SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1995

Impact of Air Infiltration in Frame Walls on Energy Loads: Taking Advantage of the Interaction between Infiltration, Solar Radiation, and Conduction


The energy impact of air leakage has classically been treated independently of conduction gains and losses through building envelopes. However, an increasing body of evidence shows that heat exchange in envelope components resulting from interactions between air leakage and conduction and solar radiation systematically changes (generally reducing) the energy load of air infiltration. A systematic study performed by the authors shows that this heat exchange can substantially reduce the air infiltration energy requirements in frame structures or walls under laboratory conditions depending on airflow rate and leakage configurations. The interaction of airflow with solar radiation is an important consideration—perhaps as important as the interaction of airflow with conduction under outdoor conditions, and depressurizing a house during winter and pressurizing during summer using a fan may reduce energy consumption significantly. This paper reviews earlier theoretical and experimental work in this area and summarizes results of a series of experiments and theoretical work conducted by the authors.

Author Information

Claridge, DE
Energy Systems Laboratory, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Liu, M
Energy Systems Laboratory, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Bhattacharyya, S
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India
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Developed by Committee: E06
Pages: 178–196
DOI: 10.1520/STP14697S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5310-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2023-5