This paper reviews both the theoretical and actual impacts of energy conservation measures on indoor air quality in residential structures. Though it is widely believed that energy conservation measures either cause or contribute to indoor air pollution and possible health effects, the relationship is far more complex than is normally assumed. The impact of energy conservation measures on indoor air quality depends in considerable measure on the nature of a given contaminant, its sources, and responses to changes in infiltration and ventilation conditions..
Since the cost of energy is increasing sharply a trend to conserve energy in the indoor environment and in addition to improvements in thermal insulation, two possible solutions are adopted. The first one is to provide reduced air gaps and opening for newly constructed buildings to minimise the infiltration of outdoor air. The second one is to reduce the ventilation rate or the fresh air supplied in air conditioned buildings. These two solutions are the reason for some serious problems of indoor air quality.
ASTM has recently standardized a methodology for measuring the leakage of residential air distribution systems to unconditioned zones. The standard includes two alternative leakage measurement techniques, one of which requires only a blower door, whereas the second technique requires a flowcapture hood as well as a blower door. This paper reports on the results of field measurements in 30 houses using both measurement techniques, and analyzes the relative strengths and weaknesses of the two techniques.