Concerns have been raised regarding whether homeowners use windows, doors, exhaust fans and other mechanical ventilation devices often enough to remove indoor air pollutants and excess moisture. In 2006-2007 we conducted a multi-season study of ventilation and IAQ in 108 new single-family, detached homes in California. This paper presents the ventilation and formaldehyde measurements from the Summer field sessions. A total of 10% of the 63 homes did not open their windows/doors at all during the 24-hour test period and 16% opened their windows/doors less than an average of 0.5 ft2 (0.05 m2). A total of 50% of the 62 homes with PFT measurements had outdoor air exchanges rates below 0.35 ach. A total 62% of the 61 homes with formaldehyde measurements had indoor concentrations exceeding the California ARB exposure guideline of 33 Ã‚Âµg/m3. We conclude that the new single-family detached homes in California are built relatively tight, and in those homes where the windows/doors are not opened for ventilation (e.g. for security, noise, odor, dust, thermal comfort concerns) the outdoor air exchange rates are typically low (e.g. 0.2 ach) and indoor concentrations of air contaminants with indoor sources such as formaldehyde can be significantly elevated. This study suggests that consideration should be given to installing mechanical outdoor air ventilations systems in new single-family residences to provide a dependable and continuous supply of outdoor air to the residence.
IAQ 2007 Conference held in Baltimore, Maryland, October 14-17, 2007
Citation: IAQ Conference: IAQ 2007: Healthy and Sustainable Buildings
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