Modified air circulation: energy savings and indoor air quality

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ConferenceACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings 2006, American Council for an Energy Effiicient Economy: 13 August 2006, Pacific Grove, CA., U.S.A.
Pages18293; # of pages: 90
SubjectAir quality
AbstractAn experiment at the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology (CCHT) showed that most of the energy savings achieved by more efficient furnace fan motors can be obtained by using low-cost, commercially available, programmable fan controllers with standard (PSC) motors. Energy efficient fan motors (brushless DC, or ECM) can save up to 75% of fan energy, but they are expensive, and retrofits to existing furnaces are not practical. The fan controllers are easy to install in houses with standard fan motors. The identical CCHT houses have mid-efficiency gas-fired furnaces with PSC motors. The experimental house was fitted with a fan controller while the control house continued to operate normally. Four different furnace fan schedules were run in the experimental house, and the consumption of furnace natural gas and electricity were monitored for several days in each schedule. To investigate possible effects on indoor air quality and comfort, carbon dioxide (CO2) was released in both houses, and CO2 levels and temperatures at several points were compared. The fan controller produced 49% to 65% reductions in furnace fan electricity, and 7% to 10% increases in furnace natural gas use, when compared with continuous circulation. This fuelswitching results in net savings to homeowners, and if the saved electricity is fossil fuel generated, it results in net reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. CO2 levels did increase, but remained well below Health Canada limits, and within levels generally observed in Canadian houses. There were no statistically significant differences in temperatures.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number49221
NPARC number20378314
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Record identifier8f0cb037-3b10-4941-8665-b123853a317d
Record created2012-07-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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