December 2003

Introducing the Tech Talk Newsletter
by Dave Fetters This is the first in a series of publications that will discuss topics of interest for all of our customers and potential customers. “Customers” include the family of employees within Hart & Cooley, as well as anyone with an interest in our products and services. Our aim is to emphasize education related to the HVAC industry. We will do this through the publication of our Tech Talk newsletter. As the name Tech Talk implies, we will present subjects of a technical nature, although we also may choose subjects that are not technical, but related. Every effort will be made to discuss topics in a way that is easy to understand. Your questions about the subject matter are welcome, as are suggestions for future topics. We encourage your participation. Feel free to comment about the effectiveness and depth of coverage of the subject matter. You may contact us through our web site at From the home page, click on “Contact Us” and then “E-mail Customer Service.” From the home page you also can click on “Site Map” and then “Comment/Question Form.” You may contact me directly as well at Some of the 40-plus topics that we have listed and will eventually cover are: Opposed-blade vs. multi-shutter dampers Louver performance and how to size them What does “Throw” mean and how to use it Repainting registers The information we need to help you size Type B gas vent The information we need to help you size grilles, registers and diffusers How to determine engineering data for sizes not shown in our catalog The difference between flexible duct and flexible connectors How we can help you deal with inspectors Helping you understand codes and standards Again, we want to assist you as much as we can, so please suggest topics that will help you with your work. You might consider placing copies of these bulletins in a convenient location for your employees and customers. We also encourage you to incorporate the topics of these bulletins within your own publications if appropriate.

January 2004

Type B Gas Vent Interconnection Fittings
by Dave Fetters Changes or additions to existing B vent systems sometimes require the installer to use new Hart & Cooley B vent with whatever brand is already in place. Appliance replacement, or building additions or modifications, may mandate adding more B vent to a system or changing what is in place. Since different brands of B vent have different locking designs and can produce different amounts of airspace between the inner and outer walls, a straightforward coupling of different brands is usually impossible. Although the inner diameters are universally the same nominal dimension, the outers may be different, preventing the necessary pipe overlap for a good connection. We wanted something other than a makeshift connection. We wanted a fitting that would allow the mixing of brands while providing a positive lock—a lock that meets Underwriters Laboratories Standard 441 for B vent. We wanted to prevent the use screws to hold the joint together, thus avoiding a potential source of noise. We wanted to be able to have other brands mate to our B vent at both the male and female ends. TT-02 We wanted to accommodate the most common sizes used. Hart & Cooley has UL-listed male and female interconnection adapters that meet these requirements. When speaking of these adapters, it is easy to confuse them. We speak of “male” adapters as those that adapt other brands to Hart & Cooley— “theirs-to-ours” in the direction of flue gas flow. So a male adapter will fit onto the male end of another brand heading away from the appliance. A “female” adapter, or “ours-to-theirs,” allows for the male end of Hart & Cooley pipe to adapt to the female end of another brand. Another way to remember which end is which is that flue gases flow into the female end and out the male end. We have an arrow on pipe that points toward the male end, showing the direction of flow of the flue gases. The chart on the reverse side of this newsletter, which appears in our Gas vent & chimney systems product catalog, lists the adapters that we offer. □
(continued on reverse side)

Hart & Cooley Adapter Model
Manufacturer Metalbestos Pipe Diameter 3" - 6" 7" - 8" 3" - 6" 7" - 8" 3" - 6" 7" - 8" 3" - 8" 7" - 8" 3" - 8" 7" - 8" Airspace 1/4" 1/4" 1/4" 1/2" 1/4" 1/2" 3/8" 3/8" 5/16" 5/16" Male RA or RPA RA RA or RPA RPA RA or RPA RPA RAA RAA RAA RAA Female RRA – RRA – RRA – RRA – RRA –





RA Male Adapter
adapts other brands of B vent to Hart & Cooley vent

RAA Male Adapter
adapts other brands of B vent to Hart & Cooley vent

RRA Female Adapter
adapts Hart & Cooley vent to other brands of B vent


March 2004

The Difference Between Flexible Air Ducts and Flexible Air Connectors
by Dave Fetters Flexible air ducts and flexible air connectors share many of the same traits, yet are different enough that they are uniquely separate products. All of the national codes share similar language, as represented by the International Mechanical Code, 2003 edition (paraphrased): Flexible air ducts and flexible air connectors, both metallic and nonmetallic, shall be tested in accordance with UL 181. Such ducts and connectors shall be listed and labeled as Class 0 or Class 1 flexible air ducts or flexible air connectors and shall be installed in accordance with the terms of their listing and the manufacturer’s installation instructions. It goes on to say: Flexible air ducts shall not be limited in length. Flexible air connectors shall be limited in length to 14 feet. Flexible air connectors shall not pass through any wall, floor, or ceiling. These last two entries define the primary difference between the two products. Air ducts must pass 15 UL tests, whereas connectors are not required to pass the flame penetration, puncture, or impact tests. All Hart & Cooley flexible ducts are insulated and have a rectangular label that shows the UL listing mark and clearly states that it is an air duct. Hart & Cooley flexible connectors have no insulation, but have a round label with the UL listing mark, the words “air connector,” and the words “For installation in length not over 14 ft.”

(continued on reverse side)

If flexible connector is used in an application, the 14-foot maximum installed length limit may not be increased by installing a splice at the end of a 14-foot length of connector. If a listed connector is used in an application that does not require the use of listed connectors, it could still be subject to the 14-foot length limitation. Whether or not Hart & Cooley-listed air connector may be used for bathroom or dryer vent is a common question. Subject to the 14-foot limitation stated above, our air connectors—whether listed or not, whether polyester or corrugated aluminum—may be used, provided the appliance manufacturer allows for its use in their installation instructions.

TT-04 April 2004

Spiral Diffuser Scoop Used as a Balancing Device
by Dave Fetters Hart & Cooley’s extruded aluminum spiral duct diffusers are available with an optional “scoop” air deflector, which helps funnel air flowing along the duct to exit at the diffuser. Without the scoop, depending on the system design, air having momentum along the duct may be reluctant to exit at the desired diffuser location or in the optimum amount. The scoop length is about 45% of the diffuser width (the dimension along the axis of the duct). It does not cover the full opening of the diffuser core area and, therefore, will not act as a volumecontrol damper with full shutoff capability. We did not want the scoop to be so long that it could easily reach the opposite side of the duct and disrupt downstream flow. The 2000 International Mechanical Code states: “Balancing dampers or other means of supply air adjustment (my underline) shall be provided in the branch ducts or at each individual duct register, grille, or diffuser.” Our scoop is not a damper in the traditional sense. However, the code clearly says “or other means,” so an add-on duct damper, an air-control grid, an air diverter, a flexiturn, or the spiral diffuser scoop would all comply as supply air adjustment means. Nowhere does the code imply that one needs 100% shutoff capability, only that air adjustment be provided. This requirement only applies to branch ducts. Main ducts do not have to meet this requirement.

TT-05 May 2004

Throw, Blow, Flow, Oh No!
by Dave Fetters Everyone has thrown a ball of some kind in their lifetime, and we generally pay attention to how far it traveled as a measure of our strength, accuracy, or overall abilities. We can see the result of our effort. Similarly, when air flows out of a supply register, we’d like to know the result. Since we cannot see what is happening (although we might be able to feel it), we use throw as one indicator of a register’s abilities. Throw is a measure of how far the supply air stream is blown into the room. Throw is measured in feet from the face of the register along the primary direction of flow. However, a throw distance is meaningless unless given a point of reference. By that I mean, “What is the air doing at the end of the designated throw?” Is it successfully mixing with room air to make the occupied space comfortable? To be mixing it has to be moving, but how fast? We use the term terminal velocity in conjunction with throw to describe what the air is doing at the end (or terminus) of the designated throw. A typical terminal velocity is 75 feet per minute (FPM). This means that no matter how fast the air is blown out of the register, the throw tells us, at that distance, that the air has slowed to 75 FPM. The supply air velocity measured at the register face determines how far the throw will be. The faster the air exits the face, the farther the air will travel into the room. The resistance of room air to the supplied air will cause the supply air to slow down. Eventually, the supply air will slow enough to become ineffective in mixing with room air. The point that air velocity becomes ineffective is called the terminal velocity. It is somewhat arbitrary, but generally ranges from 150 down to 50 FPM.
(continued on reverse side)

©2004 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

The distance from the face to where this terminal velocity occurs is the throw. Example: The engineering data for a sidewall supply register states that all throws are at a terminal velocity of 100 FPM. No matter what the face velocity is or how much air is being delivered, each throw is measured at the point where the supply air stream has slowed down to 100 FPM. If we would have used 75 FPM as the terminal velocity, the throws would have all been longer (farther from the face). At the register face where the throw is “0,” the velocity of the supplied air is highest. No matter what distance we choose to stop moving away from the face, there will always be a corresponding velocity that becomes less and less the farther away we move.

Always look for the stated terminal velocity in the engineering data when discussing throws. Terminal velocities will change depending on the type of product and the intended use. We may even show two or three throws for the same size product corresponding to different terminal velocities. As always, if you have questions, call us toll-free at 800.433.6341, check out our web site at, or send us an e-mail at

©2004 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-06 July 2004

Noise Criteria (NC) – Part 1
by Dave Fetters The selection of grilles, registers, or diffusers (GRDs) can sometimes be influenced by noise generated by airflow passing through the device. Many applications require a quiet environment where the designer wants to limit, or not add to, the background noise level by carefully choosing the air delivery product. Movie and recording studios, sound stages, libraries, concert halls, executive boardrooms, and churches all require attention to the noise criteria (abbreviated as NC) for GRDs. NC is a single-number designation that gives us a comparable reference of how loud a register will be at a certain CFM delivery. Usually, a single NC number is assigned to a particular style and size of a register at a fixed airflow rate. Any change in the size or style of GRD, as well as to the airflow rate, will affect the NC rating. The NC number is a simplified approach to acoustics—the study of sound. The terminology and technology used to measure sound is cumbersome for those of us who don’t work with it on a regular basis. Therefore, NC was conceived to provide uncomplicated information to meet acoustic design goals without having to resort to sound consultants. It is not, however, a perfect number for giving us a total picture of the acoustic environment. For instance, NC does not tell us anything about the frequency at which the “loudest” sound occurred. Except for rooms where sound intensity and sound quality are critical to the occupancy, NC is adequate for the majority of HVAC work. The velocity of the air passing through the various styles of faces influences sound levels attributed to GRDs. Additional influence on potential sound is determined by whether dampers are installed or not, the damper settings, the blade deflection settings, and GRD
(continued on reverse side)

©2004 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

location. But the biggest influence is the air velocity. As velocity increases, the noise criteria will likely increase at a faster rate. Doubling the velocity can more than double the NC rating. Sometimes, system noise is unfairly blamed on the register. System noise of rumble, hiss, whistle, whine, and vibration are generated by pumps, fans, compressors, combustion, motors, and turbulent airflow in poorly designed ductwork, and this noise is conducted by ductwork and/or radiated from the system. A quick check of whether the register is contributing to the overall noise spectrum can be made by removing it from its mounting location while the system is operating and comparing the sound levels. Many of Hart & Cooley’s GRDs have NC ratings in the engineering data tables. For those products that do not have NC, there is a table in our catalog and on our web site of recommended maximum velocities that should be considered to ensure low noise based on occupancies. Next month we will continue with Part II of this discussion.

