INTERIOR DUCT SYSTEM DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, AND PERFORMANCE

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By removing air distribution and conditioning equipment from unconditioned spaces, homeowners stand to benefit substantially with respect to both energy savings and indoor air quality. Duct leakage introduces: Greater heating and cooling loads from air at extreme temperatures and humidity levels; Outside air and air from unconditioned spaces that may contain air borne contaminants, combustion gases, pollen, mold spores, and/or particles of building materials; and Higher whole-house infiltration/exfiltration rates. Exemplary studies conducted since 1990 have demonstrated the prevalence of duct leakage throughout the United States and measured energy savings of approximately 20% during both heating and cooling seasons from leakage ... continued below

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59 pages

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Mcllvaine, Janet E.R.; Beal, David & Fairey, Philip October 10, 2001.

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This report is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 28 times . More information about this report can be viewed below.

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Description

By removing air distribution and conditioning equipment from unconditioned spaces, homeowners stand to benefit substantially with respect to both energy savings and indoor air quality. Duct leakage introduces: Greater heating and cooling loads from air at extreme temperatures and humidity levels; Outside air and air from unconditioned spaces that may contain air borne contaminants, combustion gases, pollen, mold spores, and/or particles of building materials; and Higher whole-house infiltration/exfiltration rates. Exemplary studies conducted since 1990 have demonstrated the prevalence of duct leakage throughout the United States and measured energy savings of approximately 20% during both heating and cooling seasons from leakage reduction. These all dealt with duct leakage to and/or from unconditioned spaces. In the building science community, leakage within the conditioned space is generally presumed to eliminate the negative consequences of duct leakage with the exception of possibly creating pressure imbalances in the house which relates to higher infiltration and/or exfiltration. The practical challenges of isolating ducts and air handlers from unconditioned spaces require builders to construct an air-tight environment for the ducts. Florida Solar Energy Center researchers worked with four builders in Texas, North Carolina, and Florida who build a furred-down chase located either in a central hallway or at the edges of rooms as an architectural detail. Some comparison homes with duct systems in attics and crawl spaces were included in the test group of more than 20 homes. Test data reveals that all of the duct/AHU systems built inside the conditioned space had lower duct leakage to unconditioned spaces than their conventional counterparts; however, none of the homes was completely free of duct leakage to unconditioned spaces. Common problems included wiring and plumbing penetrations of the chase, failure to treat the chase as an air tight space, and misguided fresh air inlet design. Improvements were implemented by the Texas builder and retested in July. Results showed a 36% reduction in duct leakage, significant enough to warrant the builder adopting the new sealing procedure.

Physical Description

59 pages

Notes

OSTI as DE00823970

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  • Other Information: PBD: 10 Oct 2001

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  • Report No.: NONE
  • Grant Number: FC26-99FT40642
  • DOI: 10.2172/823970 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 823970
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc782752

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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Creation Date

  • October 10, 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Jan. 3, 2017, 12:48 p.m.

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Mcllvaine, Janet E.R.; Beal, David & Fairey, Philip. INTERIOR DUCT SYSTEM DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, AND PERFORMANCE, report, October 10, 2001; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc782752/: accessed December 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.