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The airtightness of 82 passive solar homes located throughout the United States was studied using tracer gas measurements of air infiltration and pressurization testing. The air infiltration measurements employed the tracer gas decay technique in a low-cost mode employing air sample bags and off-site infiltration determination. The infiltration rates measured under natural conditions ranged from about 0.05 to almost 2 air changes per hour (ACH). The pressurization test results ranged from 1 to more than 30 ACH at 50 Pa, with an average of about 10 ACH. By comparing the pressurization measurements on these homes to measurements on other homes, the passive solar homes were found to be in general no tighter than other U.S. homes. The air infiltration and pressurization measurements of the Class B homes were compared using existing infiltration models and other empirical relations.
air infiltration, air leakage in buildings, airtightness of buildings, building airtightness, blower door tests, passive solar buildings, pressurization testing, tracer gas measurement
Mechanical engineer, National Bureau of Standards, Gaithersburg, MD