©2004 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-07 August 2004

Noise Criteria (NC) – Part 2
by Dave Fetters
As we indicated last month, grille, register, or diffuser (GRD) selection and sizing are often influenced by the potential noise the product is likely to make when air is flowing through it. Noise and Sound: We need to be careful about terms and definitions here. The word noise and the word sound are often and incorrectly used as one and the same. Noise is an undesired sound. Noise is erratic, intermittent, or random, and interferes with normal room activity. Sound, on the other hand, is perceived or “heard” as comfortable, wanted, or at least not annoying, not too loud, and relatively constant as it blends into the background and/or has pleasing qualities to it. Sound is noise if it is too loud, unexpected, annoying, uncontrolled, occurs at the wrong time, or is unpleasant—you get the picture. One person’s loud stereo system is “wanted sound” to him, but to his neighbor at bedtime it is unwanted, undesired, too loud, and therefore noise. Noise is usually (but not always) inclusive of most frequencies at the same time. Frequency (tone or pitch) is a method of categorizing sound. Low frequency sounds rumble, even vibrate or rattle, like thunder. High frequency sounds include hiss, whine or buzz. Examples of pleasant sounds are wind chimes or stereo music that is soothing, water lapping against a sailboat hull, or a light breeze rustling leaves in a tree. A motorcycle has a satisfying “sound” to its rider. Boisterous conversation is an enjoyable sound to the participants, but may be unwanted noise to someone seated nearby. A crying newborn is probably a satisfying sound (and a relief) to the mother, while to the uninterested, noise. The perception of sound is influenced by loudness (magnitude). A noise can be less harsh than a sound that is too loud. Niagara Falls is a loud noise of complex tones, but it’s enjoyable. The electronic hum of a poorly working computer is a sound of a simple tone that can be very annoying if the office is otherwise quiet. Orchestras can be very loud, but the music is anticipated and, therefore, a pleasant sound. Jet engines at close range are very loud and unpleasant. A mosquito buzz isn’t loud, but it is a noise that equates to an unpleasant experience.

©2004 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

How we perceive sound is also influenced by the frequency. Humans can stand louder sounds at low frequencies than at high frequencies. The duration or how long a sound lasts influences a person’s reactions to it as does how often it occurs. Unfortunately, it is hard to predict in any precise way peoples’ response to sound. It is part physiological and part psychological; it depends on the situation, and it depends on the individual. The NC number we use for our products is a simplified approach to acoustics—the study of sound. Our concern in the HVAC arena is to limit the background interference of whatever human activity is taking place. A noise criteria chart has been developed to show lines of “constant loudness” as the human ear would perceive it. The plot on the chart below is typical of a “sound room test” result we might see

from a particular register at a single airflow rate. The highest NC number generated is 30 determined by the highest penetration of octave band level into the curves. Even though it occurs at 1000 Hertz, the NC doesn’t tell us anything about the frequency. It only gives us an idea of the relative loudness. So even though we spend considerable time measuring sound in our reverberation chamber at different airflows and frequencies for each size and model of product, the end result is still the singlenumber “NC.” NC does not address acoustical quality properties, such as whether the background noise generated by the register will be annoying (rumble, hiss, machinery noise, or vibrations), only whether the background noise will noticeably interfere with sounds people want to hear, such as speech.

©2004 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-08 September 2004

Sizing a Register or Diffuser
by Dave Fetters Conceptually, choosing a supply register or diffuser would seem to be straightforward, and most of the time it is. There are a number of influences that could affect the choice. Putting emphasis on one influence over the others will alter the outcome, but much depends on one’s priorities. It’s like pouring various ingredients into a blender and ending up with a flavored drink. Too much of one ingredient will dominate the taste. Some selection options for choosing a register will be more important than others, thus influencing the model and size. Some of the possible input criteria for making a selection are: CFM Face velocity Throw Pressure loss Noise criteria Mounting location Heating/cooling/both Looks Availability Price Style Size limitation Material New/replacement In practice, one’s experience, geographical location, and the type of occupancy or activity in the space under consideration may eliminate some variables, such as mounting location, heating or cooling or both, availability, style, and material like steel, aluminum, or even plastic. Ceiling Diffuser For this initial discussion of sizing a supply register or diffuser, we will narrow the selection criteria to only CFM, face velocity, and throw, which will minimize unnecessary complications. The location is a ceiling, and a circular or 4-way pattern is required. A circular ceiling diffuser, such as our #16, is one possible choice.

©2004 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

The chart below is the engineering data for Hart & Cooley’s #16 round ceiling diffuser. With a requirement of 120 CFM, there are a number of choices for a size that can deliver this airflow. A 6-inch diameter will deliver 120 CFM at a face velocity of 900 feet per minute (FPM) and a radial throw of 5 feet. An 8-inch will also deliver 120 CFM, but at a reduced face velocity (and quieter delivery) of about 530 FPM and a throw of approximately 4 feet. And lastly, a 10-inch will have a face velocity of 350 FPM and a throw of 3 feet. Given the three potential choices, think about throw as the next selection criteria. The greatest throw comes with the highest face velocity, but don’t forget that the same high face velocity may cause some background noise that might be bothersome if used in a library as opposed to a room with a higher level of activity. Increasing face velocity will intensify the pressure loss. (Doubling the velocity will quadruple the pressure loss!)

This simple table allows for a visual interpolation of data. A more precise method is to use the relationship: CFM = Face Velocity x Area The “Area” (in square feet) for each size is the “Ak” number listed under each diameter. For instance, to find the face velocity of the 10-inch at our stated 120 CFM requirement, divide 120 by the Area: CFM ÷ Area = Face Velocity or 120 ÷ .345 = 348 FPM face velocity. Another ceiling diffuser to consider is the A504. This product is square and made of aluminum, providing an alternative when looks and material become selection criteria. I consider this example an “introduction” to sizing a supply diffuser. In future editions, we will study examples where we must choose the register or diffuser based on more stringent performance limitations, as well as examples that require narrowing a choice of product by prioritizing many of the selection criteria.

Engineering Data for 16 Round Ceiling Diffuser
Face Velocity Pressure Loss 6" CFM Throw Ak .135 8" CFM Throw Ak .225 10" CFM Throw Ak .345 12" CFM Throw Ak .500 14" CFM Throw Ak .625 18" CFM Throw Ak 1.04 300 .006 400 .010 55 2.5 90 3.0 140 3.5 200 4.0 250 4.5 415 6.0 500 .016 65 3.0 115 3.5 175 4.5 250 5.0 315 5.5 520 7.0 600 .022 80 3.5 135 4.5 210 5.0 300 6.0 375 6.5 625 8.5 700 .031 95 4.0 160 5.0 240 6.0 350 7.5 440 8.0 730 10.0 800 .040 105 4.5 180 5.5 275 7.0 400 8.5 500 9.0 830 11.5 900 .050 120 5.0 200 6.5 310 8.0 450 9.0 565 10.0 935 13.0 1000 .062 135 5.5 225 7.0 345 8.5 500 10.5 625 11 1040 14.5

70 2.0 105 2.5 150 3.0 190 3.5 310 4.5

Terminal Velocity of 50 FPM

©2004 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-09 October 2004

Return Grille Locations
by Dave Fetters Return grilles or filter grilles are just as important to the HVAC system as the supply side products. Return air volume to the air handler must equal the supply air volume pumped out by the fan, or system performance will suffer. Air will not readily flow into a room from a register unless there is a relief opening for the “stale” air to flow out. This could be as simple as having the door open to a small room for air to drift out to an adjacent room that has a return grille. Door grilles, or “transfer grilles” as they are sometimes called, allow room air to flow out of the room if the door is closed most of the time, A common misunderstanding is that return grilles have a dramatic effect on room air distribution. In fact the opposite is true based on laboratory research. Return airflow has a negligible effect on room air patterns because of its low-capture velocity. This means that the sphere of influence, or the area affected by the return grille, is limited to a little over one duct diameter away from the face. Within this short distance, the air is captured and pulled into the grille. Outside this immediate area, the capture velocity is so low and otherwise doesn’t have its own return grille. Bathrooms and janitor’s closets in some commercial buildings are examples.

©2004 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

as to be ineffective in influencing room air motion. Since the airflow approaches the grille from all directions, its velocity decreases rapidly as the distance from the opening increases. In other words, a return grille will not “reach out into the room” and pull the room air toward itself. There is a preferred location for returns and that is in an area called the “stagnant zone.” This is an area in the room that is outside the influence of the supply register where room air motion is inactive except for natural convection. When heating is the primary requirement, the stagnant area will be close to the floor where the coolest air will gather. Thus, the coldest air will be delivered back to the heating appliance. If cooling is the priority, the stagnant area will be the warm air that gathers near the ceiling that should be removed first and returned to the cooling coils. For a combination heating and cooling system, the preferred location for the returns will meet the requirements of one of the seasons, but will only be a compromise for the other. The designer needs to

weigh whether heating or cooling is more important and place returns accordingly. Even though for the remaining season the returns are not ideally placed, the performance will be more than adequate. Return air face velocity depends somewhat on the environment and grille design. Stamped, louver-faced residential returns like our 650 or 672 should be limited to about 600 feet per minute (FPM) as a rule of thumb. Commercial “assembled” returns can stand velocities up to 1000 FPM if the room background noise allows. Filter returns that use throw-away fiberglass disposable filters should limit the face velocity to 400 FPM. The maximum rating for these types of filters is usually 500 FPM, beyond which their ability to remove dirt from the air stream diminishes rapidly.

©2004 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-10 November 2004

Chimney Liner Applications and Limitations
by Dave Fetters Hart & Cooley manufactures an aluminum, corrugated chimney liner system that is Underwriters Laboratories tested and listed. It may only be used with natural or propane gas-fired Category I appliances listed for use with Type B gas vent. This aluminum is the same alloy and thickness as the liner in our UL-listed B vent. This liner system may not be used with liquid (oil) or solid (wood or coal) fuelfired equipment. Our UL listing allows the liner to be installed in new or existing masonry chimneys, as well as existing, but unused, factory-built chimneys and B vents. The liner may touch the interior surfaces of these flues. An incorrectly built masonry chimney that does not have the required two-inch airspace to combustibles (direct contact instead) may also be used with this liner without further safety concerns because of lack of airspace clearances. When we introduced the chimney liner product line several years ago, we “required” that masonry chimneys with at least one wall exposed to the outdoors be relined with Type B gas vent instead of chimney liner. At the time, we were being cautious, knowing that in order to vent properly chimney liners must heat up quickly and stay warm. We felt that chimneys exposed to cold air temperatures may become too cold to work properly, resulting in poor venting

©2004 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

and condensation within the liner. However, after several years of experience, we found that proper venting is usually achieved with liners in exposed masonry chimneys. Therefore, although we still “recommend” that Type B gas vent be used in these instances, we don’t “require” it. Insulating chimney liners is another method that helps assure proper venting. Additional steps to help prevent condensation are: Proper sizing using the dedicated sizing tables in our instructions, or the required 20% reduction in capacity if using B vent sizing tables. Proper combustion air openings. Venting with a draft hoodequipped appliance. Using as much B vent as possible to line the vertical portions of an exterior chimney. As with any chimney or vent product, follow our installation instructions and the applicable codes to ensure a safe and troublefree installation.

