Extracting Indoor Pollutants with Proper Ventilation (Extract)

Project Funder: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Project Partners: Indoor Climate Research and Training program at the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign (UIUC)Tohn Environmental StrategiesEfficiency Vermont, the City of Fort Collins, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and Air King America.

Project Contact: Jonathan Wilson, jwilson@nchh.org, 443.539.4162.

Project Description

Nationally, 42% of single-family homes in the United States use gas stoves as their primary cooking source. An earlier study of 8,000 children found that children from households with gas stoves had a greater history of respiratory illness before age two than children living in homes with electric stoves. The same study observed significantly lower levels of lung function among the children living in the homes with gas stoves. The study team hypothesizes that if homes were better ventilated, there would be less exposure to gas stove pollutants and residents would be healthier. Furthermore, the team is interested in determining if a kitchen fan that exhausts to the outside would be more effective at reducing indoor air contaminants than a similarly powered, exterior-exhausting bath fan.

The research team will be led by NCHH in partnership with the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Indoor Climate Research and Training center (ICRT). The research team will partner with home retrofit (weatherization) providers in Illinois and Fort Collins, Colorado, to implement the study. One hundred and twenty homes will be enrolled during the winter seasons of 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23. At each home, indoor air pollutants will be sampled prior to retrofit installation and shortly after retrofit. We will test the theory that pollutants will decline after retrofits and pollutants will be lower in homes that receive kitchen exhaust fans than in homes that receive the bath exhaust fans.

Results are expected to be published in 2024.


This is a new study. We’ll post resources here as they become available.


Latest page update: April 12, 2022.