# The formula for finding CFM is: CFM = BTUH OUTPUT_ Temp Rise (ACF)* *Altitude correction factor below 1000ft = 1.08

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1 Air Volume Requirement Air conditioning systems are engineered with a specific amount of indoor air passing across the surface of the evaporator coil. The amount of air is measured in cubic feet per minute. (CFM) Residential air conditioning systems typically require 400 CFM of indoor air for every 1 ton of cooling capacity. For example, a 2 ton unit would need 800 CFM of indoor air since 2 times 400 equals 800. For every cubic foot of air, the air has weight. Every pound of air carries so many btu s of heat in it. When the systems are engineered by the manufacturers, the amount of air is set and the heat in the air is measured. This is important to understand as a system can only absorb as much heat as is available. There are two ways the amount of heat fluctuates, by the amount of pounds of air flowing and by the heat in the air. If the heat in the air falls, the system capacity falls. If the amount of pounds of air falls, the system capacity falls. By setting up the air volume properly, the system will always receive the proper amount of air in pounds. However, as the room temperature changes in the home, the amount of heat in each pound of air will fluctuate. Not a problem as the amount of heat in the air is measured in direct relationship to wet bulb temperature of the air. Manufacturer charging charts always plot wet bulb temperature as a requirement because it tells them how much heat is in each pound of air. The charts ASSUME that indoor air volume has been properly measured and adjusted so the evaporator coil always receives the proper amount of heat based upon the wet bulb temperature of the return air. In summary, capacity changes with the amount of heat that is absorbed at the evaporator coil. Manufacturers have established a relationship between indoor air wet bulb temperature and heat in a pound of air. By setting up the indoor blower to deliver the specified amount of indoor air in CFM, the system will have a fixed constant that allows for wet bulb temperature to be referenced to system suction pressure. If wet bulb is measured and used to plot required operating pressures and air volume is wrong, the charging chart is basically useless. Temperature Rise Method Determining how much air is flowing through a blower assembly can be done by checking the temperature rise that occurs during heating operation of an electric heat air handler or a gas furnace. The BTUH Output of the heating system must be found to perform this measurement. There are two separate methods for determining BTUH Output, one for gas furnaces and the other for electric heat air handlers. If the system does not have any heat option, this method will not work. Temperature Rise Method (Gas Heat) The formula for finding CFM is: CFM = BTUH OUTPUT_ Temp Rise (ACF)* *Altitude correction factor below 1000ft = 1.08 Two steps are performed by the technician performing this procedure: determine BTUH Output of the furnace, and measure air temperatures. Each step requires the furnace burners to be operating. Determining BTUH Output of a Gas Furnace In this series of steps it is necessary to know the heat content level of the natural gas being delivered to the home. The heat contained in a cubic foot of natural gas can range from somewhat below 1050 BTU/cubic foot to slightly above

