Ventilation and Measured IAQ in new US homes

TitleVentilation and Measured IAQ in new US homes
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsWalker, Iain S, Brett C Singer, Rengie Chan
Conference Name40th AIVC Conference
KeywordsVentilation performance; formaldehyde; nitrogen dioxide; particles; field study

As newer homes are being built tighter than the existing housing stock, questions have been raised about theconcentrations of pollutants of concern in new homes and how mechanical ventilation systems can address thisissue. This study measured pollutants of concern in 70 new homes with mechanical ventilation in California, USAand compared the results to a previous study of home without mechanical ventilation. The key pollutants weremeasured using both time-integrated and time-resolved over a one-week period and included formaldehyde,PM2.5 and NO2. Each home was tested for air flows of mechanical systems, together with house envelope andforced air heating and cooling duct leakage. The results show that the homes complied with dwelling unitventilation fan flows and most of the time with kitchen and bathroom requirements. The measured pollutantconcentrations were almost all within acceptable limits and showed that the installed ventilation flow rates (thatcomplied with California building standard and ASHRAE 62.2 requirements) provided acceptable indoor airquality. The mechanically ventilated homes had more consistent ventilation, resulting in less extreme pollutantconcentrations. However, there remain issues with system operation, e.g., poor labeling of easily accessiblecontrols led to three-quarters of the dwelling unit ventilation systems being turned off when homes were firstvisited for this study. This paper summarizes the results of the diagnostic testing and time-integrated fieldmeasurements, together with implications for ventilation standards.

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