Purdue University: Bring the Outdoors In

By July 8, 2021blog

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — By now, it’s well known that circulating outdoor air in buildings is safer than recirculating indoor air. That point was driven home by the pandemic. Problem is, it’s just not cost-effective.

That may soon change. Purdue University engineers have proposed a system that combines new membrane technology with the latest HVAC systems to make 100% outdoor air systems more energy-efficient and economically feasible – especially in warm, humid climates. They say their system could save up to 66% in energy costs for large buildings that choose to use the safer outdoor air.

Previous research at Purdue has shown that HVAC systems (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) are a key factor in spreading airborne diseases like COVID in indoor environments like office buildings, restaurants and airplanes.

“Most people don’t realize the complexity of a modern HVAC system,” said James E. Braun, the Herrick Professor of Engineering and director of the Center for High Performance Buildings at Purdue. “There’s a specific sweet spot for humidity in an indoor environment — between 40% and 60%. Any drier than that, and people aren’t comfortable; any more humid, and you’re at risk for mold and other problems.”

 

You can read more by clicking here and visiting Purdue’s website.