Air Tightness of US Homes: Model Development

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Air tightness is an important property of building envelopes. It is a key factor in determining infiltration and related wall-performance properties such as indoor air quality, maintainability and moisture balance. Air leakage in U.S. houses consumes roughly 1/3 of the HVAC energy but provides most of the ventilation used to control IAQ. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has been gathering residential air leakage data from many sources and now has a database of more than 100,000 raw measurements. This paper uses that database to develop a model for estimating air leakage as a function of climate, building age, floor area, building height, floor type, energy-efficiency and low-income designations. The model developed can be used to estimate the leakage distribution of populations of houses.

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