The thermoelectric properties near ambient temperature of half-Heusler alloys based on LnPdSb, where Ln=Ho, Er, and Dy are reported. The Seebeck coefficients are large, between 60 and 250 μV/K, and the materials are p type. The resistivities are between 0.6 and 20 mΩ cm. Thermal conductivities are between approximately 5.0 and 3.5 W/mK at 300 K, and are smallest in intentionally disordered materials. The highest ambient temperature ZT obtained is 0.06. Band-structure calculations are presented for LuPdSb. It is suggested that half-Heusler alloys with 18 electrons per formula unit may represent a large class of thermoelectric materials. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.