Reducing energy costs with recycled air is the subject of an ASHRAE grant awarded to Simge Andolsun, a student at Texas A&M University.

The grant project will study ways to cut energy costs in low-income households in hot and humid climates.

According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, 38.6 million households in the United States are in need of low-income home energy assistance. In hot and humid climates, reducing residential energy consumption is especially challenging.

Through ASHRAE’s grants-in-aids program, Andolsun plans to model a new HVACR energy saving strategy with partial conditioning or reusing air. Partial conditioning is based on using the remaining energy of the air returning from the occupied zones in unoccupied zones before it returns to the system or is exhausted from the system, he said.

Andolsun is one of 21 students who will receive a grant through the ASHRAE graduate student program, which is designed to encourage students to continue their education in preparation for service in the HVAC industry. The grants, totaling $210,000, are awarded to full-time graduate students of ASHRAE-related technologies.

Andolsun’s project will be modeled on residential neighborhoods at the Texas-Mexico border, which ASHRAE says has the second-highest number of housing units eligible for low-income home energy assistance.