Effects of HVAC on combustion-gas transport in residential structures

Shruti Ghanekar, Craig Weinschenk, Gavin P. Horn, Keith Stakes, Richard M. Kesler, Tonghun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Time-resolved concentrations of oxygen (O2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O) produced by controlled propane gas burners are measured at three locations in a residential structure equipped with a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. Experiments are conducted to assess the effects of HVAC operating status (off vs. on) and the impact of bedroom door position (open vs. closed) on species concentrations. Change in concentration up to the flame extinction point, the rate of change, and the transport time for the measured species at each location is compared. The CO2–O2 concentration ratio derived from these experiments correlates strongly with the stoichiometric combustion ratio. The CO2–H2O and O2–H2O ratios have a relatively strong correlation though with slightly higher variability. Both the HVAC status and bedroom door position have statistically significant influence on the total change in concentration for all the measured species. However, HVAC status only has a statistically significant effect on the rate of change of H2O but not CO2 and O2 concentrations. For all three species in both bedrooms, the concentrations typically begin to change later in experiments with HVAC off than experiments with HVAC on.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103534
JournalFire Safety Journal
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Compartment fires
  • Gas burners
  • Gas transport
  • HVAC
  • Water vapor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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