.4 discusses the handling
of this and other types of data problems.
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McCold, L.N. Field Test Evaluation of Conservation Retrofits of Low-Income, Single-Family Buildings in Wisconsin: Audit Field Test Implementation and Results, report, January 1, 1988; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc740901/m1/29/: accessed February 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.