©2004 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-11 January 2005

Information Required to Size B-Vent
by Dave Fetters We are often asked to size B-Vent installations to address performance issues with an existing vent system and/or to satisfy the requirements of the Fuel Gas Code. In order to perform a thorough evaluation of the vent system, which includes compliance with the Fuel Gas Code, we require some installation specifics. For a single-appliance vent system, we need: • The type of appliance—water heater with draft hood, mid-efficiency (80% or fan-assisted combustion) furnace, or boiler • BTU input • Special appliance configurations, if any (motorized damper, 2-stage firing, etc.) • Vent height measured from the appliance collar to the cap • A description of any offsets (angle and length between elbows) • Whether the connector is singlewall or B-Vent • Collar size is optional, but helpful For a multiple-appliance (two or more) vent system on the same level, we need: • The types of appliances (see above) • BTU input of each appliance

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

• Special appliance configurations (see above) • Common vent height measured from the tallest appliance collar to the cap • Common vent offset angle and distance between elbows • The spacing between appliances and their locations relative to the vertical portion of the vent • Whether the desire for connectors and manifold is for single-wall or B-Vent • Rise and number of elbows for each appliance connector • Collar sizes are optional, but helpful A system sketch is very helpful and provides a forum for notes and a signature from a Hart & Cooley engineer. Not having all the information forces us to call for the missing data, adding to the turnaround time. Incomplete information may limit our choices of venting options.

A multi-story sizing request should always include a sketch. Besides the appliance types and inputs, the appliance location dimensions must include the horizontal distances of all appliances on each floor from the common vertical vent and the relative locations of the interconnection tees on each floor. There are definitions and sizing examples of single-appliance, multiple-appliance, and multi-story venting in our Gas vent, chimney sizing & application guide. These examples will help you understand the information we require to size a system properly. The sizing guide is available from our web site at You may contact us with B-Vent sizing needs by telephone, mail, fax, or by e-mail (through our web site). Please include your name, phone number and fax number on your sketch.

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-12 February 2005

210 Floor Register/265 Grille
by Dave Fetters These companion products have been part of the Hart & Cooley product line since 1947! Many other products have come and gone, but these have endured. The Model 210 floor register is the one with the air-volume control damper attached. The Model 265 is a grille, or “face only,” air-volume control damper and has no damper. Part of the explanation for their longevity is due to the robust construction. There are not many products these days that haven’t undergone some kind of costreduction program, with one end result being the use of thinner steel. There is a continuing need for floor registers and grilles in length and width dimensions larger than our floor diffuser Models 531, 421, and 411. These products are limited in lengths to 14 inches and widths to 6 inches. Our linear series are not limited in length, but for constant foot traffic are limited to 8 inches wide. As the size of a floor product increases in both length and width, the strength must be there to meet the demands of foot traffic and code compliance. The 210 is the answer!

Model 210

Model 265

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

Another reason these are popular is because of our ability to build nonstandard sizes of width and height. There are practical limitations of increasing size, however. Handling and shipping immediately come to mind. As strong as these products may be, one still needs to consider the end use. They are not meant to support fork trucks or grand piano legs, only humans walking over them. Another consideration is that if the International Mechanical Code is enforced, it requires floor registers to resist, without failure, a 200pound concentrated load on a 2-inch diameter disc applied to the most critical area of the exposed face, usually the center. Although we do not punch mounting holes in the margin of these products, an installer may want to drill mounting holes for wall mounting in “high activity” areas where the products may be subject to damage—school hallways, gymnasiums, and social centers for example. In spaces where the installation is readily accessible and tampering with the damper may be an unintended result, consider using the Model 265 grille, then there is no damper that can be changed.

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-13 March 2005

Fusible-link Dampers
by Dave Fetters Most of us understand what a fuse is, at least as it relates to electricity— a safety device that fails and interrupts the circuit if the current becomes too great. An old-style fuse would melt an encapsulated wire or metal strip due to heat build-up as the current exceeded the fuse’s rating. The fuse will no longer conduct electricity after failing. Today, however, most of us have circuit breakers. We are going to apply this concept of an old-style fuse to a register damper. One form of a fusible link is a set of overlapping metal tabs with holes at each end for attachment purposes that will separate into two pieces at a preset temperature. These overSpecifically, Hart & Cooley’s fusible link is about an inch long with a standard temperature rating of 165°F or an optional link with a 212°F rating. We use these on only some of our steel multi-shutter equipped registers like the 661 or 682. When the air temperature passing over the link approaches the lapping tabs are held together with precision solder that is temperaturespecific. A fusible-link damper is the result of mounting a fusible link to the damper of a register. The end result is a register damper that is fully operational as one would expect, but has the added benefit of closing if the temperature becomes too hot.

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

rated temperature of the link, the link will open (fail), allowing a spring-loaded mechanism to slam the damper shut and hold it shut. The register is reusable by installing a replacement link. The links we use are Underwriters Laboratories-listed components. This means only the link has a UL listing. Our use of one of these fusible links on a register does not transfer a listing of any kind to the damper. These fusible-link registers are not fire dampers and cannot pass the UL requirements for listing. They should never be substituted for a listed fire damper. The 661 and 682 in limited sizes with metal handle are the only fusible-link (FL) registers that we offer.

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-14 April 2005

Effective Area vs. Free Area
by Dave Fetters What are effective area and free area as they apply to grilles, registers and diffusers? What are the differences between these two areas and how are they used in our industry? Effective area, given the abbreviation Ak (pronounced “A sub k”), is the area of the register, grille, or diffuser in square feet that is utilized by the air flowing through it. This is a calculated figure that can only be determined in our laboratory. It is used in the equation: CFM = Face Velocity x Ak It is calculated by carefully measuring the Airflow Rate in Cubic Feet per Minute or CFM, and the Face Velocity in Feet per Minute or FPM. We then divide the Flow Rate by the Face Velocity (Ft³/Min) divided by Ft/Min = Ft². The result is the effective area (Ak) in square feet. Notice that all the units match; that is, both sides of the equation use “feet” and “minutes.” You have seen this relationship before in TECH TALK TT-08, and you will be seeing it again in future discussions. The engineering data tables for all of our products are based on this relationship. In use, the actual CFM delivered by one of our products can be determined by measuring the average face velocity and multiplying it times the Ak for that size product found in our catalog Engineering Data. Free area is the sum of the areas of all the spaces between the bars or fins of a grille measured in square inches. It is sometimes called the

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“see-through” area. If you were to measure the area inside the margin of a register face and then subtract out the area of all the bars, free area would result. Free area is different for each style of product. Rarely can a simple reduction in percentage of the listed size be applied to a grille to find its free area. There is no single formula that applies, either. Every product has a different set of input dimensions for calculating free area. When air flows through the bars or louvers of a product, it is compressed slightly between the bars, and there is some friction as the air makes contact with the bars as it flows past. This has the result of reducing the total area available for the air to pass through. Effective area is usually less than free area for the same product because of these reasons. If the engineering data of both supplies and returns use Ak, what is the need for free area? The answer is that some velometer manufacturers ask the user to use free area multiplied by the measured instrument reading. (Hopefully, they ask that this area be converted to square feet.)

Some national codes, like the International Mechanical Code and the National Fuel Gas Code, also talk about the square inch “net free area” of grilles used to supply combustion air to gas-fired appliances in enclosed spaces. Again, free areas are commonly asked for and given in square inches, whereas Ak or effective area is always given in square feet. One can convert square feet to square inches by multiplying square feet by 144 (1 square foot = 144 square inches). The reverse is possible by dividing square inches by 144 to get square feet.

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-15 May 2005

Sweating of T-Bar Ceiling Diffusers
by Dave Fetters Each year during the summer season, we receive a number of calls about moisture forming on the faces of our T-bar diffusers or on adjacent T-bars and dripping into the space below. In the industry this is commonly called “sweating.” Moisture that drips into an occupied space is annoying, and will eventually cause rust to form on steel diffuser faces and adjacent T-bars. Sweating occurs more in southern states that border the coasts or in parts of the country that experience high humidity levels as a regular occurrence. Business activities that rely on people coming and going, like fast-food restaurants, seem to be the most susceptible. The doors are regularly opened, Sweating occurs on diffusers when warm, moist room air contacts the cold diffuser face through aspiration (drawn by suction) when the supply air temperature is at or below the dew point temperature. Dew point is the temperature at which condensation (moisture formation) begins to take place. Most of us have walked outdoors on a warm and humid summer day carrying a cold drink. It doesn’t take long before the outside of the glass becomes wet. Moisture is allowing the hot, humid outside air to sneak in. This begs for the airconditioning system to run longer and colder, trying to maintain a reasonable inside temperature.

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

condensing from the air onto the colder surface of the glass. The same thing is happening at the ceiling diffuser. Moisture can also form on the cold back panel of a T-bar diffuser if the temperature in the ceiling space is hot and humid. This moisture often runs down to the T-bar edges and drips from there. In an HVAC system, the occurrence of sweating on a diffuser or T-bar is the symptom of a system problem. Removing a rusty, dripping diffuser and replacing it with an aluminum model will not make the problem go away. The aluminum diffuser will sweat; it just won’t rust. The problem is that the supply air temperature is lower than it should be for the current conditions of temperature and humidity. Banks and similar public buildings are other examples of spaces where sweating occurs because of the high volume of walk-in traffic and the number of times the door opens, letting in hot, humid outside air. What can be done to minimize sweating in an existing system? One of the keys is to decrease ∆T – the difference between room

temperature and the supply air temperature. Doing this while still meeting the load requirements demands an increase in CFM. If the air-conditioning unit is cycling, switch to constant running. Look for restricted return airflow because of undersized returns or dirty filters. Are the coils clean? If the unit is shut down at night, consider running at partial load to prevent high humidity and room temperatures at start-up. Is there excess outside air mixing with the return air? We don’t claim to be experts in system troubleshooting and problem solving; therefore, we recommend seeking guidance from a qualified HVAC contractor to solve a sweating problem. We address the issue because the sweating manifests itself first on our diffusers, giving a false impression that the diffuser is at fault.

