Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil Engineering


Up to 40% of the heating/cooling energy requirement of a typical home can be attributed to unnecessary air infiltration. To reduce the energy costs of heating/cooling a home, it is therefore essential that every possible measure be taken to reduce the loss of conditioned air through the many leakage paths in a house. In order to accomplish this, it is first necessary to locate these leaks, and to determine their relative importance. Both theoretical and experimental techniques have been developed to accomplish this. This effort compares existing theoretical techniques to new experimental results on two houses of different window construction, since windows are the most important sites of infiltration. First, air filtration was calculated by a theoretical method for Houses No. 1 and No. 2. Then it was measured by an air-test unit designed and built for this purpose. The air-test unit measures the rate of air flow through closed doors and windows resulting from inside/outside air-pressure differences simulated by the unit blower. This simulation recreates the air flow which will occur naturally due to wind action on a building, stack effect in a building, the operation of mechanical ventilation and exhaust systems, or a combination of these factors. These measurements were the main effort of this investigation.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Heat -- Transmission
Dwellings -- Thermal properties
Heat -- Transmission -- Measurement



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University