Infiltration Effects on Residential Pollutant Concentrations for Continuous and Intermittent Mechanical Ventilation Approaches
The prevailing residential ventilation standard in North America, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 62.2, specifies volumetric airflow requirements as a function of the overall size of the home and the number of bedrooms, assumes a fixed, minimal amount of infiltration, and requires mechanical ventilation to achieve the remainder. The standard allows for infiltration credits and intermittent ventilation patterns that can be shown to provide comparable performance. Whole-house ventilation methods have a substantial effect on time-varying indoor pollutant concentrations. If alternatives specified by Standard 62.2, such as intermittent ventilation, are used, short-term pollutant concentrations could exceed acute health standards even if chronic health standards are met. The authors present a methodology for comparing ASHRAE- and non-ASHRAE-specified ventilation scenarios on relative indoor pollutant concentrations. We use numerical modeling to compare the maximum time-averaged concentrations for acute exposure relevant (1-hour, 8-hour, 24-hour ) and chronic exposure relevant (1-year) time periods for four different ventilation scenarios in six climates with a range of normalized leakage values. The results suggest that long-term concentrations are the most important metric for assessing the effectiveness of whole-house ventilation systems in meeting exposure standards and that, if chronic health exposure standards are met, acute standards will also be met.