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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).

2. roof.240 BTU/lb °F. Typical well-insulated new construction will be 0. Use the scale drawings to determine the entire inside volume of air in units of ft3. The heat loss rate is then: Q = A(TH . Add the roof loss to the walls and windows. That means that in addition to offsetting the losses through walls. 1. heat will flow through the ceilings upstairs to the attic space. The heat transfer rate. 2.45 0.35 0.8/inch.TC) 3. windows.TC)/R 3.5 air changes/hour. how much blown in insulation is this?) Because the attic will be insulated above the ceilings and the space above that will be vented to outside.0741 lb/ft3. windows.21 1. Finally. the spreadsheet allows you to input an R value for the walls and for the ceiling. In the first few lines. Find the total area of each type of window. Infiltration: No building is perfectly airtight. Floor: The house is built over a full basement and the furnace (or boiler) will be in the basement. When you change these values in the cells . That space above the insulation can be assumed to be at the outside temperature. Add the window heat loss to the wall heat loss Roof: The attic will be insulated with enough cellulose insulation to give the DOE recommended R=49. Use the scale drawings to find the ceiling area.single pane storm window added Thermopane Energy Star requirement Well designed window 1. The specific heat of air is 0. Q in BTU/hr is: Q = U*A*(TH . It also allows you to input a U factor for the windows and an exchange rate for the infiltration. Add this heat rate requirement to those from the walls. and ceiling.3 to 0. 4. the density of air under normal pressure and moderate temperature conditions is ρ = 0.61 0. A. (At R=3. The rate at which heat energy is required is : Q = exchange rate x Volume x specific heat x ρ x Temperature difference (BTU/hr) (air chg/hour) (ft3) (BTU/lb°F) (lb/ft3) (°F) where the units for each term are given below the variable. 3. it allows you to specify inside and outside temperatures. etc. 1.13 0. It is possible to assume no heat loss through the first floor to the basement. Without special ventilating equipment which might increase the infiltration rate it is safe to assume that the entire inside volume of air will be exchanged every hour. the furnace must heat and entire inside volume of air from outside temperature to inside temperature once every hour. Green House Heat Load Spreadsheet Exercises Select the following link for the Heat Load Calculation Spreadsheet Using the Spreadsheet: The spreadsheet has been set up for the Green House on Watson using the floor plans and elevation drawings. and floor. around pipe and wire entries into the building. around windows. Outside air enters (infiltrates) through door cracks. 2.

This allows the heating contractor to determine how many registers or how many feet of baseboard radiator are required for each room. Wall R = 4. the heating load is calculated automatically. This corresponds to about 12 such houses per block with 4 houses on each side of the block. Exercise 3 . The cavities between framing members are hollow. Note that fuel not burned is also pollution note produced. Exercise 1: Many of the houses on the West Side of Grand Rapids were built when energy was inexpensive and when houses were not insulated.43 hr ft2˚F/BTU Attic R = 0. Use the spreadsheet to find the heat load in BTU/hr for a given temperature difference between inside and outside. The next exercise will give you some idea of how much money this potential savings represents. Let the walls made of 2 x 4 framing lumber with tarpaper and ½ inch wood siding outside and plaster-lathe inside. Notice that only outside walls are considered.specified at the beginning of the spreadsheet. Start with the Green House as built: Wall R =32 hr ft2˚F/BTU Attic R=50 hr ft2˚F/BTU Window U= 0. Compare the energy required to maintain 70˚F inside for 10 Green Houses to the energy required to maintain 70˚F for 10 un-insulated houses for a period of one 24 hour day with an outside temperature of 32˚F. Also notice that the spreadsheet is set up to determine the heating load for each room separately.21 BTU/hr ft2˚F Air-changes per hour = 0. Explore the effect of changing the thermal envelope. Note that many of the large houses have been made into multi-family dwellings.0 Exercise 2 Based on the results of the previous exercise consider the effect of bringing an entire city block of old houses up to the level of performance of the Green House. The partition to the attic is plaster-lathe construction and the entire envelope is very “leaky”. The Heat Transfer class has measured the air exchange rate in such a house at more than 5 air changes per hour! Try one change at a time to be able to see the effect of each part of the thermal envelope and then try all the changes together.13 BTU/hr ft2˚F Air-changes per hour = 3. The windows are single pane glass. Comment about what you find and note that a neighborhood is made up of many city blocks.6 hr ft2˚F/BTU Window U = 1. On the block where the Green House is built there are easily 4 to 5 large houses on one side of the block.30 Now change the thermal envelope values to those for an un-insulated house. If each inside space is at the specified inside temperature there will be no heat transfer through interior walls.

The most expensive way to heat is with electric heaters. attic R value. .000BTU/gal.Adding all of these heat rates gives you a total building load. With a given set of wall R value. Suppose that these conditions existed for 1 week. The cost to heat is then: cost = Q (in kW) x hrs in 1 week x $0. oil. the cost is about $2.88/gal) For electric heat you will need to convert Q into units of kW since we are generally billed for kWhrs of electricity: Q (kW) = Q(BTU/hr) x ( 1kW/3413 BTU/hr) The cost of electricity is about $0. About how much would it cost to heat the house for 1 week using natural gas.093/kWhr. or electric heat? Natural gas has a higher heating value of 1000 BTU/ft3 and it costs $0.92/100ft3) For oil. The cost for 1 week will be: cost = Q x hrs in 1 week x (1gal/130. window U value.899/gallon and the higher heating value is 130. you can calculate the cost to heat the house for some period of time.093/kWhr In general you should find that costs for oil and natural gas are somewhat comparable with natural gas being the most economical.000BTU) x ($0. (gas use is measured in CCF=100 ft3) The cost for natural gas will be : cost = Q x hrs in 1 week x (ft3/1000BTU)x ($0.92/100ft3. and infiltration rate and for 70°F inside and 32°F outside determine the heat load. Just for fun.