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-16 June 2005

Louver Performance and How to Size Them
by Dave Fetters

Regular readers of this publication have seen the mathematical relationship: CFM = Velocity x Area (Oh no, here he goes again!) This equation will always apply whenever we speak of moving an amount of air through one of our products. As before, the volume flow rate (cubic feet per minute or CFM) equals the velocity (feet per minute or FPM) times the area (square feet or FT²) of the product it is flowing through. Let’s apply this to the Hart & Cooley line of extruded aluminum stationary louvers. Customers generally have an idea of how much air (CFM) needs to be transferred through a louver and ask for assistance with sizing. “Sizing” a louver means to find a size that has

an area in square feet sufficient to pass the required quantity of air. Therefore, we need to solve the equation for area to determine the size. The equation above requires two out of three factors to be “known” to calculate a value for the third “unknown.” In order to find the correct “size,” the CFM and velocity must be known for us to determine the required area. When a customer wants to size a louver and only tells us the CFM, we have to ask “At what velocity?” Since velocity is related to pressure loss, we could arrive at a suitable velocity based on a planned pressure loss. (We will save this discussion for another issue of Tech Talk.) Hopefully you get the idea that somehow we have to determine a face velocity. The rest is easy. CFM/Velocity = Area

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

Some recommended velocities for air intake, exhaust, or transfer are: Exterior 500 – 700 FPM, up to 1,000 FPM if noise and water infiltration are not considerations Interior 200 – 400 FPM for low pressure drop and low noise Example: Size a 1½" thick louver to exhaust 2,000 CFM from a mechanical room at 500 FPM. Solution: 2,000 CFM = 4 FT² 500FPM So, from an area chart for a 1530 louver (1½ inch thick with a 30° blade angle), a 42 x 30 is the proper size that provides at least 4 FT². If noise is not a factor, maybe a 900 FPM velocity would work. 2,000 CFM = 2.22 FT² 900 FPM For the same louver, a 30 x 24 is the correct size corresponding to this area.

Different louvers will have different areas for the same size because of differences in blade angle and depth of the blades. The area (in square feet) for the various louvers we offer, can be found in our Registers, grilles & diffusers product catalog and on our web site at:

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-17 August 2005

T-Bar Diffusers with Molded Fiberglass Back Panels
by Dave Fetters

Quite a few of the Hart & Cooley lay-in T-bar diffusers and return grilles use a molded fiberglass back panel or plenum. The molded fiberglass backs have some significant features. Bonded foil vapor barrier Prescored for different collar sizes UL 181 Erosion and Impact tested Meets ASTM E84 for 25/50 code compliance 4-inch deep cavity “R” values of 4.2 and 6 Approved for the city of Los Angeles Labeled with code information

Fiberglass back panels allow for the use of various collar styles like spin-in, tab-in, or our own 5400 Series Collar Ring (6-inch through 18-inch diameters). The use of the 5400 collar allows for the installation of our 3800, T19, or RD round dampers, either at the time of installation or later.

Fiberglass Back Panel NOTE: Attachment of molded fiberglass back and 5400 collar requires 5400PP (push pins).

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

The 5400 collar was originally designed for, and is still used on, our metal-backed T-bar products like the HVS/FPD and others. As such, it comes with four small plastic push pins that 5400 Collar snap into the prepunched holes in the metal plenum. If one chooses to use the 5400 collar with the fiberglass back panel, a different but similar mounting system is employed. Cut the four small plastic push pins off of the 5400 collar plate. Cut a hole in the fiberglass back panel to match the collar size. Lay the 5400 collar on the back panel. Punch holes in the back panel with a screwdriver or awl using the plate holes as a template. Push the 5400PP push pins up through the back panel holes from the inside and through the holes in the plate. The large head on the black plastic push pins (5400PP part number 014525) should be snug against the fiberglass back on the inside, and the 5400PP Push Pin “Christmas tree” legs should grip the holes in the collar plate tightly.

This collar attachment system works for the following products.








©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-18 September 2005

Repainting Grilles, Registers and Diffusers
by Dave Fetters

Since we are often asked how to repaint our registers, the answer sounded like a good Tech Talk subject! Every part, whether it is made from steel, aluminum, or plastic, whether painted or anodized, can be repainted. A common starting point for any product is to ensure a clean surface. Paint will not stick to a dusty or greasy surface. Just wipe off a dusty surface with a clean, dry cloth. If grease or a similar contaminate is present, clean with a mild dish detergent or diluted alcohol to cut the grease, then dry thoroughly. DO NOT use aggressive chemical cleaners like lacquer thinner, MEK (methyl ethyl ketone), acetone, nail polish remover, PVC cleaner, bleach and the like, because they will eat into the existing paint or, on plastic, attack the surface.

Lightly rubbing the hard, glossy finish of our product with fine steel ® wool or a Scotch-Brite pad allows the new paint to adhere better. Priming is not required. A couple of light color coats are preferred over one heavy coat. Spraying will provide better coverage than brushing. Lacquer, latex, and urethane-, acrylic- or PVC-based paints all work, even on the REZZIN™ products. Krylon® Fusion and H2O™ work well. If spray lacquer will be used, be sure to shake the can well; otherwise, the thinners and paint in the can may not mix, and the result could damage the surface to be painted.

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-19 October 2005

Alternate Sizing of the 821/831/92/HV Series Registers
by Dave Fetters

We publish a significant amount of performance data for the series of products listed above. We also duplicate the data for the sizes shown in the tables for four different deflections, since the blades in the register face are individually adjustable. The sizes listed in the tables cover a range of popular rectangular products, but by no means the full extent of the sizes we can build. In addition, we do not show data for square sizes or for those with a width less than the height. For instance, the extruded aluminum HD series can be built in any 2-inch dimension from 4 x 4 to 48 x 48—more than 500 combinations! Obviously, we cannot publish performance data for all these sizes. How can you determine performance for a size not listed (without calling us, of course)?

The last page of the Engineering Data at the back of our Registers, grilles & diffusers catalog shows an “Alternate Sizing Graph” for these products. This graph provides a method of using “equal areas” to find a listed size that has the same approximate performance as the desired size that is not listed. Testing indicates that by varying the dimensions of a grille while maintaining the same area, there is little effect on the airflow. The relationship of the width to the height of a grille is called the aspect ratio. A 16 x 12, which is not shown in our data, is approximately equivalent to a 24 x 8 in performance, which is shown even though the aspect ratio has changed. We have just determined the performance of our desired size by looking at a listed size with equivalent performance.

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

When performing these comparisons, remember to stay with the same blade deflection represented by our designations A, C, E, or G. These deflections are described at the very back of our catalog near the alternate sizing graph. The same alternate sizing can be accomplished by using a calculator through trial and error. The numbers don’t always come out perfectly. For example, let’s say we are locked into a retrofit size register of 14 inches wide by 22 inches high, and we want to find out how it will perform at various face velocities. 14 x 22 = 308 square inches We now need to divide 308 by various widths appearing in our performance data to find a depth that is close to a size that is listed. I started by dividing 308 by 20 and got 15.4, which doesn’t match anything. I tried 24, 30, and 36 as well and found that at 30 inches wide, I got 10.26 inches high. It’s not a perfect match, but it is close enough to the 30 x 10 listed in our tables, which gives us a reasonably accurate series of performance numbers based on changing face velocity. This same analysis cannot be applied with any degree of accuracy for other face designs like adjustable curved-blade registers or stamped louver supplies and returns. There are other tricks to generate performance data that use a method called

Blade Deflection

extrapolation, using data from listed sizes to project what the performance will be for unlisted sizes. I’ll save this topic for later so that I don’t overwhelm you all at once.

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-20 November 2005

Grille, Register and Diffuser Substitution
by Dave Fetters
For whatever reason, you may not be able to find the exact model of Hart & Cooley grille, register, or diffuser product you had hoped to. Given the fact that you may not have the option to change the size of the desired model to get by, what options do you have to substitute another model for the one you wanted? Since Hart & Cooley has the broadest product offering in the industry, chances are very good that a suitable substitution can be found. Allow me to offer some suggestions for substitutions without concern for the obvious variable of cost. This discussion should help broaden your product knowledge about the use of alternates. Materials, construction, designs, and features may change, but the end effect of adequate (or enhanced) performance will still be achievable. Floor: An alternate for our popular 421 steel floor diffuser could be a 411, 531, or a Linear in an ascending order of capability. The steel 411 is more robust than the 421 and could be used in high traffic areas. A 531 is constructed of extruded aluminum for a premium look, has high strength, and offers a unique way to both heat and cool from the same location using dual multi-shutter dampers to change the air pattern as necessary. Linears offer the greatest available range of lengths (almost unlimited) and widths, are made of extruded aluminum, can be used as a supply or return, and can be used in the floor, on the wall, or in the ceiling. The Linear series has a large matrix of possible sizes, when you consider that widths are available in halfinch increments from 1½ to 12 inches (for floor applications) and up to 24 inches for wall or ceiling use combined with infinite lengths. The 210 supply registers and 265 return grilles could be used as substitutes for sizes of floor registers that are not available in the 421, 411 or 531 styles. Baseboard: Baseboard diffusers do not have the luxury of a wide range of common sizes. However, the 654, 655, and 664 are interchangeable, for the most part. We offer 406, 462, and 464 baseboard diffusers, as well, in longer lengths and various materials and finishes. Sidewall/Ceiling: Alternates for our louvered sidewall/ceiling registers, like the 661 ⅓-inch and 682 ½-inch fin-spaced designs, would be one for the other if you

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

(continued on reverse side)

were not concerned with blade spacing. An option for these steel registers is the plastic RZ680 series that has the advantages of molded-in color and rust resistance, but the size offering is limited. The ultimate in sidewall/ceiling products are the 92 series in steel and the HV series in extruded aluminum. These products offer the widest range of sizes and options, including stronger construction, multiple damper choices, single or double deflection, adjustable blades, and matching returns and filter grilles. Curved-blade registers start with the 300/A300 series, progress to the A611-A614MS/OB adjustable curvedblade registers, and finally extend to the C series extruded aluminum registers. The 300/A300 series of stamped, fixedblade registers have a multi-shutter damper. The assembled A600 series adjustable blade registers offer a choice of multi-shutter and opposed-blade dampers. Faces and blades are made of aluminum with painted galvanized steel dampers. The C series of adjustable curved-blade registers also have a choice of multi-shutter and opposed-blade dampers, as well as a comprehensive size matrix in 2-inch increments. White and satin anodized aluminum finishes are available. These are assembled using premium aluminum extrusions. Return Grilles: The 650 and 672 stamped-face, louvered return grilles could be substituted for one another (as before, there is a difference in blade spacing) before moving to the 94, 94A, RCB, RE5, RH90, or RH45 return grilles. The latter group is usually considered “commercial” because these are assembled rather than stamped. They have stronger construction and offer more features, especially size options. Filter Grilles: We start with the “residential” type 659 and 673 with stamped louvered faces that are interchangeable as far as performance, even with the difference in blade spacing. There is a large number of sizes offered. The commercial filter grilles—96AFB,

RHF45, REF5, and RCBF—are more robust, being assembled of steel or extruded aluminum, and offer many more sizes. Ceiling Diffusers: Round ceiling diffusers are limited to our 16, RZ16, or 20 diffusers. A square diffuser could be substituted for a round diffuser with little change in performance. The 16 is a nonadjustable, steel, step-down diffuser. The RZ16 is a plastic flush diffuser with a 12inch face, but it has built-in 6-, 7-, and 8inch collars. These come with a cam-lock installation method, removable core, and built-in damper. The 20 diffuser is a heavy duty, adjustable core diffuser for commercial and industrial applications. Square diffusers include the 24, RZ500, SD, the A500 directional series, the MCD modular core diffuser, and the SR/AR series, again in ascending order of features and size offerings. The 24 is a steel, step-down diffuser with butterfly and opposed-blade damper options. The RZ500 is the square equivalent of the RZ16 described above. The SD step-down is an all-aluminum diffuser that can be used in high humidity applications. An MCD modular core diffuser is made from extruded aluminum and allows for 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, and 2-way corner airflow patterns. It is offered in two margin styles, nine sizes, plus an available T-bar mounting, with or without damper. The SR/AR series has the greatest number of options of sizes and face styles in both steel and aluminum for any ceiling diffuser in our lineup of products. Not all of these are suited for residential applications, however. A substitution may not always be available or welcome, but if the opportunity occurs, the preceding should be helpful.

