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Firefighting Article: Construction Concerns: Infiltration

By Gregory Havel An air leak from outside that enters a building through cracks, doors, and other designed or undesigned openings is called “infiltration.” It is one of the parameters used in designing heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. The more resistant a building envelope is to the passage of unwanted, unconditioned outdoor air, the more energy efficient it will be. The infiltration rate is measured in cubic feet per minute, or in liters per second. The air exchange rate is the number of times per hour that infiltration changes the volume of air contained in the building. This is also called “air changes per hour.” In the past, infiltration was of less concern t...

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