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Ventilation, Energy and IAQ Impacts of Mechanical Ventilation in a U.S. Dwelling



Andrew K. Persily


Based on concerns about indoor air quality and trends towards tighter envelope construction, there has been increasing interest in mechanical ventilation of residential buildings in the United States. This paper reports on a simulation study of indoor air quality, ventilation and energy impacts of several mechanical ventilation approaches in a single-family residential building. The study focuses on a two-story house in the northwestern United States and employs the multizone airflow and contaminant dispersal model CONTAM96. The contaminants studied include carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, water vapor, fire particles, and a generic volatile organic compound. One year simulations were performed for a base case of envelope infiltration, passive inlet vents with intermittent mechanical exhaust, outdoor intake to to the forced-air system return balanced by mechanical exhaust, continuous exhaust. Results discussed include whole building air change rates, energy consumption and contaminant concentrations.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the 24th Conference
Conference Dates
August 8-13, 1999
Conference Location
Edinburgh, SC
Conference Title
Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre


building technology, computer simulation, energy, indoor air quality, mechanical ventilation, modeling, residential, ventilation


Persily, A. (1999), Ventilation, Energy and IAQ Impacts of Mechanical Ventilation in a U.S. Dwelling, Proceedings of the 24th Conference, Edinburgh, SC, [online], (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created August 1, 1999, Updated February 19, 2017