Indoor air quality (IAQ) is more than just a green building buzzword. The Environmental Protection Agency lists poor IAQ as a top five environmental threat, and asthma is one of most serious chronic illnesses plaguing American children today.
The current trend of building tighter, more energy efficient houses has been cited as a contributing factor to the problem, but airtight houses and superior IAQ can go hand in hand when the two are considered together. New homes with high performance ventilation can eliminate accidental sources of bad air, like musty crawl spaces, radon-ridden basements, exhaust-filled garages and dusty attics.
Contaminants may come from inside and outside the home. Common sources of indoor pollutions are things like building materials, mold, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds), including a variety of chemicals used as ingredients in household products. Paints, varnishes, cleaning supplies, disinfecting, cosmetics and fuels are made up of organic chemicals that can be released while in use or being stored.
Use low VOC building materials that will not give off gas, store toxic chemicals like paint thinner and gasoline in a garden shed outside the house, and exhaust the rooms where pollutants and moisture are produced. Pollutants can be isolated, mitigated, removed and exhausted through proper ventilation.
The easiest, least expensive, and least invasive way to remove contaminants from a house is to suck them out with continuously running exhaust fans. If you have a forced air heating and cooling system, you can use a supply ventilation fan to distribute fresh outside air through the house. But you still need exhaust fans in the wet rooms.
The best path to clean indoor air is to use a balanced ventilation fan such as an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) or heat recovery ventilator (HRV) that combines supply and exhaust within one fan unit. HRVs capture heat from the outgoing exhaust air and transfer it to the incoming supply air to save energy and improve comfort. ERVs do the same with the added feature of capturing moisture from overly humid outdoor air.
By keeping the indoors in and the outdoors out, it is possible to control where the air you breathe comes from and goes to in your new home.
WhisperGreen Select™ is a customizable, all-in-one exhaust fan and fan/light combination for clean and healthy indoor environments Learn More
Intelli-Balance™ 100 Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) is a customizable balanced air solution that provides clean indoor air quality and lets you choose airflow with balanced, positive or negative pressure Learn More
WhisperWall™ is ideal when you need to provide ventilation in rooms where a ceiling mounted fan is not possible Learn More