There is potential to significantly reduce CO2 emissions by increasing the efficiency and reducing the duty cycle of HVAC systems by using smart booster fans and dampers. Smart booster fans fit in the vents within a home, operating quietly on low power (2W) to augment HVAC systems and improve their performance. In this study, a prototype duct system is used to measure and evaluate the ability for smart booster fans and dampers to control airflow to different vents for the purpose of increasing the efficiency of HVAC systems. Four case studies were evaluated: an HVAC system (1) without any fans or dampers, (2) with a fan installed in one vent, but without any dampers, (3) with dampers installed at the vents, but without any fans, and (4) with both fan and dampers installed. The results from both the experimental and numerical evaluation show that the smart booster fan and dampers can significantly improve the airflow at a vent that is underperforming. For example, the airflow at the last vent in a ducting branch was increased from 17 to 37 CFM when a smart booster fan was installed at this vent. Results from the numerical analysis show that for the case of an underperforming vent during the winter season the HVAC running time may be reduced from 24 hr/day to 5.6 hr/day. Furthermore, results from the numerical analysis show the HVAC running time is further reduced to 4.5 hr/day for cases 3 and 4.

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