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-21 December 2005

Working with Standards, Codes, and Inspectors
by Dave Fetters The products we develop, sell, and use in our HVAC industry are subject to testing to Standards, installing to Codes, and inspection for approval by Inspectors. As an example, our Type B gas vent is Underwriters Laboratories-listed to their Standard 441; it must be installed according to our instructions as required by The National Fuel Gas Code and must be inspected for compliance before being approved for use. A Standard is a widely accepted consensus document, developed over time by those knowledgeable in the industry, and is used as a basis for measuring, evaluating, or judging the quality and performance of products. Usually, products listed by a recognized agency and tested to an industry-accepted standard have met a certain minimum level of performance, allowing everyone to feel secure in the knowledge that, if installed properly, the product is safe for its intended use. Listed products require a label attesting to its approval. A Code is a systematic document of rules given statutory force by an adopting governmental agency. Codes are written to safeguard life, health, property, and public welfare. They provide a foundation from which consistent understanding and enforcement can take place. Codes will require appropriate products to be listed and installed according to the manufacturers’ installation

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(continued on reverse side)

instructions. Codes usually do not prevent the use of materials, methods, or procedures not specifically prescribed by it, but they may require evidence to substantiate claims of equivalent performance or safety of alternatives. The Inspector is the authority having jurisdiction designated by the governmental agency. The inspector administers and enforces codes by inspecting installations during construction, or at least before use or occupancy. Installers and inspectors, working together, will minimize conflicts. Misunderstandings will occur and disputes will arise, but letting the issue become confrontational is inadvisable. Usually, it becomes a matter of discussing the issues for resolution. Contractors/installers should know the product, the installation instructions, and which codes apply. Hart & Cooley is able to help with questions about codes and standards as they apply to the products we sell. We have people on staff who have been members of codes and standards writing bodies for many years. We conduct training to

installers and to inspectors on portions of codes that apply to our products. Whenever someone calls for help, we need to deal with clear and concise facts. Be prepared to provide comprehensive and detailed information with documentation if necessary. We can only deal with the information provided to us. If the information is inaccurate or incomplete, it could affect the outcome of the disagreement. Call us, fax us, or contact us by e-mail through our web site at

©2005 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-22 January 2006

Dimensions of a Grille, Register or Diffuser
by Dave Fetters Let’s look at the simple example of a Sometimes, those of us in the HVAC 12 x 6 sidewall supply register. The industry assume our customers model doesn’t matter. The understand the everyday lingo we dimensions 12 and 6 are inches. By use in helping describe our convention in the industry, the first products. Have you ever stopped to dimension is the width of the realize what the “size” of a register means or where one measures the register. So looking at the register, size? Usually a size is given in the 12-inch dimension is the left-toinches and it right (horizontal) refers to the measurement. That two leaves the 6-inch height dimensions of dimension as the (vertical) a square or height or up-andrectangular down (vertical) width (horizontal) register. The dimension. To refer size can also to this product as a be a single dimension that refers to 6 x 12 would imply that the 6-inch the diameter of a round diffuser or dimension is the width, because it is the “square” of diffusers that are the first dimension given, and the only offered in square as opposed to height 12 inches. This would not rectangular sizes. look right on a wall nor would the fins be oriented in the proper direction for its intended use.
(continued on reverse side)

©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

Big deal, you say? Have you ever tried to find the 12- and 6-inch dimensions on a register? They aren’t there! The dimensions are called nominal, meaning “in name only.” The nominal dimensions or “listed size” of a register refer to the hole, boot, stack head, or duct opening. The industry builds the damper on the back of a register undersized with reference to the nominal dimensions so that the damper will fit into the opening. A submittal drawing of the part may 3 show the damper dimensions as “listed size minus /8” which means that for our example, the damper dimension would be 115/8 by 55/8 inches. The margin or outside face dimensions are oversized compared to nominal. They may be “listed size plus 1¾” inches so that the face will easily overlap the 12 x 6 mounting hole. Our example register would have face dimensions of 13¾ by 7¾ inches.

©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-23 February 2006

Sidewall Vent Terminations
by Dave Fetters We are often asked if our models RHW and RM gas vent caps are suitable for use on a sidewall vented appliance. Background: Many unit heaters allow sidewall venting as an option to a vertical vent. With vertical venting, the hot flue gases rise in the vent creating a negative pressure in the vent. The vent joints are not required to be leak-proof or sealed, since the atmospheric RHW Cap (positive) pressure outside the vent is higher than the negative pressure inside the vent during firing. Leakage, should it occur, would be from the outside of the vent to the inside—from the area of higher pressure to an area of lower pressure. When unit heaters or other appliances are vented horizontally, the performance characteristics of the vent change. Flue gases do not naturally flow horizontally. The small combustion air blower in the appliance now pressurizes the flue gases slightly. This pressure in the horizontal vent is slightly positive (higher than) atmospheric pressure. Leakage of flue gases could now possibly occur into the occupied space. Therefore, RM Cap the single-wall vent joints must be sealed. Cap performance: Our RHW and RM caps are tested to Underwriters Laboratories standards requirements that must be met when installed in their natural position on top of a vertical vent.

©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

(continued on reverse side)

These tests are oriented toward a vent system operating with a negative pressure. These UL standards do not address performance of these same caps for a horizontal, positive pressure vent. Horizontal vent performance requirements for the gas-fired appliance certification process are part of the ANSI Z21 series of standards. When an appliance is tested with a horizontal vent system, the appliance manufacturer must specify which cap(s) should be used with their appliance, based on these test results. In other words, for the Hart & Cooley caps to be used for sidewall vented appliances, they must have been tested and approved for use with that appliance. To date, our RHW and RM caps have not been tested with any appliance, that we know of, and should not be used for sidewall vent terminations without the approval of the appliance manufacturer. What difference does this make? Sidewall terminations must have Fuel Gas Code-specified distances from adjacent public walkways, buildings, operable windows, and other building openings for obvious reasons. More importantly for proper performance of the appliance, the ignition, firing, running, and shut-down sequences must perform in a nominal fashion without undue delays or interruptions with a 40-mph wind blowing on the vent termination. The amount of carbon monoxide developed during testing must not exceed .04%.

The amount of static pressure that builds up around a horizontal vent cap depends on wind speed, wind direction, and how close the cap is mounted to the sidewall. Both increasing wind speed and shorter cap distances to the wall will increase static pressure to a point where the furnace may not vent properly. Clearly, the appliance manufacturer does not want a vent termination to extend out from a building wall 4 feet just to overcome the cap’s poor performance in the wind test. Six to 12 inches is usually an acceptable distance that will work with a proper cap tested with the appliance. Again, our caps have not been tested for use as horizontal terminations.

©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-24 March 2006

What are the Considerations in Sizing a Return?
by Dave Fetters In a previous Tech Talk, we discussed return grille locations (TT-09). This time we will look at sizing return grilles. As we have stated before, return air volume to the air handler (fan) must equal what is supplied from the air handler, otherwise system performance will suffer. Not all the air that is returned may be from the occupied spaces. Some make-up air may be brought in from the outside. No matter the mix of indoor to outdoor return air, the fan needs to see the same volume coming in as it sends out. If the system requires 80% of the supply air volume to be returned through grilles, the amount of airflow through each depends on the number of each. A 2000 CFM system returning 80% will require a single filter grille to handle 1600 CFM, four return grilles to handle 400 CFM each, or some other combination. The return air grilles or return air filter grilles should be unobtrusive during fan operation. This means paying attention to the face velocity when sizing these grilles so that humming or whistling noises do not occur. These noises are symptoms of face velocities that are too high. In filter grilles, this may also indicate that the velocity is higher than the rating of the filters. General recommendations for residential return grille maximum face velocities are about 600 Feet-perMinute (FPM) for grilles and 400 FPM for filter grilles. These products usually have stamped louver faces (Model 650).

650 Return Air Grille

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(continued on reverse side)

Special consideration must be given to master bedroom suites and home theater rooms where lower velocities may have to be considered to guarantee no noise. Assembled grilles using heavier steel or extruded aluminum will not share the humming noise with their stamped-face cousins, but can make airflow noises if the velocity creeps up (Model RH45). The room activity and background noise level will help dictate how high the face RH45 Grille velocity may extend. A noisy cafeteria or busy lobby can afford higher velocities than executive offices or libraries. Once a reasonable face velocity is determined for the type of grille being considered, use the performance data in the back of our catalog or from our web site to size the grille. Under “Face Velocity” for the style grille being considered, go down that column until the CFM figure equals or slightly exceeds the volume flow rate necessary. Without benefit of the catalog, a rule of thumb is to plan for 2 CFM for each square inch of gross grille area. This rule will keep you within a safe face velocity.

A 20x20 grille has 400 square inches of gross area. If the “2 CFM/square inch” rule is used, 800 CFM is what the grille will handle with a low enough face velocity to avoid noise. For our 650 grille, using this method results in a face velocity of about 430 FPM. This rule is a little conservative for grilles, but much closer for filter grille performance.

