Energy Savings and Comfort Enhancement Potential of a Smart Residential Ventilation Control Strategy

Secondary Author(s)

Parker, Danny; Fenaughty, Karen

Report Number





Air Conditioning; Buildings


Mechanical ventilation is vital in modern homes to ensure adequate indoor air quality. However, builders, contractors, and homeowners may perceive best practice as a risk, for example if invoked when outdoor conditions may compromise comfort and energy use. ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2016 defines best practice, yet code specifications vary nationally. Although enthalpy recovery is advocated in efficient home design to reduce risk, additional risk management is available from taking advantage of the natural daily and seasonal temperature and humidity cycles. We describe a smart ventilation system using outdoor temperature and moisture-based control. The main principle is to shift ventilation from time periods that have large indoor-to-outdoor temperature and moisture differences to periods when these differences are smaller and their energy and comfort impacts are expected to be less. Fan flow rates are reduced when outdoor temperature and moisture levels deviate far from desired indoor conditions, and are increased at other times to ensure overall air exchange, and chronic and acute exposure to pollutants, is maintained. Online weather and smart thermostat data can be used as control inputs, so no specific measurement devices are needed. This makes for a very low cost/high reliability solution. Using the smart ventilation scheme demonstrated 10% average monthly cooling energy savings in two full-scale identical side by side test homes in Florida. The change in sensible ventilation load was much higher at 73%. Parametric simulations show similar savings for heating and cooling across North America climates demonstrating smart ventilation as a robust efficiency measure.

Date Published



Buildings - Air Conditioning

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