Ventilation, indoor air quality, and health in homes undergoing weatherization

P. W. Francisco, D. E. Jacobs, L. Targos, S. L. Dixon, J. Breysse, W. Rose, S. Cali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ventilation standards, health, and indoor air quality have not been adequately examined for residential weatherization. This randomized trial showed how ASHRAE 62-1989 (n=39 houses) and ASHRAE 62.2-2010 (n=42 houses) influenced ventilation rates, moisture balance, indoor air quality, and self-reported physical and mental health outcomes. Average total airflow was nearly twice as high for ASHRAE 62.2-2010 (79 vs. 39 cfm). Volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde and carbon dioxide were all significantly reduced for the newer standard and first-floor radon was marginally lower, but for the older standard, only formaldehyde significantly decreased. Humidity in the ASHRAE 62.2-2010 group was only about half that of the ASHRAE 62-1989 group using the moisture balance metric. Radon was higher in the basement but lower on the first floor for ASHRAE 62.2-2010. Children in each group had fewer headaches, eczema, and skin allergies after weatherization and adults had improvements in psychological distress. Indoor air quality and health improve when weatherization is accompanied by an ASHRAE residential ventilation standard, and the 2010 ASHRAE standard has greater improvements in certain outcomes compared to the 1989 standard. Weatherization, home repair, and energy conservation projects should use the newer ASHRAE standard to improve indoor air quality and health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-477
Number of pages15
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers)
  • healthy housing
  • housing
  • indoor air quality
  • retrofit
  • ventilation
  • weatherization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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