Sizing Up Equipment Selection for Energy Efficiency

Wed, Dec 07, 2016 @ 02:19 / by Guest Post by Klas C. Haglid, P.E., R.A., CEM, BPE, Inc.® posted in ASHRAE, Energy Savings, HVAC, energy efficiency, indoor air quality

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Energy Recovery Ventilators Can Enhance Indoor Air Quality While Saving Energy and Money

FRESH AIR FUNDAMENTALS. Fresh air being key to good health, it's a shame we cannot rely on the supply and quality of our indoor air these days. Thanks to technology, our building envelopes - the physical separation between the interior and exterior of a structure - have grown significantly tighter. One hundred years ago people enjoyed generous amounts of OA (Outside Air) flowing through gaps in doors, windows, joints, and cracks. A cool draft through an old building was typical and necessary for a good ghost story. However, the cost of energy and technology has changed our perspective on drafts as well as mechanically cooled or heated air. We don't want to pay extra to heat or cool more air than we have to due to excessive outdoor air coming in or conditioned air leaving the building before delivering its full potential. Tighter envelopes lessen the avenues for air entry and escape in order to achieve energy savings. So ... tighter envelopes that reduce energy costs as well as the amount of emissions fleeing into the atmosphere is a good thing, yes? Naturally, but as with most things, you can have too much of a good thing.

According to the EPA, "Indoor levels of pollutants may be 2 to 5 times - and occasionally more than 100 times - higher than outdoor pollutant levels {and} have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health."

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