Airtight construction of energy efficient homes increasingly limits the indoor and outdoor air exchange. Consequently, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Formaldehyde can accumulate to toxic levels. Formaldehyde is an eye and respiratory irritant suspected as one of the inducing agents of asthma. Exposure to Formaldehyde has been linked to nasopharyngeal cancer and leukemia. This study evaluated the effects of increasing ventilation rates through Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) in a new home. The study objective is to determine the effects of increasing ventilation rates on the concentrations of Formaldehyde and the associated emission rates. The results indicate that increasing ventilation rates effectively reduced Formaldehyde concentrations. However, increasing ventilation rates elevated the whole-house emission rates, which suggests more Formaldehyde was brought out from materials. This effect is expected to decline in the long term.


Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Monitoring


Henry Willem

Lab site

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

Funding Acknowledgement

This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation.



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/star/56


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.