HVAC Breaking News

Apr. 24, 2002: Study Examines Leaky Ducts, Air Handlers

April 24, 2002
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
COCOA, FL — According to a recent study conducted by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), most Central Florida homes waste energy through leaky air handlers and ducts. The amount of leakage in an average 2,000-sq-ft home can cost the homeowner 10% to 20% more in annual heating and cooling costs compared to an airtight system, says the center.

FSEC researchers discovered this while conducting a study measuring leakage of installed air handlers. The Florida Department of Community Affairs code division funded the study, titled “Field Testing to Characterize the Airtightness and Operating Pressures of Residential Air Handlers.”

FSEC researchers Chuck Withers and Jim Cummings — along with help from Janet MacIlvaine, Jeff Sonne, and Matt Lombardi — measured air handler and duct leakage in 30 homes built last year in Central Florida.

The group found leakage in ductwork was higher than expected. Withers said he was disappointed that “after several years of educating and training many contractors about the severity of duct leakage, we are still finding significant amounts of duct leakage in the homes.”

FSEC also says that if contractors do a good job of sealing the ductwork, the air handling cabinet they purchase from the manufacturer can be leaky,

Wasting conditioned air isn’t the only problem resulting from a leaky system, according to the center. A leaky air handler in the garage can draw in car exhaust fumes or toxins from chemicals stored near it. According to the study, the average installed air handler cabinet allows 6% of the system’s airflow to leak in from the garage or attic. The best location for the entire system, ducts, and air handler is in the conditioned space, according to the study.

“The good news is there are test methods and qualified people to evaluate the overall efficiency of the air distribution system,” said Withers. “Most homeowners, even those who recently moved into new homes, may be well advised to take advantage of any utility or independent duct-sealing programs.”

Publication date: 04/22/2002

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

Recent Articles by James Siegel

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 MCAA Annual Convention

Scenes from the 2014 MCAA Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Podcasts

Kyle Gargaro, editor-in-chief of The NEWS, hosted the 2014 ACCA CEO Forum. At the event, six well-known, highly respected company executives, Gary Michel, Ingersoll Rand/Trane; Chris Nelson, Carrier Corp.; Chris Peel, Rheem Mfg. Co.; Rod Rushing, Johnson Controls; Brent Schroeder, Emerson Climate Technologies; and Doug Young, Lennox; provided individual industry outlooks and fielded questions directly from attending contractors. Listen to the entire event on the NEWSMakers podcast. Posted on April 14.

More Podcasts

THE MAGAZINE

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 04-14-14 cover

2014 April 14

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

SERVICE CALLS POLL

Which statement on service calls best applies to your business?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con