Air changes per hour
Air changes per hour, or air change rate, abbreviated ACH or ac/hr, is a measure of the air volume added to or removed from a space (normally a room or house) divided by the volume of the space. If the air in the space is either uniform or perfectly mixed, air changes per hour is a measure of how many times the air within a defined space is replaced.
In many air distribution arrangements, air is neither uniform or perfectly mixed. The actual percentage of an enclosure's air which is exchanged in a period depends on the airflow efficiency of the enclosure and the methods used to ventilate it. The actual amount of air changed in a well mixed ventilation scenario will be 63.2% after 1 hour and 1 ACH. In order to achieve equilibrium pressure, the amount of air leaving the space and entering the space must be the same.
ACH equation in Imperial units
- N = number of air changes per hour
- Q = Volumetric flow rate of air in cubic feet per minute (cfm)
- Vol = Space volume L × W × H, in cubic feet
Ventilation rates are often expressed as a volume rate per person (CFM per person, L/s per person). The conversion between air changes per hour and ventilation rate per person is as follows:
- Rp = ventilation rate per person (CFM per person, L/s per person)
- ACPH = Air changes per hour
- D = Occupant density (occupants per square foot, occupants per square meter)
- h = Ceiling height (ft, meters)
Air change rate
|This table needs additional citations for verification. (October 2013)|
Air change rates are often used as rules of thumb in ventilation design. However, they are seldom used as a the actual basis of design or calculation. For example, laboratory ventilation standards indicate recommended ranges for air change rates, as a guideline for the actual design. Residential ventilation rates are calculated based on area of the residence and number of occupants. Non-residential ventilation rates are based on floor area and number of occupants, or a calculated dilution of known contaminants. Hospital design standards use air changes per hour, although this has been criticized.
|Commercial kitchens & Toilets||15–30|
The Passive House standard requires a 0.6 ACH. Many if not most uses of ACH are actually referring to results of a standard blower door test in which 50 pascals of pressure are applied (ACH50), rather than the volume of air changed under normal conditions.
- ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2013: Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings. Atlanta, GA: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. 2013.
- Bearg, David W. (1993). Indoor Air Quality and HVAC Systems. CRC Press. p. 64. ISBN 0-87371-574-8.
- "Lab Ventilation ACH Rates Standards and Guidelines". Retrieved 9 June 2014.
- ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2013: Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. Atlanta, GA: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. 2013.
- ANSI/ASHE/ASHRAE Standard 170: Ventilation for Healthcare Facilities. Atlanta, GA: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. 2013.
- "Engineers' Perspectives on Hospital Ventilation". Retrieved 9 June 2014.
- "International Passive House Association - Guidelines". Retrieved 23 March 2013.
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