©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-25 April 2006

Sizing of Flexible Duct
by Dave Fetters Flexible duct has many advantages in the HVAC environment. Its ease of use and timesaving (money) speed of installation compared to hard duct is inviting. But using it as a direct size replacement for smooth, galvanized duct is not one of its advantages due to a difference in performance. Because of flex duct’s unique corrugated construction and flexibility, there is a higher airflow friction loss compared to the same size smooth-walled galvanized duct. Performance equivalent to hard duct requires a larger diameter flex duct. Friction loss in straight duct is dependent on the relationships of duct diameter, air velocity in the duct, and duct roughness as major components, and to a much lesser degree on air density. As one can imagine, flex duct with its helical corrugations is going to be much “rougher” or less smooth than galvanized duct. This is especially true if it is not stretched out to the extent possible during installation. Slack duct allows the coils of reinforcing wire to relax, which bunches up the polyester and pushes it into the interior of the core, adding more resistance to airflow.
(continued on reverse side)

©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

Sizing charts and calculators for duct sizing are available from many sources. Hart & Cooley has a Sheet Metal Duct Friction Loss Calculator on one side of a slide chart with a Flexible Duct Friction Loss Calculator on the other side that we make available. We also have an interactive flex duct calculator on our web site. Spending a few minutes with these aids can quickly demonstrate the differences between the friction losses for galvanized verses flexible duct. It is worth noting that for a fixed duct diameter, as the velocity in the duct increases, the friction loss increases twice as fast. So if the velocity were to double, the friction loss would be four times greater! A handy rule that is very effective and reliable is to increase the size of flex duct one diameter to neutralize the added friction loss compared to that of galvanized duct for the same CFM. A further penalty in performance will occur if flexible duct is compressed from its round shape to an oval shape, say by squeezing it into a joist space. Just because it can doesn’t mean it should. We do allow for up to approximately a 20% reduction in diameter only if it occurs in one spot, but not over any distance or repeatedly. The friction loss for flex squeezed into an elliptical shape over any distance is severe, and the loss of airflow will be significant.

Cubic feet per minute airflow rate still equals the air velocity times the area of the duct in which the air is flowing. Increasing the area of the duct will slow the velocity of the air and reduce pressure loss. Keep in mind that the long-term system performance will be affected by the up-front, one-time cost of the flex duct. Increasing flex duct one size to offset its higher pressure loss compared to smooth duct is prudent.

©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-26 May 2006

Cleaning Chimneys
by Dave Fetters classified as purely a “fuel” can It probably strikes you that this is an contain very harmful chemicals. odd time of the year to be hearing These chemicals may end up on the about cleaning chimneys. Yet, chimney walls as part of the cleaning a chimney in the spring, at creosote, soot, ash or debris that the end of the heating season, is one builds up over time of the most important elements Creosote can be highly when burning any fuel. Most people of properly flammable and, if realize that creosote maintaining a ignited, can create a buildup in a chimney chimney system. severe chimney fire— needs to be addressed We want folks who that’s dangerous! on a regular basis. have installed our But, as one’s train of chimney to enjoy thought frequently goes: “There the value of their investment by having the satisfaction that, with isn’t enough junk on my chimney wall to be dangerous, so I’ll clean it proper care, the chimney will have a later.” Just because the condensed long, safe life. material on a chimney flue may not be creosote, which can build up All fuels have some contaminants in thick enough to start choking off the them. Some, like coal, contain more than others. Burning trash, flow of gases, doesn’t mean it isn’t harmful, if not dangerous. Creosote workshop scraps, and other can be highly flammable and, if burnable matter that cannot be
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©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

ignited, can create a severe chimney fire—that’s dangerous! Soot, on the other hand, is not normally thought of as “dangerous,” nor does it build up layers thick enough to affect the draft. It’s only thought of as annoying, if it is thought about at all. But left alone, soot containing harmful acidic compounds can harm the chimney. Oil and coal fuels contain sulfur. When burned, the sulfur becomes sulfites and sulfates that end up being carried out in the flue gases. If these compounds trapped in the soot are allowed to sit in the chimney for long periods of time, say all summer, the moisture in the air will combine with the sulfur compounds to form acids. These acids then begin to eat away at the stainless steel. We ask that chimneys be cleaned at the end of the heating season to minimize the possibility of harmful residue remaining on the chimney wall during the off season. The sooner the chimney is cleaned after the last use of the appliance the better.

Thoroughly brushing the chimney is usually adequate to mechanically remove any buildup of soot or creosote from the interior of the chimney for intermittent cleaning during the heating season. We recommend a final pass down the chimney be made with the brush wrapped in a rag. At the end of the season, spray the rag-wrapped brush with WD-40 for the very last pass down and back up the chimney. This will help remove all residual soot from the surface and leave a protective film on the interior throughout the summer.

©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-27 June 2006

Flexible Duct Tape and Non-metallic Clamps
by Dave Fetters Tape As an added service to our flexible duct and connector customers, Hart & Cooley sells an Underwriters Laboratories-listed tape specifically for use with flexible duct as required by national standards. This tape is labeled “UL 181B-FX” both on the package and on the tape. We offer rolls in both black and silver to match the color of our flexible duct jackets. Tape is used for both sealing the duct to collars, as our instructions state, and to seal rips and tears in the jacket should they occur.

Generic “Duct Tape” is sold and used for many applications other than for sealing ducts. There are different grades and levels of performance, but, unless it is UL-listed 181B, it is not approved for flexible duct applications. There is a UL 181A tape specific for duct board, and neither should be substituted for the other. Generic tape is mostly cloth-backed with a water soluble, rubberbased adhesive that is sold in 60-yard rolls. Hart & Cooley’s duct tape is a polypropylene film with a
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©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

solvent-based adhesive that is sold in a 120-yard roll. It also has higher tack and adhesion, a longer shelf life, and a flame and smoke rating of 25/50—suitable for commercial applications. It is a tough material, yet can be torn by hand. The functional temperature range is -35° to +260°F—better than cloth tapes. Non-metallic clamps Non-metallic air ducts and connectors are required by industry installation instructions to clamp the core to the collar. This can be accomplished with either metallic hose clamps or with listed nonmetallic clamps labeled in accordance with UL standard 181B and marked “181B-C.” This UL standard is a relatively recent development for these non-metallic clamps. Prior to this portion of the standard, each flexible duct manufacturer would have to test at significant expense each nonmetallic clamp to be specified. We now have a list of 9 different manufacturers that have multiple models listed with UL.

Ducts must be reasonably airtight to prevent leakage and noise for reasons of energy efficiency, humidity control, cost, temperature control, reduced maintenance and general acceptability. Since most systems are not pressure-tested before being approved, the codes insist on the use of UL-listed materials and prescriptive methods of attachment and sealing that, if followed, will ensure consistently tight joints.

©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-28 July 2006

Using a Digital Airflow Meter
by Dave Fetters LCD readouts, read in US or metric, There are at least a dozen airflow and have averaging as well as meters (also called anemometers or min/max velometers) that are capabilities. For now on the market and most residential relatively affordable to and commercial an installer or service work, these meters technician. These are will measure airflow generally small, handat the face of grilles, held, propeller-type registers, and digital meters that read air velocity in feet per diffusers to aid in balancing and minute (FPM). Many diagnostics. They are capable of can also be used to measuring temperature measure air and, by entering the velocity anywhere area of a register in in a room to study square feet, calculating airflows, look cubic feet per Illustration from minute (CFM). for drafts, Universal Enterprises, Inc. and Accuracy is determine advertised at ± 3% throws by looking for the terminal within an airflow range of about 150 – 5000 FPM. Most have large digital velocity of a supply register.
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©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

We were curious about these instruments, so we tried a few over the years in our laboratory and compared them to our expensive, calibrated, hot-wire anemometers. In a word, they perform well enough for one to get a good idea of the air velocity. Some are more accurate than others, with accuracy declining toward the low velocity readings. A little experience is helpful in the use of these devices, but does not significantly improve the outcome. More important to proper use is to understand a little about airflow and the expected result, at least within the ballpark! The single biggest shortcoming that we saw on a consistent basis was in the lack of clarity of instruction manuals. Reading face velocity with these instruments is straightforward. One of the keys to obtaining a good face velocity is by averaging many readings covering the entire face. However, when the instructions say how to obtain CFM, some make a glaring error by asking the operator to enter the free area. Not only that, but the instructions may not clearly state whether this area should be in square inches or square feet.

Anyone following Hart & Cooley’s Tech Talk newsletters should know by now the CFM = Velocity x Area relationship that I’ve mentioned in previous issues—Numbers 8, 14 and 16. The units of the quantities on both sides of the equal sign must be the same. Cubic feet per minute appear on the left of the equal sign. Velocity on the right side is in feet per minute. Therefore, the area must also be in square feet— effective area in square feet to be accurate. We provide the effective area (Ak) in square feet in the performance data for all our products. This is what should be entered into these meters, NOT the free area typically given in square inches (if one can find it at all). We did not find any meter that would accept free area in square inches and convert it internally to the square feet that is required. Beyond the above, which remains very important for good results, we found the meters to be adequate for the job and certainly better than nothing.

©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-29 August 2006

Dirt Stains on Diffusers and Adjacent Ceiling Surfaces
by Dave Fetters We’ve all seen them – ceiling diffusers that are dirt-stained, and the dirt stains usually extend to the surrounding ceiling surface. It is unsightly, especially if one is waiting for a meal in a restaurant. A first reaction from those outside our industry is “Wow, the filters need to be changed.” Hopefully, those of us involved in HVAC businesses know that dirty or poorly functioning filters are not the sole or most common cause. supply air. This dirt suspended in room air, called an “atmospheric aerosol,” can then be entrained (drawn) into the discharge of the diffuser. Additionally, diffusers with tumbling air patterns that contact the ceiling, such as the RENPS, are more likely to generate smudging on the ceiling. This is in contrast to a register that blows air angled away from the mounting surface, such as the 682, although dirt may still stain the diffuser. Dirt particles can be composed of both natural and man-made materials that are generally common in the immediate area. The amount varies with the geography, season, weather, room furnishings, room construction, and activity. Dust, carpet fibers, tobacco smoke, greasy

…dirty or poorly functioning filters are not the sole or most common cause.

Investigations have shown that “smudging,” as we call the deposition of dirt particles on the air outlet and surrounding surfaces, is more likely to be generated from room activity that releases dirt into the room air rather than from dirty

©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

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fumes, lint, and pollen Another potential solution are some of the is to use our Surfaire® or particles deposited. REN4 diffusers that The smallest particle generate a very thin air sizes are the worst stream tight to the ceiling offenders. Heavy foot that prevents dirt-laden traffic through a room room air from entering the will stir up these fine minimal space between SRS/ARS particles and keep the supply stream and the them in suspension. ceiling. Some dirt will still Cooking, printing, deposit on the aluminum paper dust, and face at the edges of the air smoking are some pattern and in the center other contributing where there is little activities to smudging. airflow. These stains on One interesting an aluminum diffuser are ® example occurred in a easy to wipe off compared Surfaire /REN4 new local food store to ceiling materials. near our offices. Dust from the coffee grinder produced an obvious What we are trying to do is prevent brown blossom on the ceiling the entrained room air that around the diffuser that was located suspends the dirt particles from above the grinder with nothing reaching the ceiling surface where appearing on the more remote the forces of electrostatics, vapor outlets, even though they were on pressure, direct impingement, and the same air system. temperature difference cause the dirt to stick. The (relatively) high How can we control (notice I didn’t velocity of the supply air stream say “eliminate”) smudging in creates a localized lower pressure susceptible areas? A combination of that the room air-suspended dirt will keeping the air filters clean, frequent want to flow toward. As my wife mopping and vacuuming of floors, likes to say, “Nature abhors a and room air cleaners can all help, vacuum” (which she learned from but may not be practical in many me). That’s another way of stating areas. A careful selection and that air will flow from a region of mounting of air diffusers will high pressure to one at a lower minimize dirt smudging, but pressure. Keeping this supply jet off recognize that we are addressing the the ceiling surface can help reduce symptoms, not the problem. staining. A diffuser with a beveled or stepdown margin like our SRS/ARS will help deflect the air in a slightly downward angle, keeping the air from contact with the ceiling and, hopefully, lessen dirt staining on that surface.

