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Fresh Air Systems: Installer Guidance

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Building and energy codes developed by the International Code Council provide guidance for building professionals on incorporating whole-house ventilation systems into a home.

New single-family and low-rise multifamily starts, built in compliance with the ASHRAE Standard 62.2 or the 2018 International Mechanical Code, require that a whole-house ventilation system be installed and labeled to educate homeowners on the system's role of providing indoor air quality.

A whole-house ventilation system provides outdoor air on a programmed or continual basis to reduce indoor air pollutants. While a fully ducted, balanced ventilation system is widely recognized as providing optimal indoor air quality, most codes also permit exhaust-only or supply-only ventilation systems to be installed to meet minimum code requirements for acceptable indoor air quality.

The Fresh Air System label was designed to educate homeowners on the benefits of continuously operating their system. System manufacturers will provide labels with the fans that can be used for code-compliant whole-house mechanical ventilation.

Builders and installers using the label agree to the following terms:

  • The label will only be installed in conjunction with ventilation systems meeting the following criteria:
    • The system is designed and installed to provide “dwelling unit” or “wholehouse” mechanical ventilation in compliance with any applicable codes, standards, and above-code programs, including fan efficacy requirements and flow requirements.
    • The ventilation devices in the installed system shall be HVI rated and shall bear an HVI sticker to verify the rating.
    • Sound rating: If the fan is not remotely mounted (i.e., equipment outlets or inlets within occupiable space are ≤ 4 feet from the fan), then the fan shall be rated by HVI for sound at a maximum of 1.0 sone.
  • Label placement on the ventilation system switch will be performed according to the directions provided with the product.
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