Evaluation of an Incremental Ventilation Energy Model for Estimating Impacts of Air Sealing and Mechanical Ventilation

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Changing the rate of airflow through a home affects the annual thermal conditioning energy. Large-scale changes to airflow rates of the housing stock can significantly alter the energy consumption of the residential energy sector. However, the complexity of existing residential energy models hampers the ability to estimate the impact of policy changes on a state or nationwide level. The Incremental Ventilation Energy (IVE) model developed in this study was designed to combine the output of simple airflow models and a limited set of home characteristics to estimate the associated change in energy demand of homes. The IVE model was designed specifically to enable modelers to use existing databases of home characteristics to determine the impact of policy on ventilation at a population scale. In this report, we describe the IVE model and demonstrate that its estimates of energy change are comparable to the estimates of a well-validated, complex residential energy model when applied to homes with limited parameterization. Homes with extensive parameterization would be more accurately characterized by complex residential energy models. The demonstration included a range of home types, climates, and ventilation systems that cover a large fraction of the residential housing sector.

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