Mixed Air Calculator
Table of contents
What's mixed air?How to calculate mixed air properties: Mixed air calculations and formulasAn example using the mixed air calculator — How to calculate mixed air dry bulb temperatureFAQsWith this mixed air calculator, you can easily determine the mixed air stream properties without the need for a psychrometric chart. Efficient HVAC system design requires accurately calculating the mixed air stream's properties, such as enthalpy, humidity ratio, dry bulb temperature, and more. If you're wondering how to calculate mixed air dry bulb temperature, look no further!
Keep on reading to learn:
 What mixed air is, and its importance in HVAC systems;
 What HVAC return air is and the difference with HVAC outside intake air;
 How to calculate mixed air temperature; and
 How to use the psychrometric chart to calculate mixed air properties.
We've also included an example of calculating mixed air properties using this calculator.
What's mixed air?
Mixed air refers to the stream of air that results from combining two separate streams of air with different properties, such as temperature, humidity, and flow rate. The resulting mixture of air will have unique properties that depend on the properties of the original streams and the proportion in which they were mixed.
Mixed air is a crucial aspect of HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) used in various applications, including buildings, hospitals, and industrial processes. In these applications, it's necessary to mix a fraction of the conditioned air (return air stream) with the fresh outdoor air (outdoor air stream) to achieve the desired indoor air temperature and humidity. By mixing the return and outdoor air, the system can precondition the air before sending it back to the occupied space.
How to calculate mixed air properties: Mixed air calculations and formulas
Now that we know more about mixed air and its importance in air conditioning, we can explore how to determine its properties.
Psychrometric charts are handy for determining the state and properties of moist air. By using these charts, we can obtain information about parameters such as dry bulb temperature $T_{\rm db}$, humidity ratio $\omega$, vapor pressure $P_v$, dew point temperature $T_{\rm dp}$, enthalpy $h$, relative humidity $\% \rm{\ RH}$, and specific volume $v$.
Take a moment to learn more about this topic with our psychrometric calculator ⚗
In addition to the properties we can read from the psychrometric charts, we'll need to use some formulas. When we mix the two air streams, the heat transfer to the surroundings is so small that we can consider it to be an adiabatic process. This means that the energy balance does not include the heat term. Plus, no work interactions are involved in the mixing process, and any changes in kinetic and potential energies can be ignored. As a result, we can express the energy and mass balances using the following formulas:
Energy balance:
Dry air mass balance:
Vapor mass balance:
By combining these expressions, we can obtain the following relationship:
where:
 $\dot{m}$ — Mass flow rate;
 $h$ — Enthalpy;
 $\omega$ — Humidity ratio; and
 $1, 2, \rm{\ and \ } 3$ — Subscripts for outside, return and mixed air respectively.
The steps to determine the properties of the mixed air stream using the psychrometric chart are as follows:

With the temperature and relative humidity of the outside air (stream 1) and the return air (stream 2), enter the chart and read their enthalpy $h$, humidity ratio $\omega$, and specific volume $v$.

With these values, calculate the mass flow $\dot{m}_3$, enthalpy $h_3$, and humidity ratio $\omega_3$ of the mixed air stream (stream 3) using the mixed air calculation formulas shown above. These last two define the state of the mixture.

Enter to the psychrometric chart with the enthalpy $h_3$ and humidity ratio $\omega_3$ and read other properties of the mixture, such as dry bulb temperature $T_{\rm db \ 3}$, relative humidity $\% \rm{\ RH}_3$, and the specific volume $v_3$.

Calculate the volumetric flow rate $V_3 = \dot{m}_3 \cdot v_3$ using the specific volume $v_3$ and mass flow rate $\dot{m}_3$.
🙋 Learn more about relative humidity and dew point temperature with Omni's relative humidity and dew point calculators.
An example using the mixed air calculator — How to calculate mixed air dry bulb temperature
Now that we understand what mixed air is and how to calculate its properties, let's see how we can make these calculations quite simple with this mixed air calculator. To show how to use this tool, we'll use an example.
Suppose we have an air conditioning process where the stream of HVAC return air is saturated at 14 °C and has a volumetric flow rate of 50 m^{3}/min. This stream is mixed adiabatically with a stream of HVAC outside air intake of 32 °C and 60% relative humidity, with a volumetric flow rate of 20 m^{3}/min. Our task is to determine the properties of the resulting mixed air stream. We'll consider that the mixing occurs at a standard atmospheric pressure of 1 atm.
To solve this example with the mixed air calculator:

Begin by specifying the mixing pressure, which in this case is 1 atm or 101.325 kPa. The calculator is preset to this value by default.

