Building America Case Study: Ventilation System Effectiveness and Tested Indoor Air Quality Impacts, Tyler, Texas

Stacey Rothgeb, A. Rudd, D. Bergey

Research output: NRELFact Sheet


Ventilation system effectiveness testing was conducted at two unoccupied, single-family, detached lab homes at the University of Texas - Tyler. Five ventilation system tests were conducted with various whole-building ventilation systems. Multizone fan pressurization testing characterized building and zone enclosure leakage. PFT testing showed multizone air change rates and interzonal airflow filtration. Indoor air recirculation by a central air distribution system can help improve the exhaust ventilation system by way of air mixing and filtration. In contrast, the supply and balanced ventilation systems showed that there is a significant benefit to drawing outside air from a known outside location, and filtering and distributing that air. Compared to the Exhaust systems, the CFIS and ERV systems showed better ventilation air distribution and lower concentrations of particulates, formaldehyde and other VOCs. System improvement percentages were estimated based on four System Factor Categories: Balance, Distribution, Outside Air Source, and Recirculation Filtration. Recommended System Factors could be applied to reduce ventilation fan airflow rates relative to ASHRAE Standard 62.2 to save energy and reduce moisture control risk in humid climates. HVAC energy savings were predicted to be 8-10%, or $50-$75/year. Cumulative particle counts for six particle sizes, and formaldehyde and other Top 20 VOC concentrations were measured in multiple zones. The testing showed that single-point exhaust ventilation was inferior as a whole-house ventilation strategy.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Building Science Corporation (BSC), Westford, Massachusetts

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/FS-5500-64363

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102015-4693


  • airborne particles
  • BSC
  • Building America
  • formaldehyde
  • indoor air quality
  • particulate
  • particulate matter
  • residential
  • Residential Buildings
  • TVOC
  • ventilation
  • ventilation air distribution
  • ventilation air source
  • ventilation effectiveness
  • ventilation system factors
  • VOC
  • volatile organic compound
  • whole-building ventilation


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