Effect of Ventilation Strategies on Residential Ozone Levels
Elevated outdoor ozone levels are associated with adverse health effects. Because people spend the vast majority of their time indoors, reduction in indoor levels of ozone of outdoor origin would lower population exposures and might also lead to a reduction in ozone-associated adverse health effects. In most buildings, indoor ozone levels are diminished with respect to outdoor levels to an extent that depends on surface reactions and on the degree to which ozone penetrates the building envelope. Ozone enters buildings from outdoors together with the airflows that are driven by natural and mechanical means, including deliberate ventilation used to reduce concentrations of indoor-‐generated pollutants. When assessing the effect of deliberate ventilation on occupant health one should consider not only the positive effects on removing pollutants of indoor origin but also the possibility that enhanced ventilation might increase indoor levels of pollutants originating outdoors. This study considers how changes in residential ventilation that are designed to comply with ASHRAE Standard 62.2 might influence indoor levels of ozone. Simulation results show that the building envelope can contribute significantly to filtration of ozone. Consequently, the use of exhaust ventilation systems is predicted to produce lower indoor ozone concentrations than would occur with balanced ventilation systems operating at the same air-exchange rate. We also investigated a strategy for reducing exposure to ozone that would deliberately reduce ventilation rates during times of high outdoor ozone concentration while still meeting daily average ventilation requirements.