©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-30 September 2006

Finding Performance Data for Unlisted Size Registers by Using Listed Sizes (Interpolation or Extrapolation)
by Dave Fetters
I know what you are thinking: “Oh no, here comes another math lesson. I don’t even know what those big words mean!” Well, you’re right. This is going to involve math to some degree, but only simple addition and multiplication. It’s more about teaching you the concept of sizing a register or grille for a size not shown in our performance data tables, based on data for a size that is shown (to interpolate or extrapolate). Interpolate means working within the maximum and minimum table entries to find data for a size that falls between two listed sizes. Extrapolate means to project known data from a listed size for a size that falls beyond the largest size listed. Previously in Tech Talk TT-19, I mentioned the alternate sizing graph in the back of our catalog as one means of finding performance data for the 821/92/HV series products for sizes that are not listed based on sizes that are. I also mentioned using a calculator to find a listed size register that has similar gross square inches as the unlisted size. By using the data for the register that is close in equivalent area, you will have a good idea of its performance. This is sometimes called “the equal area method.” This is an iterative process in that it requires a “trial-and-error” approach until a solution is found. We will again use the 821/92/HV series products as examples, although this same discussion can be applied to many other products as well. These products lend themselves to the discussion because of the numerous sizes that are listed, with which I will demonstrate both interpolation and extrapolation. Let me begin by saying that any alternate sizing must remain not only within the same deflection (A, C, E, or
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©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

G) table, but also under the same column of face velocity. My examples will all be from the Deflection A performance data and in the 400 Feetper-Minute face velocity column for simplicity. The principles apply to any deflection and face velocity, however. A 24 x 12 register will be twice as large as a 24 x 6 register. A 24 x 24 is two times larger than a 24 x 12 and four times larger than the 24 x 6. But a 12 x 6 is ¼ the size of a 24 x 12. See the representation below.

Examples: An 18 x 12 is not a size that is listed, but a 36 x 12 is. If we take half the CFM of a 36 x 12, it will represent the CFM for the 18 x 12 at the same face velocity. CFM for an unlisted 36 x 24 will be twice that of the listed 36 x 12 and for an unlisted 36 x 36, three times that of the 36 x 12. Be sure to keep in mind what constitutes twice the size as opposed to four times the size of a register. Doubling one dimension only will double the size while doubling both dimensions will quadruple (4x) the size. One last comment: To determine a rough throw result, use the multiplication factors below. If you: Double the size and CFM, multiply the throw by 1.5 Quadruple the size and CFM, multiply the throw by 2 Half the size and CFM, multiply the throw by .67 One quarter the size and CFM, multiply the throw by .5 By now, most of you are probably thinking, “I’ll never remember how to do this. It’s a lot easier to just call Hart & Cooley and ask for help.” We remain here to do just that, but file this Tech Talk for reference.

12 x 6 12 x 6 12 x 6

12 x 6 If a register is twice as large, it will allow twice as much air to pass through at the same face velocity. I use these sizes since one can look them up in our catalog to follow along. Going from 24 x 6 to 24 x 12 will demonstrate a doubling of both the size and the CFM (310 to 635). Likewise, doubling a 10 x 6 to a 20 x 6 will double the CFM from 125 to 255 (with rounding). This is interpolation within the table entries. If we wanted to extrapolate from the 20 x 6 to a 40 x 6, the CFM would double again from what it is for the 20 x 6 (255) to about 510 CFM for the 40 x 6. You can check this by using the alternate sizing chart in the back of our catalog to discover that a 40 x 6 has equivalent performance (and area) as a 24 x 10 or 30 x 8, both of which are listed in the table. The 40 x 6 has 240 square inches of gross area and shares this number with both the 24 x 10 and 30 x 8 (equal area method).

©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

TT-31 October 2006

Curved-Blade Register Discussion
by Dave Fetters
Hart & Cooley’s product offering includes both fixed and adjustable curved-blade registers used for high sidewall and ceiling applications. The fixed curved-blade series is the (A)300 one-piece, stamped-face register in one-, two-, three-, and four-way deflections with either steel or aluminum faces. Adjustable curvedblade registers come in two different series—the residential A600 series made with a stamped aluminum face and roll-formed aluminum blades and the commercial C series made entirely with extruded aluminum.

(A)301 fixed

(A)302 fixed

(A)303 fixed

(A)304 fixed

The reference to residential or commercial is mostly in name only. We see either product used in either application. Commercial product is usually distinguished by more options and a much larger size offering. All three series offer all four deflections. The C series, made from extruded aluminum, is the premium product because of its considerable strength advantage over the rollformed product. In addition, the C series is offered as a grille (no damper) and as a register with either a multi-shutter or
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A611 adjustable

A612 adjustable

A613 adjustable

A614 adjustable

©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

opposed-blade damper in 2-inch increments from 6 x 6 to 36 x 36— a much larger matrix of sizes and options than the A600 series. These are some of the reasons why the C series costs more than the A600 series—added features. The performance data of the A600 and C series product lines are very similar, providing that the blades are set to the same opening dimension. The 300 series is not included in this discussion since the blades are fixed. A significant advantage of adjustable curved-blade registers is the ability to open or close the blades to suit the room comfort requirements. Consequently, performance depends on how far the blades are open with respect to how much air is available at the face. With this in mind, consider a narrow blade opening for a ceilingmounted register. A small gap between blades constricts the airflow, which usually increases the velocity and resistance (for a set CFM, reducing the area increases the velocity if the fan can work against the added resistance). The result is an air pattern that is tight to the ceiling surface at a somewhat increased velocity that will maximize the throw. This is a great cooling pattern. At the extreme opposite blade setting with all the blades open to the maximum, the air is no longer deflected into discreet directions along the ceiling, but allowed to blow straight downward or outward. This is the best way to introduce warm air from the ceiling into the occupied space with this type product. Since conditioned air above ambient temperature is so buoyant, it needs to be blown downward from ceiling outlets to provide good air mixing and to avoid stagnation near the floor. Although the capability is there to have both heating and cooling air patterns from the same supply register, most homeowners either
©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

don’t understand the concepts of air pattern adjustments or they don’t bother. My guess is the former in most cases because they have never been shown the advantages of adjusting air deflection to suit the seasonal demands. Since the blade setting has so much impact on performance, we have chosen a blade setting for general purpose cooling. The gap is specified at 13/32 of an inch for our data gathering purposes (it happened to be the width of the scale in my pocket at the time!). We show this dimensioned gap for the C series in our catalog. We did not choose to generate data at other blade settings due to resource constraints. This has proven to be acceptable based on my feedback. You may direct your questions, comments, or suggestions for future articles to me at any time. See our web site at for contact information.

CH1 adjustable

CH2 adjustable

C3 adjustable

C4 adjustable

TT-32 November 2006

Soft-Cone Flashings for Type B Gas Vent
by Dave Fetters Often I am asked if it is permissible to use a flexible pipe flashing to seal a roof penetration for our gas vent or chimney systems. The reason for the request is almost always because of “profiled” or metal corrugated roofing and decks. By “flexible pipe flashing” I mean the various brands of flashings that consist of flexible rubber cones attached to dead-soft, formable aluminum compression rings or bases. The rubber cones are usually designed in steps such that a single cone will accommodate several diameters of pipe. The soft aluminum base conforms to most roof panel configurations, if it is screwed down around the perimeter. These products were designed with the plumbing industry in mind, but the
©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

usefulness of the design has caught the eye of the HVAC contractor as well. There are obvious advantages with using these flashings, and standing metal seam roof decking almost always demands their use. The soft rubber cone will flex for different roof pitches. The aluminum base will easily bend to fit most contours and is then sealed with silicone and fastened tightly to the deck. The EPDM rubber used for the cone will withstand a 212ºF constant temperature— more than adequate for B-vent applications. For higher skin temperature resistance, an optional silicon rubber cone is usually available.
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So my response is a cautionary “Yes, you may use it.” I immediately qualify my answer with a discussion about some issues that affect performance and acceptance by the building owner or mechanical inspector. Listing: Foremost is the fact that these flashings are not UL-listed for use with B-vent, and may not be acceptable to the authority having inspection jurisdiction. For the most part, my experience indicates that use with Type B gas vent is almost universally accepted by inspectors. However, these flashings shall not be used with our factorybuilt chimney system because of our UL-listing and associated performance requirements. I suspect all other chimney manufacturers’ systems have listed flashings that preclude the use of these unlisted flexible flashings. Sealing: Rubber cones have to be made to fit the pipe diameter by cutting or pulling tear-off rings. A tear-off will have a smoother sealing surface than a cut edge, which affects how well the cone seals to the pipe. The smoother and tighter it is, the better it will seal, since a storm collar is generally not used. However, no matter how well the cone might fit without sealant, water will find its way along the vertical lock seam on B-vent and run down the pipe. I encourage a little dab of silicone at that point to prevent water leakage. Temperature: As I’ve already indicated, EPDM rubber will withstand the skin temperature of B-vent connected to appropriate appliances without breaking down.

Our testing has shown that a B-vent skin temperature will not exceed about 200ºF measured near the appliance when the vent is fired at its maximum input temperature on a continuous basis. Cycling appliances with normally lower flue gas temperatures will not generate this much skin temperature, especially when measured near the termination. Unlisted appliances or those not approved for use with B-vent may easily cause skin temperatures to exceed 212ºF, depending on the firing conditions. This will exceed the EPDM rubber maximum temperature. An option other than using a softcone flashing for profiled roofing systems is to build or purchase a custom roof curb with integral cricket, such as the Roof Products & Systems brand from Commercial Products Group in Bensenville, IL (800.624.8642 phone). This provides a smooth, flat surface to mount a factory-made flashing.

