Our state’s energy and building codes must constantly change for us to continue progressing in energy efficiency. Last August, the Massachusetts government released the “new” baseline energy code for buildings. Now, less than a year after this release, the code is due for another upgrade. On July 1st, 2014, the previous building and energy regulations expired, and buildings must now comply with the new requirements. These shifts keep our state moving forward in navigating energy efficiency.
The new building code sets standards for the amount of air changes per hour. The previous code required 7 changes, and the new code will declare 3 as the maximum amount of changes each hour. While these are only guidelines, Dolphin can do much better. But what exactly is an air change?
An air change is when air circulates throughout an entire defined space, such as a room or a home. Air changes are typically measured by the hour; there must be no more than a certain number of air changes per hour to maximize efficiency.
Generally, the percentage of changed air depends on the home’s airflow efficiency. For example, a home with efficient ventilation will change about 63% of the air each hour. In order to maintain equilibrium pressure, the amount of air that leaves the home must be equal to the amount of new air that enters.
There is an equation to maintain equilibrium, in which the number of air changes per hour must equal sixty times the rate of the airflow, divided by the total volume of the room. With this equation, we can make sure that the rate of air leaving balances the rate of the new air entering.
The airflow of both fresh and re-circulated air is measured in cubic feet per minute. The fresh air comes in from outside, and the amount of this fresh air should be based on the number of occupants inside. The air changes per hour are based on the total amount of airflow provided, and the volume of the space. Lower air change rates increase the effectiveness of the home’s climate, while still guaranteeing that fresh air reaches all of the areas in the home.
While the state government works to implement plans to make sure that every building complies with the recommended amount of air changes per hour, Dolphin makes sure to go beyond that. At Dolphin, we want you to have healthy, safe, efficient air in your home without sacrificing your comfort. To maximize the efficiency of the air inside your home, contact Dolphin today.