Strategy Guideline: Compact Air Distribution Systems

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Description

This Strategy Guideline discusses the benefits and challenges of using a compact air distribution system to handle the reduced loads and reduced air volume needed to condition the space within an energy efficient home. Traditional systems sized by 'rule of thumb' (i.e., 1 ton of cooling per 400 ft2 of floor space) that 'wash' the exterior walls with conditioned air from floor registers cannot provide appropriate air mixing and moisture removal in low-load homes. A compact air distribution system locates the HVAC equipment centrally with shorter ducts run to interior walls, and ceiling supply outlets throw the air toward the ... continued below

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22 p.

Creation Information

Burdick, A. June 1, 2013.

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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. More information about this report can be viewed below.

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Description

This Strategy Guideline discusses the benefits and challenges of using a compact air distribution system to handle the reduced loads and reduced air volume needed to condition the space within an energy efficient home. Traditional systems sized by 'rule of thumb' (i.e., 1 ton of cooling per 400 ft2 of floor space) that 'wash' the exterior walls with conditioned air from floor registers cannot provide appropriate air mixing and moisture removal in low-load homes. A compact air distribution system locates the HVAC equipment centrally with shorter ducts run to interior walls, and ceiling supply outlets throw the air toward the exterior walls along the ceiling plane; alternatively, high sidewall supply outlets throw the air toward the exterior walls. Potential drawbacks include resistance from installing contractors or code officials who are unfamiliar with compact air distribution systems, as well as a lack of availability of low-cost high sidewall or ceiling supply outlets to meet the low air volumes with good throw characteristics. The decision criteria for a compact air distribution system must be determined early in the whole-house design process, considering both supply and return air design. However, careful installation of a compact air distribution system can result in lower material costs from smaller equipment, shorter duct runs, and fewer outlets; increased installation efficiencies, including ease of fitting the system into conditioned space; lower loads on a better balanced HVAC system, and overall improved energy efficiency of the home.

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22 p.

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  • Related Information: Work performed by IBACOS, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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  • Report No.: DOE/GO-102013-3846
  • Grant Number: AC36-08GO28308
  • DOI: 10.2172/1086355 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1086355
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc844642

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Creation Date

  • June 1, 2013

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • April 4, 2017, 2:09 p.m.

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Burdick, A. Strategy Guideline: Compact Air Distribution Systems, report, June 1, 2013; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc844642/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.