You are on page 1of 6

# HEATING/COOLING LOAD CALCULATION Purpose: In this exercise you will calculate the rate at which heat must

be supplied to the house shown in the attached drawing in order to maintain the inside temperature at a constant 70°F. Thermal Resistance: The rate at which heat energy flows from a hot space to a cold space depends directly on the temperature difference and inversely on the thermal resistance of the wall separating the spaces. In equation form we write this in the following way: q = ( TH - TC )/ R (1)

where q is the heat transfer rate in units of BTU/ft2hr (or kW/m2 ), T is temperature and the subscripts H and C denote hot and cold, and R is thermal resistance. This R is the “RValue” that is given for various types of insulation. A typical 6 inch fiberglass batt has a rated R value of about 19 (units of °F ft2hr/BTU) and you will notice R-19 printed on the paper side of the insulation. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and 1 BTU is the amount of energy needed to raise 1 pound of water 1 degree F. Thermal resistance, R, is different for different materials. Where there are layers in a single wall, for example, vinyl siding, foam insulation, OSB, then insulation, then drywall, the total resistance is the sum of all of the layer resistances. The first step is to identify all the different areas through which heat will flow and to find the thermal resistance for each area and each type of construction. Each resistance will be in units of °F ft2hr/BTU. The total heat flow through each area identified will be: Q=qA (2)

where q is calculated using equation 1, A is the total area of a given construction, and Q is the total heat flow rate through that area in BTU/hr. To calculate the overall heat transfer rate you will add the contributions from wall areas, windows, doors, roof, etc. Windows are typically very costly because first of all glass has a low thermal resistance. Second, the glass is mounted in a frame that can potentially move if the window can be opened. Both the way in which the glass is mounted in the frame and the movement of the frame offer pathways for air to move through the window. Storm windows or “thermopane” windows trap a layer of air or some other gas between two panes of glass. Because gasses have a high thermal resistance as long as they do not move against the glass, a thin layer of still air gives a resistance, R, in series with the glass and it is transparent so it is still possible to see through the window. Flanges and weather strips around the edges keep the air from flowing around the edges. Because windows involve thermal resistance and also movement of air (called infiltration) through the window unit this heat loss is given as: Q = qA = UA( TH - TC ) (3)

TC) (4) where Q is the heat transfer rate. In order to maintain the inside temperature which we specify. To establish a scale factor notice that the width of the house is 32 feet.Let’s See How This Works! For this entire calculation assume an inside temperature of 70 F and outside temperature of 32 F. Notice that the insulation resistance is given per inch of thickness. You will do this calculation using an outside temperature of 32°F and an inside temperature of 70°F to find the average expected energy requirement to heat the house when the average outside temperature is 32°F or freezing temperature for water. door cracks. ρ is air density.63 1/2” drywall 0.61 for thermopane. If you take out a ruler and measure the width of the house on the copy of the plans that you have. cold air infiltrates through window cracks. Calculation Worksheet Data. etc. You can determine roof areas. 0.21 for very well designed windows. the scale factor is equal to 32 feet divided by the width that you measure on your plan copy.Where the U factor (or transmission factor) for the window is typically 1. Notice that this will give the highest expected load and that for lower loads the furnace will not have to run for as much time overall. and TH and TC are hot and cold temperatures respectively. at a certain rate.8 by 3 ½ = 13. ½” OSB.45 for storm windows. The sum of all these contributions is the rate at which heat flows out of the house at specified inside and outside temperatures. heat must be supplied to the house by a furnace or heater at exactly the same rate.) First find the total resistance for the wall by adding the component resistances.for 3 ½ ” multiply 3. wall areas.8 per inch thickness . and as low as 0. . R=5*1/2= 2.5 1. c is the specific heat of the air.45 Cellulose insulation 3. window areas. for Detroit MI. V is the total enclosed volume of the house. The resistances are given below: component R (in units of hr ft2°F/BTU ) siding 0.09 1/2” OSB 0. 0. ER is exchange rate of the air (in air changes per hour) . directly from the drawing using this conversion. etc. The infiltration loss will be calculated using: Q = ρ *ER*V*c*( TH . Scale Drawings: The drawings of the house which are attached to this exercise are drawn to scale. 3 ½ inches of cellulose insulation and 1/2” drywall. this is -10°F. In each case the units for U are BTU/hr ft2?F. A heating contractor will size a furnace using the lowest expected outside temperature. This way you could explore the effect of different thickness’ if you wish. That cold air must be heated to inside temperature.13 for single pane glass. Finally. Walls: One possibility for the outside walls is siding over 1/2” foam board.3 =R ½ “ foam board 5.0/ inch so for ½ inch.

61 ft2°F hr/BTU or : Q= (15 ft2/13.5 inch thick wall that is entirely made of insulation. Cavity insulation will be placed between the studs and it will have a high resistance to the flow of heat (high R value). Now consider the heat loss through 8 ft x 1. Compare this to 3. First calculate the heat loss through a 3. exclude windows and door and count only wall area.Toutside )BTU/hr This is the “no thermal bridging” case for an 8 ft by 2 ft wall section.41x(Tinside . In an infra-red picture of a frame wall the studs show up at hot areas. By putting a layer of foam board over the entire outside surface area of a house a builder can add the thermal resistance of the foam to the stud section and to the insulated section – increasing the R value for each part and decreasing the overall effect of thermal bridging but it is still a significant factor for wood framed houses. Window construction U ( in BTU/ hr°F ft2) .R= Rsiding+ROSB+Rinsulation+Rfoam insulation+Rdrywall 2. When heat loss calculations are done for framed walls the effect of the studs is often neglected and the wall is treated as if it has continuous insulation.30 hr˚F/BTU.Toutside ) = 1.30 ft2°F hr/BTU and 1 ft2 that “sees” R=3. however the wood stud has a lower resistance to the flow of heat and it provides a low resistance path for heat flow.5% higher than the case without thermal bridging.61 hr˚F/BTU.5x1.Toutside )BTU/hr You can show that this heat loss with the thermal bridging considered is 17. all multiplied by the total area: Q (BTU/hr) = A (ft2)x(Tinside . This corresponds to 15 ft2 that “sees” R=13.Toutside )(°F)/ R(ft2°F hr/BTU) Thermal Bridging in Walls: A framed wall will have wood studs every 2 feet. 3. Pine has a resistance of R=1.30 ft2°F hr/BTU = 1.Toutside )(°F)/13.03 hr˚F/BTU per inch of thickness so that a 3 ½ inch thick stud has an R value of 3. Windows: There are many possibilities for window choices and you will quickly see that an investment in well designed windows is very worthwhile.Toutside ) Q in BTU/hr = (1.Toutside )(°F)/ R(ft2°F hr/BTU) Q = (2x8)ft2 x(Tinside .13 + 0. Q (BTU/hr) = A (ft2)x(Tinside .5 inches of cellulose insulation with R=13. use the drawings to determine how much wall area you have.32 = 38°F ) divided by total resistance.) The heat loss through the walls will be the temperature difference between inside and outside ( take as 70 .5 inches of insulation.28)x(Tinside .) Next.61ft2°F hr/BTU)x(Tinside .5 inches of wood and parallel to that 8 ft x 22.30ft2°F hr/BTU + 1 ft2/3.20x(Tinside . Since you will be finding window and door losses separately.03 =3. To see the effect of thermal bridging consider an 8 foot high section that is 2 feet wide (studs on 24 inch centers).