Secondary Author(s)

Cummings, James; Shirey III, Don B.

Report Number




Ventilation; Buildings; Hot Humid Climates


Testing was performed in 9 restaurants to identify uncontrolled air flows and pressure imbalances, building and duct system airtightness, building air barrier location, pressure differentials, building air flow balance, and ventilation rates. All restaurants are depressurized under normal operating conditions, ranging from -1.0 to -43 pascals. Space depressurization is a function of exhaust fan flow rates, missing or undersized make-up air, intermittent outdoor air caused by the cycling of air handlers, dirty outdoor air and make-up air filters, and building airtightness. Ventilation rates were found to be high, generally exceeding ASHRAE 62-1989 minimum recommended levels. Pressure imbalances and excessive ventilation rates impact energy use, heating/cooling system sizing, indoor comfort and humidity, building moisture damage, mold growth, combustion equipment problems, and indoor air quality.

The objectives of good restaurant air flow management (in hot and humid climates) are to: 1) achieve positive pressure in the building under a majority of operating conditions, 2) avoid excessive ventilation, and 3) maintain air flow from dining area to kitchen, all while minimizing heating/cooling energy use and achieving acceptable dehumidification (< 60% RH most of the time). Recommendations are presented to achieve these objectives.

Date Published



Reference Publication: Cummings, J. B., C.R. Withers, and Don Shirey. 1997. "Controlling Ventilation and Space Depressurization in Restaurants in Hot and Humid Climates". Proceedings of the 18th Annual AIVC Conference, Volume 1, pp.153 ­ 161, Athens, Greece. September 1997.

Local Subjects

Hot Humid Climates; Buildings - Ventilation


FSEC Energy Research Center® Collection



Rights Statement

In Copyright