The impact of filter loading on residential hvac performance
Kruger, Abraham J.
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Buildings are the primary user of energy in the USA. Within homes, the heating, ventilation, and air condition (HVAC) system is the largest energy consumer. This study: (i) developed a new methodology for simulating filter loading in-situ; (ii) observed the impact of filter loading on AC performance in-situ; and (iii) provided a greater understanding of when a filter is “dirty” and should be replaced. Six central AC systems in the Atlanta metro-region were evaluated. Filter loading was simulated by installing the TrueFlow® airflow metering device and partially taping off the face at 3 different increments. This resulted in measurements at 5 discrete static pressures (no filter, TrueFlow, TrueFlow Taped one, TrueFlow Taped two, and TrueFlow Taped three). The pilot study found that as filter pressure drop increased, airflow rates generally decreased, resulting in higher differences in temperature across the evaporator coil (∆T). There was no observed correlation between absolute humidity across the evaporator coil and either filter pressure drop or system airflow. Overall, as airflow decreased so did sensible, latent, and total capacity. This research can inform decisions about filter replacement and be used to evaluate computer simulation models of HVAC performance.