We spend 90% of our time indoors so we want to turn our attention to the air quality inside. As we make our homes more and more energy efficient and “leak proof” we can also be making the air we breathe less healthy. Stale air in our airtight homes causes poor air quality. Without that air exchange, moisture can breed mould and mildew, allow dust mites to flourish and can even lead to a greater risk of asthma.
Pollutants are 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels when our homes are unable to properly exchange old air with fresh air. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a six-room home collects an average 40 pounds of dust containing up to 45 toxic chemicals in a single year.
Creating ventilation is an important part of the healthy home equation. The question remains, what can we do about stale air. There are 3 ways to get the air moving:
- Natural– Open windows and doors. Add plants like: Bamboo, English Ivy, Peace Lily, Fiddle leaf fig, Snake plant.
- Spot– Use technology in rooms like your kitchen, basement, bathroom exhaust fan while showering and run it for 30 minutes after you shower. Make sure your fan is vented outside, not into your attic.
- Whole Home-The most common form of ventilation found in modern housing. Whole-home ventilation uses a series of exhaust ducts and vents throughout the home to provide deliberate ventilation and circulated air flow. One of the important aspects of whole home ventilation is pulling air from stagnant areas of the home (hallways and bathrooms) and supplying air to the more lived in area (bedrooms and living rooms).
- Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV)
- Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV)
TIP- When conducting major renovations air quality can also be affected. Turn off your furnace while work is being done and change filters. Get your air ducts cleaned after a major renovations. Lastly use no VOC or low VOC paint.
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