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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.


Category: Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality

Direct-Fired Technology: From Makeup Air to Space Heating

ASHRAE Journal, Sep. 2015, by Thomas Boeckermann, and others.

"Direct-fired heating technology is a safe, energy-efficient, and cost-effective means to provide heating for a wide range of applications. The two main uses—makeup air and space heating—have different applications and require different approaches to deliver the most efficient design. This article summarizes the basic operating principles, safety, energy performance, psychrometric behavior, and recommendations for the use of direct-fired heating units."

Pacific Northwest Residential Ventilation Effectiveness Study

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Sept. 14, 2015, by Ken Eklund and others.

"This report presents the findings and conclusions of the Pacific Northwest Residential Ventilation Effectiveness study in houses with low air leakage. The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) commissioned the Washington State University (WSU) Energy Program to conduct the study, which included a total of twenty-nine houses in Washington State with five different types of ventilation systems. Exhaust ventilation (Exhaust Only (EO) and Exhaust with Inlet Vents (EI)) and heat recovery ventilation (HRV)/energy recovery ventilation (ERV) systems made up the largest share of the ventilation systems studied."

Indoor Air Quality in Hospitals

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, July 2015, by Christopher J. Stipe.

"Hospitals and health care facilities must comply with ASHRAE and other regulatory standards with respect to air change rates, humidity requirements, and pressurization. ASHRAE Standard 62.1 is the most commonly referenced standard to meet appropriate HVAC system design. Other factors to consider include the use of UV light to reduce hospital-acquired infections, unique air requirements, and outdoor air systems."

Study Suggests Residential Pellet Offgassing a Nonissue

Biomass Magazine, Aug. 12, 2015, by Anna Simet.

"According to results from a new study released by the University of New Hampshire, indoor storage of pellets in homes using the fuel for heat does not pose a risk of generating carbon monoxide (CO) levels above recommended thresholds. The issue has been contentious in the Northeast, said Adam Sherman, executive director of Vermont-based Biomass Energy Resource Center."

A Healthy Dose of Efficiency [Hospitals]

Business Energy, June 2015, by David C. Richardson.{}

"Hospitals may prioritize medical equipment, but can't ignore their unique HVAC needs."

Predicting the Future of RTUs [Rooftop Units]

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, June 15, 2015, by Jen Anesi.

"With the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and industry stakeholders currently working together on a negotiated rulemaking setting new energy conservation standards for commercial package equipment, and with codes and standards mandating increased ventilation and higher efficiencies for this equipment, manufacturers are finding innovative ways to meet and exceed expectations while creating comfortable, healthy indoor environments for building occupants."

Natural Ventilation: Bringing Fresh Air Into Commercial Buildings

The Construction Specifier, June 2015, by Michael P. Toohey.

"This article discusses the history of ventilation, describes its principles, and compares it with mechanical ventilation. The issues examined consider when specifying a separate window and actuator compared to an integrated natural ventilation system; it also addresses the options available for natural ventilation."

Defining Indoor Air Quality: IAQ Means Different Things to Different People, Organizations

Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, June 8, 2015, by Joanna R. Turpin.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as "associations, such as ASHRAE, and individual states, including California and New Jersey, have put forward standards and regulations that address IAQ issues, but the definition of IAQ still remains somewhat nebulous. Perhaps that is because so many factors affect IAQ — everything from poor ventilation and high (or low) humidity to pesticides, mold, and radon. In addition, it can be a challenge to quantify proper IAQ, particularly when occupants in a space have varying tolerances to different contaminants and irritants."

How Energy Recovery Impacts IEQ

Buildings, May 2015, by Janelle Penny.

"Energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) are a popular choice for fresh air ventilation, as they allow users to precondition the temperature and humidity of outdoor air using the waste energy from building exhaust. Not only does the fresh air and consistent temperature improve IEQ, the use of exhaust for conditioning reduces the mechanical heating and cooling load to save energy and money. Your occupants could likely benefit from a breath of fresh air – but is an ERV the way to accomplish that? Evaluate this technology for your facility below."

Clearing the Air [Residential IAQ]

Green Builder, Apr. 2015. (Scroll to page 11 of the magazine or page 20 of the digital issue.)

"The continued rise of respiratory-related health problems has the public increasingly aware of indoor air pollution. Here's how you can take advantage of new research and products to address IAQ in your projects--before it becomes a problem."
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