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This paper examines airtightness data from 623 electrically heated residential buildings in the Pacific Northwest. The Residential Standards Demonstration Program (RSDP) was designed to demonstrate the merits of energy-efficient construction techniques. The control houses were intended to be representative of current construction practice in the four-state region (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington). The Model Conservation Standards (MCS) houses incorporated energy efficiency features including measures to reduce air infiltration and provide ventilation with heat recovery. The RSDP houses were primarily built in 1984 and monitored in the 1985–1986 heating season.
The airtightness of the tested homes was found to highly variable. Based on interpretation of blower door tests with the LBL infiltration model, we conclude that the typical MCS home had an average natural air change rate of about 0.25 air changes per hour (ACH) versus a rate of 0.49 ACH for the typical control house.
infiltration, residential, airtightness, fan pressurization tests, perfluorocarbon tracer gas measurements
Research analyst, Florida Solar Energy Center, Cape Canaveral, FL