2 1050 BTU/cubic foot. To obtain the heat content of the natural gas in your area, contact the local gas provider. If it is not possible to obtain the heat content of the gas from the gas provider, the furnace nameplate BTUH input should be used to determine the BTUH output of the furnace. Be aware that calculated air volume will not be precise. (Deviation will be due to fluctuations in heat content of the fuel.) If the furnace nameplate lists BTUH Input, multiply the BTUH input of the furnace by the efficiency of the furnace, for example 100,000 BTUH Input times.80 Efficiency = 80,000 BTUH output. CATEGORY 1 FORCED AIR FURNACE FOR INDOOR INSTALLATION ONLY IN A BUILDING CONSTRUCTED ON-SITE INSTALLATION ELECTRIC 115 V. 60 HZ 1 PH, MAXIMUM TOTAL INPUT 8.5 AMPS FACTORY EQUIPPED FOR NATURAL GAS EQUIPPED WITH NO. 45 DRILL SIZE ORIFICE HOURLY INPUT RATING BTUH/H (KW) 80,000 (23.44) Furnace Nameplate MANIFOLD PRESSURE INCHES W.C. PO/ (KPA) 3.5 (87) MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE GAS SUPPLY PRESSURE TO FURNACE MINIMUM GAS SUPPLY PRESSURE FOR PURPOSES OF INPUT ADJUSTMENT LOW INPUT LIMIT SETTING DESIGN MAXIMUM NATURAL GAS PROPANE INCHES W.C. (KPA) In this example Input BTUH 80,000 BTUH times.80 efficiency = 64,000 BTUH OUTPUT. (Estimated) To find the BTUH Output of the Furnace by Clocking the Gas Meter This method is the most accurate way of determining the BTUH Output of a gas fired furnace. The furnace will be operated to determine how many cubic feet of natural gas enter the furnace burners. The input will then be multiplied by the efficiency of the furnace to determine BTUH Output. The heat content of a cubic foot of gas should be found by contacting the local gas company. If this cannot be done, use a default rating of 1050 BTU per cubic foot of natural gas. In this procedure, all other gas appliances in the home should be off. Keep pilot lights lit. The furnace should be operating at proper manifold pressure as stated on the furnace nameplate. (See above.) The furnace should be calling for heat with all stages of capacity firing. Tools: Gas Pressure Manometer Air Volume Calculator STEP 1 Find out the BTUH content of a cubic foot of natural gas. This information is available from your local gas company. The default average used in generating air volume tables is 1050 BTU per Cubic Foot. It may be very difficult to obtain this information from the local gas company as the heat content of 1 cubic foot of natural gas fluctuates from day to day. If the heat content of the fuel can be determined by making a phone call it is well worth the effort as accurate BTUH Input of the gas furnace can be found. If the actual heat content of the gas cannot be obtained, use a default value of 1050 BTU/cubic foot of natural gas for your calculations. Be aware, there will be some inaccuracy in your calculations performed in this procedure. STEP 2 Shut off all gas appliances in the home. Do not shut off the pilot lights to any appliances. The only gas appliance that should be operating in this test is the gas furnace. Set the blower to operate at cooling speed during heat mode operation.

3 STEP 3 Install a gas pressure manometer onto the furnace manifold pressure tap. STEP 4 CATEGORY 1 FORCED AIR FURNACE FOR INDOOR INSTALLATION ONLY IN A BUILDING CONSTRUCTED ON-SITE INSTALLATION ELECTRIC 115 V. 60 HZ 1 PH, MAXIMUM TOTAL INPUT 8.5 AMPS FACTORY EQUIPPED FOR NATURAL GAS EQUIPPED WITH NO. 45 DRILL SIZE ORIFICE NATURAL GAS PROPANE HOURLY INPUT RATING MANIFOLD PRESSURE INCHES W.C. (KPA) INCHES W.C. PO/ (KPA) BTUH/H (KW) 3.5 (87) 80,000 (23.44) MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE GAS SUPPLY PRESSURE TO FURNACE MINIMUM GAS SUPPLY PRESSURE FOR PURPOSES OF INPUT ADJUSTMENT LOW INPUT LIMIT SETTING DESIGN MAXIMUM Call for heat. Make sure all furnace stages are calling for heat and the burners are operating at high fire rate. Check manifold pressure versus the nameplate requirement. Make adjustment as needed. STEP 5 With the furnace operating at high fire rate, go to the home s gas meter. Time the number of seconds it takes for the gas meter small scale to complete one revolution on the dial. STEP 6 Determine the scale of the dial on the gas meter. The scale needs to be found so that total cubic feet of natural gas entering the home can be found using the chart on the next page.

