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# How can I figure out how much heat/air is escaping from an opening?

## The building I work in has a stairwell leading all the way up through the 7 floors to the roof. The door to the roof is left open all day (don't ask me why). When I walk in the stairwell I can feel the air moving and it is freezing in there. When I stand in the doorway to the roof I can feel all the air blasting out of the building. The supervisors I work for are rather... hard to convince of things that seem obvious to me. By my guess, a situation like this is probably emptying the entire building of all of its heated air every 10 or 20 minutes... on the coldest days all the employees are complaining about how cold it is, but nobody else seems to think that CLOSING THE ONE SINGLE DOOR that just happens to be at the top of what is basically a giant chimney and which is blasting all the air out of the building would make that big of a difference. So my question is, how can I come up with some kind of reasonable scientific estimate to confront the bosses with as to why my suggestion to close the door is actually a ridiculously simple (shockingly so) way to make a huge difference in energy costs and employee/customer comfort?

Interesting question and bit complicated... More
Answered By: Doug S - 2/6/2012
make strips of paper and put them at the door to see how much they are flowing this should tell you how much air is escaping

Figure out the total cubic footage of the building (say, 100' x100' {floor} x 10' {ceiling} x 7 {stories} = 700,000 cu.ft.) , find out the BTU rating on the heaters in the building x (?), find out the rate (\$) per BTU of your area. ADD it up!
Source(s):
Answered By: Candid Chris - 2/6/2012

You might see if this calculator helps. It is for one room, but you can multiply it by 7. http://www.shophmac.com/info-center/hvac-calculators/heat-load-calculator.php I used R-10 and R-20 as insulation levels and preliminarily got 40,000 Watts/137,000 btu's of heat loss, per floor.

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