Determining of the role of ventilation in residential energy demand reduction using a heat-balance approach

Ventilation in domestic buildings can have a significant impact on energy consumption but it is notoriously difficult to quantify, requiring physical test methods that are cumbersome and costly to apply. Energy demand reduction analyses routinely neglect the impact of ventilation and so offering well balanced advice for specific households is not possible. This paper describes a simple steady-state, heat-balance calculation method that is supplemented with monitoring data to model the effectiveness of reducing ventilation rates to minimum standards for individual homes. A key step is to determine the daily mean air change rate and the method is shown to yield plausible estimates that can then be used to establish the impact on energy demand. The benefits of the approach include improved energy demand disaggregation, customised energy demand reduction assessment and offers a means to underpin the development of better models of ventilation for building performance analysis.