Did you know the majority of our exposure to air pollutants is from indoor air we breathe?
You may be surprised to learn that indoor air (in your home, office, etc.) can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) estimates that the average person receives 72 percent of their chemical exposure at home. When considering the significant amount of time we spend indoors – in our homes, offices, and more – indoor air quality becomes even more important.
Indoor air pollutants come from different sources. Some indoor air pollutants are a byproduct of construction materials, home furnishings, products used to clean the home, and more. Other indoor air pollutants come from air infiltration that isn’t properly managed or controlled.
There are many ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality. Here are some tips:
Seal Air Leaks – Sealing air leaks helps create a controlled indoor environment. A qualified auditor or contractor can recommend a plan to air seal your home. Spray foam insulation can add r-value to your home and seal air leaks in one step.
Properly Ventilate – Once air leaks are sealed and there is a controlled indoor environment, the home can be properly ventilated. A mechanical ventilation system with good filtration can help remove polluted indoor air from the house.
Reduce Indoor Chemicals – Choose products that have low chemical emissions. This can include cleaning products, home furnishings that are added to the home, and more. This will help your home ventilation system work most effectively.
Have questions about your home’s indoor air quality? Contact our office, our team is happy to help.
Today’s green building techniques are resulting in tight building envelopes. This allows homes to be more efficient than ever before and helps keep energy bills low. Today’s building science also requires home ventilation to be looked at in new ways. Tight building envelopes require proper air exchange to manage indoor air quality.
With today’s homes being tighter than ever, there is less opportunity for air to naturally escape. When you combine this with an increase the number of additives in today’s building products, indoor air quality can become quite poor. If you live in a newer, energy-efficient home, you need a controlled ventilation system to maintain optimal air quality.
There are many types of ventilation systems available for a home. Two common systems are not energy efficient options and are not recommended. These are:
- Exhaust Only – A small exhaust fan is programmed to pull out stale air and moisture. The home relies on natural air leaks to bring air into the home (not an energy-efficient option).
- Supply Only – A fan brings fresh air into the home. Air is not mechanically vented out. The home relies on natural air leaks to vent air from the home (not an energy-efficient option).
A balanced ventilation system includes both exhaust and supply to control ventilation at both ends. This system includes separate fans to manage air supply and air exhaust and create an energy-efficient ventilation balance. This system can go one step further by adding heat recovery which conditions the incoming air prior to entering the home. This is a great system for cold climates, preventing cold air from being drawn into the home during winter.
Does your home have a ventilation system? Do you have questions about your home’s air sealing and ventilation? Contact us with any questions.
Do you think most of the pollutants you breathe come from outside your home? Think again. The majority of our exposure to air pollutants comes from the air we breathe inside buildings – our homes, offices, schools, etc. In fact, indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. The EPA estimates that 72 percent of a person’s chemical exposure happens at home.
There are many ways to improve your indoor air quality. Here are just a few:
Air seal – Sealing air leaks creates a controlled indoor environment. It prevents outdoor pollutants from entering the home and allows an energy auditor to develop a plan to effectively maintain clean indoor air.
Properly ventilate – An effective mechanical air system with good filtration can help remove polluted indoor air from the house.
Reduce indoor chemicals – Choose low-emitting products for your home. This can include building materials used in your home, furniture, cleaning products, and more.
Have questions about your home’s indoor air quality? Contact our office – our team is happy to help.