Energy impact of residential ventilation norms in the United States

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The first and only national norm for residential ventilation in the United States is Standard 62.2-2004 published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). This standard does not by itself have the force of regulation, but is being considered for adoption by various jurisdictions within the U.S. as well as by various voluntary programs. The adoption of 62.2 would require mechanical ventilation systems to be installed in virtually all new homes, but allows for a wide variety of design solutions. These solutions, however, may have a different energy costs and non-energy benefits. This report uses a detailed simulation model to evaluate the energy impacts of currently popular and proposed mechanical ventilation approaches that are 62.2 compliant for a variety of climates. These results separate the energy needed to ventilate from the energy needed to condition the ventilation air, from the energy needed to distribute and/or temper the ventilation air. The results show that exhaust systems are generally the most energy efficient method of meeting the proposed requirements. Balanced and supply systems have more ventilation resulting in greater energy and their associated distribution energy use can be significant.

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