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In-home environmental quality: indices of indoor air pollution and indoor discomfort and their patterns in Colorado homes




Walker, Kelsey, author
Carter, Ellison, advisor
Rojas, David, committee member
Atadero, Rebecca, committee member

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Understanding the indoor residential environment is important for the health and well-being of occupants. The data used for this thesis included homes from the IEQ Study, which was conducted in partnership with an energy efficiency program of the City of Fort Collins (Epic Homes). Using an index that combines indoor air pollution and indoor thermal comfort, the indoor environmental index (IEI), served as a tool to quantify indoor environmental quality (IEQ) of twenty-eight homes. Daily averages of continuous measurements of PM2.5, CO2, TVOC, T, and RH were used to estimate a daily IEI. The median IEI of homes in the study ranged from 3.8 to 6.3 out of 10 (the lower score indicating a better IEQ). This study undertook a unique approach to estimating some in-home activities by categorizing disaggregated energy data in time spent cooking, cleaning, and temperature control. The Spearman correlation coefficient was used to relate various behavior, home, and outdoor factors to IEQ. Daily time spent cooking was correlated with IEI, as well as outdoor PM2.5, year built, estimated volume, and type of cooking fuel. A multivariate linear regression model was constructed to understand the predictive factors from a combination of outdoor continuous measurements, continuous energy use data as a proxy for occupant behavior, categorical occupant behavior, and categorical home characteristics. Smoking was the only significant factor in estimating IEI. The IEI was comprised of two subindices, the indoor air pollution index (IAPI) and the indoor discomfort index (IDI), which underwent the same process of multivariate linear regression modeling, and also showed limited predictive utility.


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indoor environmental quality
indoor air quality
indoor thermal comfort


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