Input the known properties of the outside air into the Outside air section of the calculator. In our example, this includes dry bulb temperature (Tdb_{1}) of 32 °C, relative humidity (% HR_{1}) of 60, and volumetric flow rate (V_{1}) of 20 m^{3}/min.

With these inputs, the calculator will determine the remaining properties of the outside air:
Property name  Symbol  Value 

Humidity ratio  ω_{1}  18.025 g/kg 
Dew point temperature  Tdp_{1}  23.27 °C 
Specific volume  v_{1}  0.8895 m^{3}/kg 
Mass flow rate  m_{1}  0.37474 kg/s 
Enthalpy  h_{1}  78.33 kJ/kg 
Vapour pressure  Pv_{1}  2.854 kPa 

Repeat the same process for the return air stream, inputting the known values of temperature (Tdb_{2}) of 14 °C, 100% saturation (% RH_{2}), and volumetric flow rate (V_{2}) of 50 m^{3}/min, this time in the corresponding Return air section.

The calculator will determine the remaining properties of the return air:
Property name  Symbol  Value 

Humidity ratio  ω_{2}  9.965 g/kg 
Dew point temperature  Tdp_{2}  14 °C 
Specific volume  v_{2}  0.8265 m^{3}/kg 
Mass flow rate  m_{2}  1.0083 kg/s 
Enthalpy  h_{2}  39.255 kJ/kg 
Vapour pressure  Pv_{2}  1.598 kPa 
 Once both streams are defined, the tool will calculate the mixed air temperatures along with the other properties associated with the resulting mixed air stream (stream 3). In our example, we get the following results:
Property name  Symbol  Value 

Volumetric flow rate  V_{3}  70 m^{3}/min 
Dry bulb temperature  Tdb_{3}  18.93 °C 
Relative humidity  % RH_{3}  88.79 % 
Humidity ratio  ω_{3}  12.15 g/kg 
Dew point temperature  Tdp_{3}  17.04 °C 
Specific volume  v_{3}  0.8436 m^{3}/kg 
Mass flow rate  m_{3}  1.383 kg/s 
Enthalpy  h_{3}  49.84 kJ/kg 
Vapour pressure  Pv_{3}  1.9414 kPa 
With the mixed air calculator, we can quickly and easily determine the properties of a mixed air stream without the need for a psychrometric chart.
🙋 Note that you can also use this tool to calculate any of the streams as long as you provide the properties of the other two.
Is air mixing an adiabatic process?
Yes, air mixing is considered an adiabatic process, as there is very little heat transfer to the surroundings. Also, as there's no work involved in the mixing process, the energy balance equation simplifies to:
m_{1}h_{1} + m_{2}h_{2} = m_{3}h_{3}
Here, m represents mass flow, and h is the enthalpy of each stream. The subscripts 1, 2, and 3 refer to the outside, return, and mixed air, respectively.
What's mixed air dry bulb temperature if h=38kJ/kg and ω=8g/kg?
The dry bulb temperature is T_{db} = 17.63 °C. You can find this value using a psychrometric chart by locating the intersection of these two values and moving vertically to the horizontal axis to read the dry bulb temperature.
Alternatively, you can use this formula:
h = 1.006 × T_{db} + ω × (2499.86 + 1.86 × T_{db})
Substitute the known values of enthalpy h and humidity ratio ω, and solve for T_{db}.
How do I calculate mixed air properties?
To calculate mixed air properties, use a psychrometric chart or mixed air calculation formulas. The general procedure is as follows:

Determine the enthalpy, humidity ratio, and specific volume of the HVAC return air and outside air streams.

Calculate the mass flow, enthalpy, and humidity ratio of the mixed air stream using these expressions:
m_{1}h_{1} + m_{2}h_{2} = m_{3}h_{3}
m_{1} + m_{2} = m_{3}
m_{1}ω_{1} + m_{2}ω_{2} = m_{3}ω_{3} 
With h_{3}, and ω_{3}, determine the dry bulb temperature, relative humidity, and specific volume.

Calculate the volumetric flow rate with:
V_{3} = m_{3}v_{3}