4 STEP 7 GAS FLOW IN CUBIC FEET PER HOUR 2 CUBIC FOOT DIAL Sec. Flo Sec. Flo Sec. Flo Sec. Flo Plot time measured on the chart to determine cubic feet of gas being burned by the furnace per hour. For 1 Cu. Ft. Dial: Gas Flow CFH = Chart Flow Reading divided by 2 For ½ Cu. Ft. Dial: Gas flow CFH = Chart Flow Reading divided by 4 For example if it took 36 seconds for 1 revolution of the gas meter dial and the dial was a 1 cubic foot dial, the cubic foot used is 200 divided by 2 = 100 cubic feet of fuel per hour. STEP 8 36 seconds = 200 cubic feet per hour/2 36 seconds = 100 cubic feet per hour 100 x 1050 = 105,000 BTUH Input Multiply the cubic feet of gas burned per hour by the heat content value obtained from the gas supplier. (1050 BTU default average) The answer is BTUH INPUT to the furnace. For example, lets say we timed 36 seconds per revolution on a 1 Cu. Ft. dial, the furnace is an 80% furnace. STEP 9 Assume an 80% efficient furnace. 105,000 BTUH Input x.80 = 84,000 BTUH Output Multiply BTUH Input obtained in step 7 by furnace efficiency to determine BTUH Output. Now that BTUH Output is known, the temperature rise that occurs across the gas furnace can be taken with the furnace operating in heating mode. The indoor blower motor must be running at the cooling speed during this portion of the procedure. Place the blower speed tap to operate at cooling speed during heat mode operation by switching motor leads at the indoor furnace control board terminals for fan speed selection.

5 Determining Temperature Rise A temperature rise must be taken by the technician. It is recommended to use the same thermometer for measuring supply air and return air temperatures. The supply air temperature should be taken out of direct sight of furnace heat exchangers. (18 inches away from supply air plenum). The temperature difference between the supply air and return air temperatures is called the Delta T. STEP 1 Tools: Thermometer Configure the furnace to run at cooling speed in the heating mode. With all stages of heat calling, measure the return air and the supply air temperature. Take the supply air temperature reading out of direct sight of heat exchangers. A good rule is 18 inches away from the supply air plenum. STEP 2 Return Air = 70 F Supply Air = 120 F Delta T = 50 F Determine the temperature difference between the return air and supply air. This difference is called the Delta T. Applying the Temperature Rise Method to Determine Airflow With all information gathered properly (BTUH output & temperature difference), the indoor air volume in CFM may be determined. The altitude correction factor must be found to complete the information gathering needed to find CFM. The table is shown here. It lists altitude correction factors for various altitudes above sea level. Correction Altitude Factor < To determine CFM, divide the BTUH Output divided by (Temperature Difference Times Altitude Correction Factor (ACF)) CFM = BTUH Output Temp. Diff. x ACF

6 Lets use our previous examples to find the amount of air volume being produced by a gas furnace. In our examples we had a furnace that had an input of 105,000 BTUH operating at 80% efficiency. The BTUH Input of the furnace was multiplied by the efficiency which indicated: Furnace output = 84,000 BTUH The supply air was 120 F and the return air was 70 F. Temperature Difference = 50 F The altitude is 600 ft. From the altitude correction table we find a correction factor of Multiply the temperature difference by the altitude correction factor. For this example we are at an altitude of 600 ft. The altitude correction factor from the table is Temperature Difference = 50 F x 1.08 = 54 The air volume being produced by the furnace is found by performing this simple math equation: 84, = 1556 CFM NOTE: If the air volume is too high or too low It is highly unlikely that measured air volume will exactly match the 400 CFM per 1 ton of cooling capacity requirement. Acceptable ranges of air volume are between a low of 350 CFM CFM per ton of cooling capacity. If air volume is too high, select the next lowest fan speed and recalculate temperature rise to find the new CFM. If the air volume is too low, increase the fan speed and repeat the temperature rise portion of the equation and find new CFM. If the fan speed taps are at their highest setting and air volume is too low, diagnose the cause of low heat load on the evaporator coil in the Diagnostic Chapter. Three Phase Heaters: Formula for BTUH Output Although not found in residential homes, you may encounter a 3 phase heater and wish to calculate BTUH Output. The formula is slightly different than single phase heaters. Volts * Amps * * 1.73 = BTUH OUTPUT Summary Temperature Rise Method The formula for both methods is the same. The method of determining BTUH Output is different. Clocking the meter and just multiplying BTUH input times efficiency to determine CFM for gas furnaces is not an exact measurement. Take temperature measurements on the supply air side out of direct sight of heaters. (18 in from air supply plenum)

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