The RESAVE program's overall goal was to facilitate the substantial reduction of energy and peak power that is used in homes to condition air that enters from outdoors. Ventilation, either by infiltration (the uncontrolled exchange of air through building envelope leaks and penetrations) or deliberately through mechanical or passive systems, typically accounts for over one‐third of the energy used for total space conditioning.
As both new and existing homes are made more airtight to reduce infiltration energy losses, the needs for having efficient ventilation are increased.
Currently new homes in California are required to meet the ASHRAE Standard on residential ventilation (62.2‐2007). A key objective of the RESAVE program was to develop alternatives to this standard that would allow equal or better indoor air quality performance at a substantially reduced energy cost and substantially lower peak power consumption.
The existing building stock is considerably leakier than typical new construction. Given the small percentage of homes built each year, substantially more energy can be saved through retrofitting the existing stock. Therefore, Another RESAVE objective was to demonstrate the energy saving‐potential of improving the envelope air‐tightness of the housing existing stock.
A key barrier to improved envelope air‐tightness is the real concern that indoor air quality will be compromised. Therefore, a further RESAVE objective was to generate appropriate guidance for making existing homes more airtight while maintaining acceptable indoor air quality.