Sizing rules in residential ventilation standards lack uniformity in both methodology and resulting design flow rates. Additionally, mere comparison of design flow rates is case sensitive and, due to effects of infiltration, adventitious ventilation and occupancy, ill-suited to assess performance of an exhaust ventilation system with regard to the achieved indoor air quality and energy cost in terms of heat loss. This paper presents a multi-zone simulation based performance assessment of residential mechanical exhaust ventilation systems, using five common dwelling typologies and the sizing rules put forward in the Belgian, British, Dutch, French and ASHRAE residential ventilation standards. The performance of the different cases proved to be substantially different, with an occurrence of poor perceived air quality in 5% or less of the occupation time for the Belgian, Dutch and French standard, and about 15% for the British and ASHRAE standard. When the trade-off between indoor air quality and heat loss is considered, the cases with the Dutch and ASHRAE standard did not achieve pareto-optimal performance.