©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved


December 2006

Condensation in Type B Gas Vent: Why It Forms and How to Prevent It
by Dave Fetters
A recurring theme in my work is the B vent sizing tables are so important! With question from many quarters about why the Department of Energy likely to increase condensation is occurring in a Type B gas efficiency requirements of gas-fired vent and what to do about it. appliances by 2 percentage points in the Unfortunately, the near future, condensation adhering to the usually drips out of tables to The vent, through proper design and prevent an elbow in the attic, wets the sizing, must keep the moisture in the condensation insulation, and becomes vapor state until it exits the vent. stains a bedroom critical. This is one reason why the B vent ceiling before it is The following is noticed elsewhere. a list of reasons sizing tables are so important! Condensate will for condensate form in the coldest development in part of the vent (near the termination) the approximate order of priority, based on when the flue gas cools to its dew point my experience. temperature. This is the temperature at which the flue gas, with its heavy load of 1. Single-wall connectors used with 80% moisture in the form of water vapor, starts appliances. It’s okay to use single-wall to condense (“dew” forms) on the cooler connectors with these non-draft hoodwalls of the vent. equipped appliances, IF one uses the proper sizing table. The FAN MIN A 100,000-BTUH furnace burning for one input from the single-wall connector hour will generate a gallon of water in the sizing table must be met or exceeded to form of vapor in the flue gas. The vent, prevent condensation. Be careful of through proper design and sizing, must 2-stage and modulating equipment. Use keep the moisture in the vapor state until it the lowest firing rate for determining exits the vent. This is one reason why the FAN MIN.
©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

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2. Water heater connector is too small. In multiple-appliance systems, a 3-inch diameter connector will not accommodate water heater inputs greater than about 35,000 BTUH, even though water heaters with inputs as high as 50,000 BTUH still use 3-inch draft hood collars. Use a 4-inch connector on every 3-inch water heater collar to eliminate this problem. Do not assume that because the water heater has a 3-inch draft hood collar that 3-inch connector is always appropriate. 3. Offsets (laterals, horizontal runs) in connectors and common vents that are too long. A single-appliance vent sizing table provides data that tells you how far the horizontal run may be. However, for a multiple-appliance connector or for the common vent in multiple-appliance systems, the limit is 1½ feet of horizontal run per inch of connector or vent diameter. This can be a significant limitation, especially for common vents, but, if exceeded, leads directly to condensate formation. 4. Combustion and make-up air issues. The code is very clear about how to calculate and provide proper openings for combustion and make-up air. These days with tight homes, larger bath fans, fancy cooking appliances, dryers, and decorative gas-fired appliances consuming indoor air, it becomes imperative to provide air for the heating appliances in the required amounts. Condensation is only one sign of restricted air. Spillage, no draft, and, in a worst case, carbon monoxide are other consequences. 5. The common vent is too small, too large, or exposed on an outside wall. A common vent that is too small will obviously have to be made larger, have an appliance removed from the system, or be engineered to work. To prevent a common vent from being too large, its area shall not be more than 7 times the area of the smallest connected appliance collar. A vent shall not be exposed to the outdoors below the roofline. These are existing fuel gas code requirements and have been for some time.

6. An interior masonry chimney venting 80% appliances. Neither single nor multiple fan-assisted 80% appliance(s) shall be vented into an interior masonry chimney without a dedicated relining system. 7. Venting into exterior masonry chimneys. Even though the National Fuel Gas Code has sizing tables for this scenario, they are very complicated and restrictive. The best choice, especially for the northern tier states, is to plan for and install a properly sized, listed gas appliance relining system approved for this use. 8. Not properly accommodating appliances with vent dampers. An appliance with a built-in powered vent damper must be sized using NAT MAX in combination with FAN MIN from the sizing tables. Insulating B vent to try to solve a condensation problem will not work, and B vent manufacturers do not want their B vents insulated. The insulation is treating the symptom, not the problem. Although condensate formation may manifest itself in the vent extremities, the cause more often than not may be in the mechanical room. The Hart & Cooley Gas vent, chimney sizing & application guide has a lot of good information, which includes sizing tables and combustion air opening requirements. To receive a free copy, please contact your Customer Service Representation. Or, if you prefer, you can view the guide on our web site at

©2006 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved


January 2007

Vent Offsets
by Dave Fetters A loyal reader of these Tech Talk newsletters suggested that I address vent offsets as a topic. Even though I have other Tech Talks already written and could have used for this month, this topic excited me and is a worthy subject for discussion. Only an engineer can get “excited” about such matters. Others are merely interested. The National Fuel Gas Code (NFGC) and International Fuel Gas Code are not explicit in their definitions of what constitutes an offset in a vent system. A typical definition of vent offset is this one from the NFGC (2006 edition) Paragraph 3.3.107: “Vent Offset. An arrangement of two or more fittings and pipe installed for the purpose of locating a vertical section of vent pipe in a different but parallel plane with respect to an adjacent section of vertical vent pipe.” Notice that the definition avoids any mention of the angle or slope of the offset. However, buried in the text of the paragraphs of Chapter 13, where the code discusses sizing, is some insight into what angle the code refers to when it mentions lateral. Paragraph 13.1.3 for single-appliance venting says “…venting with lateral lengths include two 90° elbows.” Clearly, this statement means that a lateral is horizontal pipe between two 90° elbows. The horizontal offset is measured along this horizontal run from the same point on each end (centerline to centerline or outside wall to the same outside wall at the other end). The code also speaks about offsets that can be pipe-installed at angles less than 90° (30° or 45° from vertical for instance) as stated in paragraph 13.2.5

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(continued on reverse side)

Vent Offsets and paragraph 13.2.6 Elbows in Vents. When a vent has an offset, say in an attic, where the angle of the offset is 45°, the code looks at what the vertical-centerline-to-verticalcenterline, horizontal displacement is, and uses that for the offset or lateral allowance. This is the dimension labeled “Offset” in the adjacent drawing. Typically, if the vent is for a single appliance, the sizing tables show the horizontal offset allowance in the column labeled “Lateral.” For multipleappliance common vents, the code allows the horizontal offset to be no more than 18 inches for each inch of common vent diameter. For example, in the adjacent figure, the vent is tilted at approximately 45°, and we want to find the horizontal length labeled “Offset.” To determine this offset displacement, one would multiply the hypotenuse by the cosine of 45° (sorry). In layman’s language, take the running length of the pipe and multiply it by .7 (the cosine of 45°). So if the running length were 10 feet, the offset is 7 feet (.7 x 10). If the vent is offset 30° from vertical, then multiply the running length of pipe by .5 to get the offset (trust me on this one).

In summary, the NFGC allows offsets in single-appliance and multiple-appliance vents. The offset in the eyes of the code is the horizontal displacement of the vent. A horizontal vent may be measured directly. A vent on some angle can be calculated as demonstrated above, guessed at (bad idea), or measured using a plumb bob from the displaced vertical. Whew!

©2007 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved


February 2007

Wood vs. Metal Floor Diffusers
by Dave Fetters and Mark Walraven When considering the use of wood floor diffusers instead of the traditional metal kind, one should consider how they perform, as well as how they look. Wood floor diffusers can be an aesthetically pleasing addition to a home. Solid wood or wood-faced floor diffusers look nice, can be stained to match wood floors, and recessed flush with a wooden floor surface (R403). changes in product performance. All Hart & Cooley floor diffusers (including wood) meet the International Mechanical Code for strength. Since wood is not as strong as steel, more wood must be used in the diffuser to meet the strength requirements. Consequently, wood diffusers generally have different performance characteristics than steel diffusers. Performance, for the purpose of this Tech Talk, refers to the effective area and throw pattern of the diffuser. For example, the R400 (the wood equivalent to the steel Hart & Cooley 421) has only 60% of the effective area of the 421. One must consider the impact that lower effective area (lower cfm delivery) will have on


However, when considering the use of wood floor diffusers instead of the traditional steel diffusers, one should also account for

R400 421

©2007 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

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room comfort before selecting the diffuser. A larger size wood diffuser or additional floor diffusers may be necessary to maintain the same cfm delivery as a traditional steel diffuser. An additional consideration is the diffuser’s throw pattern. A diffuser’s throw pattern affects room air mixing, and different diffusers have different fin angles and throw patterns. Most wood diffusers have parallel fins that deflect the air in two directions. Whereas the 421 and 411 fins are more vertical in the center, and they slope progressively as the fins approach the outside edges. This fan-shaped pattern helps diffuse (disperse and mix) the air better than the parallel fins of the wood register. Other decorative floor diffuser products have designs, such as a Victorian scroll pattern and a Contemporary “parallel blade” pattern. As the fin pattern changes, so does the throw pattern. So, be sure to match the correct decorative product to the application and environment. Engineering data for Hart & Cooley decorative registers can be found at our web site at



©2007 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

March 2007

Filter Grille Performance and Filter Limitations
by Dave Fetters Air circulation and conditioning usually incorporate some form of filtration of airborne particulate matter. There are many types of filtering mechanisms and methods, but I want to limit my remarks to the specific products we sell that allow air filtration. In our business, this air filtering is accomplished with a filter grille. The vast majority of our filter grilles are designed to use the readily available, 1-inch thick, cardboard-edged, disposable, fiberglass filters. Although we manufacture filter grilles that will accept thicker filters, relatively few are sold. Even though hog hair, foam, and other types of media filters may do a better job of filtration than the fiberglass, the universally available and inexpensive fiberglass filter is the most popular choice. These throwaway, one-inch panel filters are relatively inefficient and are effective with comparatively large particulate matter at low airflow rates


than other types of media and filtration methods. More important to the installer, most efficiency and pressure drop ratings are developed at only 300 feet-per-minute airflow velocity through the filter. The maximum airflow recommended is usually around 500 feet per minute, as published in the literature for these types of filters. Given the popularity of these types of filters, care must be given in selecting a filter grille size to accommodate the desired total CFM, while keeping in mind the filter limitations of velocity. Our recommendation for a maximum design face velocity is 400 feet per minute (FPM). To size a filter grille, look at the engineering data for that model. In the column less than 400 FPM, find a CFM number that is equal to or slightly higher than what is desired or required. The size corresponding to that rating is what should be used.

©2007 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

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A rough but safe rule of thumb to use in the absence of available engineering data is to multiply the gross filter grille area in square inches by 2 CFM for each square inch. This will keep the face velocity below 400 FPM. For instance, if one thinks a 20 x 20 grille might be adequate, 20 x 20 = 400 gross square inches. Multiply this by 2 CFM per square inch and the result is a CFM of 800. Exceeding the filter’s capability will lower filtration efficiency by allowing some dirt to pass through and may dislodge particulate matter already captured if the face velocity becomes excessive. In addition, noise could become an issue with stamped-face filter grilles if velocities exceed about 500 FPM. T-bar filter grilles that are 2 x 2 in size are going to accept a nominal 20 x 20 filter. So, the rule-of-thumb CFM capacity will also be around 800 in order to maintain a 400 FPM face velocity. We build RHF45 filter grilles from as small as 6 x 6 to 48 x 48. This is a rigid filter grille with mullions and blade spacers at appropriate widths for added support. If one wanted to “push the envelope” for performance, this filter grille would handle higher velocities without fin or face vibration, which would occur with a stampedfaced filter grille like our 659 or 673. Obviously, the filter media would have to be up to the task as well. Our testing of a filter grille with and without a clean fiberglass filter has indicated that a clean filter reduces the performance data we publish by only about 3% to 5%.

Obviously, as a filter collects dirt, its resistance to flow increases and drives up the system pressure loss. For this reason, it is vitally important for a homeowner to establish a regular maintenance cycle to change out filters, so they do not affect the system performance.

RHF45 Aluminum Filter Grille

659 Steel Return Air Filter Grille

673 Steel Return Air Filter Grille

©2007 Hart & Cooley, Inc. All rights reserved

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