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The Washington State Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality Code (VIAQ) has required the installation of whole house ventilation systems in all new homes since July 1991. A variety of systems are allowed by the VIAQ. In May 1998, a survey was conducted to explore occupant interaction with the code mandated systems. The survey is part of a research project designed to explore the effectiveness of the VIAQ. This paper examines the data collected from a survey of 235 Washington State residents living in homes affected by the ventilation requirements. During a 10 minute telephone interview, respondents were asked about repair records, alterations, inconveniences, and benefits of their whole house ventilation systems.

The study reveals that people are concerned about indoor air quality, and believe fresh air is important for health. However, they do not operate their ventilation systems near as much as recommended (3.4 hours on average compared to 8 hours per day recommended) and when they adjust their systems, they adjust them to provide even less fresh air. Over 99% of the people surveyed believed the air in their homes was good or average. People who have problems with the systems, such as noise, drafts and/or energy waste, use their systems less than other people. While people who have code mandated ventilation systems are typically not aware of all the systems components, 64% of those with ventilation systems say they would install the same system again.

Units: Dual