# How to Verify Key Components of Heating & AC Systems in ENERGY STAR Certified Homes

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1 How to Verify Key Components of Heating & AC Systems in ENERGY STAR Certified Homes February 28, 2013 RESNET Conference Rick Gazica, ICF International; Brett Dillon, IBS Advisors, LLC

2 Agenda Value of quality installed heating & cooling systems. Overview of Sections 1 4 of the HVAC System QI Rater Checklist. Critical details of Sections 1 4. Q&A. 2

3 Value of Quality Installed Heating & Cooling Systems 3

4 Heating & cooling systems 2 Heating, Cooling, & Ventilation System Heating and cooling equipment that is: High efficiency Properly designed and installed Combined with a duct system that s insulated, sealed, and balanced maintains comfort with less energy. 4

5 Heating & cooling systems Adding &removing Btu s impacts the temp. inside the home. 105F 72F 5

6 Heating & cooling systems You can t have a complete HVAC system until you first have a complete thermal enclosure system. The amount of heat transfer can be quantified in British Thermal Units (Btu s). 1 Btu is approximately equal to the energy in a single match. 6

7 Heating & cooling systems Adding &removing Btu s impacts the temp. inside the home. 105F 72F 73F 7

8 Three major steps to design an HVAC system 1) Calculate the heating & cooling load. 2) Select equipment to meet those loads. 3) Design ducts to get air from equipment to rooms, and then back to equipment, to offset loads. 8

9 Step 1: Calculate heating & cooling loads Cooling load is the maximum Btu s added in one hour. 9

10 Step 1: Calculate heating & cooling loads Heating load is the maximum Btu s lost in one hour. 72 F 35 F 10

11 Step 2: Select equipment that meets loads Select equipment that removes Btu s to meet cooling load. 72 F 73 F 72 F 11

12 Step 2: Select equipment that meets loads Select equipment which adds Btu s to meet heating load. 72 F 71 F 72 F 12

13 Step 3: Design the duct system Design ducts to properly distribute air through house. This offsets the loads. 13

14 Value of quality installed Heating & cooling systems Two components of a complete system: Proper design Proper installation 14

15 Overview of Sections 1 4 of the Checklist 15

16 Section 1: Review of HVAC System QI Contractor Checklist 1) Collect design documentation for record keeping. 2) Review design parameters to see if they match rated home. 3) Visually verify that equipment matches what was specified. 4) Check data from HVAC contractor s commissioning process. 5) Check if contractor holds required credentials. 16

17 Item 1.2.5: Window area Window area is within ±10% of calculated window area of rated home. Design Actual 17

18 Section 2: Duct quality installation Visual inspection of duct installation. Review of quantity and location of duct terminations. Bedroom pressure balancing. 18

19 Section 3 & 4: Duct insulation & leakage Minimum insulation values for ductwork in unconditioned space. Maximum allowable total duct leakage levels and to outdoors. 19

20 Section 1 through 4: Summary Oversight of key features of the design process. Inspection of duct installation quality. Verification of duct insulation and leakage levels. 20

21 Critical Details of the HVAC System QI Rater Checklist 21

22 Item 1.1: Collection of required documentation Required documentation includes Checklist, ventilation system design, load calculations, & AHRI certificate. 22

23 Item 1.2: Review of contractor checklist & equipment 23

24 Item 1.2.1: Review of contractor checklist Verify outdoor design temperatures equal 1% and 99% ACCA Manual J design temperatures for selected location. These design temperatures are available on EPA s website: ownloads/outdoor_design_conditions_508.pdf?7cdb 8623 Location Dry Bulb Design Temperature Winter / Heating / 99% Summer / Cooling / 1% Richmond, VA 18 F 92 F 24

25 Item through 1.2.6: Review of contractor checklist Verify that the following parameters used in the load calculation match the rated home: Home orientation Number of occupants Conditioned floor area (±10%) Window area (±10%) SHGC (±0.1 SHGC value) Use the tolerances provided to make compliance easier. Example of Acceptable Floor Area 10% Design + 10% 1,980 2,200 2,420 25

26 Item through 1.2.6: Review of contractor checklist 26

27 Item : Checking installed equipment HVAC manufacturer & model numbers on installed equipment, Contractor Checklist, & AHRI certificate match. Equipment selected during design: Equipment actually installed in home: Model ABC Model

28 Item & : Review of contractor checklist The Rater completes two simple math calculations to help ensure that the equipment has the right amount of refrigerant. Even though these Items just require some simple math, it helps to understand the concepts behind them. 28

29 Refrigerant Tests & Calculations Compressor Evaporator Condenser Metering Device 29

30 Refrigerant Tests & Calculations Step 1: Metering Device The metering device controls how much refrigerant is released to the evaporator inside the home Metering Device 30

