Because we realized that in addition to pollution outside, we now have indoor air quality issues too. Science has shown us that in many cases the air inside a home is often more polluted than the air outside! This is caused by things like polishes, waxes, finishes, hair products, cologne, new shower curtain liners, carpet, and a host of other things that come with their own smell. If it smells, it’s off-gassing something. We trap these odors inside our house and then breathe them in. This is not always a good thing, especially for those with respiratory issues and sensitivities or small children. (Did you know children breathe in twice as much air for their body size as adults do?)
Now you many think, “My house is so leaky that I don’t have to worry about ventilation. It ventilates on its own.” That’s a big problem all by itself, but we’re talking about controlled ventilation here so we’ll stick to the subject at hand. There are a couple reasons why a house with a bunch of holes in it is not the best answer.
You don’t know where that outside air is going to come from. The pressure inside your house changes all the time though it wants to stay at equilibrium. When it drops because air is leaving, like when you turn on a bath exhaust fan or start a fire in your fireplace, your house is going to suck in air from somewhere to try to level back out again. Sometimes that ”somewhere” is your crawlspace, basement, garage or attic. You know what those places are like – unpleasant, dank, dusty, moldy, dirty, full of fumes, you name it. If that’s the easiest place for your house to find air, that’s where it’s going to come from. It won’t be passing through any filter on its way in either so that’s the air you’re breathing.
For those of you who are saying to themselves, “Ha! I knew it. Ventilation is only a problem for people with leaky houses. I know my house is tight so I’ve got nothing to worry about.” Wrong. At least with a leaky house the air is being changed, even if it is too often. With a tight house and no ventilation, it’s not being exchanged at all. What about all those household chemicals, lotions, and potions we use everyday that are constantly off-gassing? Where are those fumes going? In reality most people open a door every day so air gets exchanged. What if it’s the door to the garage that you use most often? Remember, cars and other gas powered equipment put off carbon monoxide and continue to do so long after they’ve been shut off. Is that the air you want being exchanged for the air inside your house?
It can be done fairly simply, or you can have a more complicated system installed that is designed to address your specific concerns. There are many choices for what will work best for your home.
If you have some concerns about the air you’re breathing and where it might be coming from, please give us a call. We’ll come take a look, figure out what’s happening, and then talk with you about the best options for improving the quality of your indoor air.