The outdoor air ventilation rate in high-rise residences employing room air conditioners

Zhongping Lin, Shiming Deng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Ventilation is important because it affects indoor environmental conditions, including air pollutant concentrations that may modify the health of the occupants of a building, or their perceptions and comfort. This paper reports, first of all, on field studies monitoring indoor overnight CO2levels and outdoor ventilation rates in bedrooms employing room air conditioners (RACs), so the current situation of ventilation in actual high-rise residential buildings in Hong Kong can be appreciated. This is followed by a report of the results of laboratory experiments where two typical RACs were used in an examination of outdoor air ventilation characteristics in rooms employing RACs. The results of field studies showed that the outdoor ventilation rates in the measured bedrooms equipped with RACs in high-rise residential buildings in Hong Kong could not meet the ventilation requirement specified in the ASHRAE standard 62-2001 even if there was only one occupant in a bedroom. Although the use ofa window-type air conditioner (WRAC) may provide a higher outdoor ventilation rate than the use of a split-type air conditioner (SARC), this may be ascribed to the fact there is more natural infiltration when a WRAC is used. The ventilation damper currently available in a WRAC does not significantly affect the outdoor ventilation rate. Therefore, such a damper cannot be expected to provide the ventilation rate as required by a ventilation code and its intended function of controlling ventilation is limited. In addition, the air exhausted from indoors to outdoors through the ventilation outlet in a WRAC is air that has just been cooled by the cooling coil (evaporator). This is unreasonable, because exhausting just-cooled and dehumidified air is a waste of energy. Therefore, an improved design for a WRAC has been suggested. Finally, the outdoor ventilation requirement for bedrooms at nighttime, when occupants are asleep, is discussed. A new ventilation rate of 3.0 l/s per person for the sleeping environment in high-rise residential buildings is proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1389-1399
Number of pages11
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • CO level 2
  • Residences
  • Room air conditioner
  • Sleeping environment
  • Ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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