31 Refrigerant Tests & Calculations Step 2: Evaporator The refrigerant flows through the evaporator or cooling coil in the air handler unit, transferring heat between the air and the refrigerant Evaporator 31

32 Refrigerant Tests & Calculations Step 3: Compressor The compressor is a small mechanical device that compresses the gas, raising its temperature Compressor 32

33 Refrigerant Tests & Calculations Step 4: Condenser The condenser uses a fan to blow outdoor air across the refrigerant, removing heat, causing it to cool down and condense back into a liquid form Condenser 33

34 Refrigerant Tests & Calculations Why is the amount of refrigerant so important to the operation of the A/C unit? Keep temperatures within target ranges Keep liquid out of gas side Consequences of improper charging: Inefficient operation Premature compressor failures 34

35 Item & : Review of contractor checklist Two tests can be done to ensure proper amount of refrigerant: Subcooling test: Ensures the refrigerant is in liquid form after it leaves the condenser. Superheat test: Ensures the refrigerant is in gas form before it arrives at the compressor. 35

36 Item & : Review of contractor checklist Subcooling is the temperature of a fluid below its boiling point (liquid saturation temperature). 40 F 30 F Subcooling = 10 F 36

37 Item & : Review of contractor checklist Superheat is the temperature of a fluid above its boiling point (liquid saturation temperature). 50 F 40 F Superheat = 10 F 37

38 Item : Review of contractor checklist Verify that difference between Rater verified and contractor reported saturation temperature is 3 o F. A pressure temperature chart shows the saturation temperature of a specific liquid at a variety of pressures. Temp. (F) R410A (psig) Pressure / Temperature Chart 1) Contractor pressure = 118 psig 2) Contractor saturation temp. = 42 F 3) Rater saturation temp. = 40 F 4) Difference in saturation temp. = 2 F 38

39 Item : Review of contractor checklist Verify difference between Rater calculated and contractorreported target temp.: Subcooling is 3 o F or Superheat is 5 o F. Within 3 of target value? Within 5 of target value? 40 F Subcooling 30 F = 10 F Superheat = 10 F 50 F 40 F 39

40 Item 1.3: Static pressure test Measure the static pressure of the supply duct system and the return duct system. Use the same test hole locations as the contractor. Watch the video of how the contractor does this at: 40

41 Item 1.4: Register airflow 40 CFM Hallway 40 CFM Room A Room B 80 CFM 80 CFM 80 CFM Sample Balancing Report Room Register Design Airflow Actual Airflow Hallway Hallway Room A Room A Room B Difference

42 Item 1.4: Register airflow Methodologies for measuring airflow at registers: ACCA QI 5 standard includes protocols for HVAC contractors (Section 5.2) HERS Mortgage Industry National HERS Standards includes methods for Home Energy Raters to use (Section 804.2) 42

43 Item 1.4: Register airflow Collect contractor prepared balancing report with room name & design airflow for each supply and return register. In addition: Verify that airflows have been measured by contractor, or, Measure, document, and verify that airflows are within the greater of ± 20% or 25 CFM of design airflow. 43

44 Section 2: Duct quality installation Items 2.1 through 2.4 focus on installation defects like kinks, bends, compression, and excessive ductwork. 44

45 Section 2: Duct quality installation Compression 45

46 Section 2: Duct quality installation Bends & Kinks 46

47 Section 2: Duct quality installation Sharp Bend 47

48 Item 4.1: Total duct leakage Total duct leakage 8 CFM per 100 square feet of conditioned floor area. More challenging to meet with building cavities as ducts. Testing must occur at final when all components of the system are installed including the air handler, ductwork, duct boots and register grills atop the finished surfaces. An additional test at rough in is helpful to many partners, but is not mandatory. Partners are permitted to seal both the face and the perimeter of the register when testing. Sealing between duct boot & subsurface is critical. 48

49 Item 4.1: Total duct leakage Using a building cavity for the return system makes it very challenging to meet the leakage limit. 49

50 Item 4.1: Total duct leakage If the gap is big enough that your finger can fit in There might be an air leak. 50

51 Summary A complete thermal enclosure system is the first step towards a complete HVAC system. HVAC design typically follows a three step process: 1. Calculate the loads. 2. Select equipment to meet those loads. 3. Design a duct system from the equipment to the rooms, and back, to offset those loads. Provided an overview and reviewed key details of Sections 1 through 4 of the HVAC System QI Rater Checklist. These features help improve the efficiency and comfort of every certified home. 51

52 ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Web: Main: Technical: Training: HVAC: Social facebook.com/energystar Contacts: Dean Gamble US EPA Technical Manager, ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Rick Gazica ICF International Account Manager, National Builder Support ENERGY STAR Certified Homes 52

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