Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Heat Recovery Ventilation for IEQ in Inner City Dwelling(ST8274-1)

NYIEQ Center, Inc.


The New York Indoor Environmental Quality Center, Inc. (NYIEQ) and a team of public and private partners have received a grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for a project entitled Syracuse Healthy Indoor Environment Living Demonstration (SHIELD). This grant (HUD grant NYLHH0117-03) will evaluate various techniques to lessen children’s exposure to suspected indoor asthma triggers in underserved urban dwellings. These techniques will be grouped as low intervention measures (visual inspection and impermeable bedding) and high intervention measures (low intervention measures plus steam cleaning and air filtering devices). NYIEQ would like to include portable window heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) as a high intervention measure. HRVs allow outdoor air to be introduced into spaces with a smaller heating and cooling energy expense, as compared to other ventilation techniques.

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Project Description

The Contractor (NYIEQ) will: identify the most promising HRV product for this application, install the HRVs in the homes receiving the high intervention measures, instrument the HRVs to monitor their performance, collect pre- and post indoor environmental quality (IEQ) measurements in the dwellings to evaluate the HRVs’ ability to reduce indoor pollutants (e.g., settled dust matter and allergens), conduct pre- and post pulmonary function tests on the children living in the dwellings, and analyze the collected data.


This study confirmed that HRVs in combination with other measures can improve IAQ in asthmatic children's homes. It was also shown that portable window HRVs can minimize the energy cost associated with providing increased ventilation in such homes. The project's results were presented at Syracuse University's annual symposium for environmental quality.

Project Results

Randomly chosen groups of 40 asthmatic children received the different asthma agent intervention packages. Comparisons of health improvements between high and low intervention groups, from baseline to final post-intervention showed no significant differences. Still, post-intervention indoor air quality (IAQ) results showed significant improvements between the low and high intervention groups. Significant improvements in IAQ results were also observed, between baseline and post intervention measurements, for the high intervention groups associated with the use of HRVs and room air cleaners. Based on collected data while the HRVs were installed in the homes, and subsequent analysis, it is estimated that these units cost on average $198 ($0.81 per day) in energy to operate during a normal heating season. If the same ventilation rate had been provided to homes without the HRVs, the average energy expenses would have been $614 ($2.53 per day) for an electrically heated home, and $209 ($0.86 per day) for gas heated home during a normal heating season.


NYIEQ Center, Inc.
621 Skytop Road
Syracuse, NY 13244

Principle Investigator

Ana Fernandez

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Research Study

Technologies Types:

Building Systems
Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning
Cooling & Ventilation

NYSERDA Contact Information

Robert Carver


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST8274-1

Last Updated: 10/27/2010