IS VENTILATION REALLY NECESSARY? Today’s home and building codes are driving more airtight, energy-conscious construction. As a result, maintaining healthy, balanced indoor air quality is much more important now. A properly designed ventilation system prevents moisture and costly moisture-related damage, reduces maintenance, improves a home’s durability, and saves energy. Think of ventilation in a home like the air exchange that takes place in your lungs. Each time you inhale and exhale, old and contaminated air is removed while fresh, oxygen-rich air is brought in to replace it. Your home’s ventilation system serves the same purpose by removing old, musty air and replenishing the home with clean, healthy air. Simply put, a home has to breathe. Harmful pollutants found in every home Stale, uncirculated air breeds all sorts of harmful pollutants inside a home. These include mold, mildew, pollen, dust mites, pet dander, viruses, and bacteria. Accumulation of these pollutants can result in hazardous health effects for occupants and structural damage to the home. How to improve indoor air quality The first line of defense against poor indoor air quality is to reduce or remove the source of pollutants. Paints, solvents, or other chemicals should be stored outside the dwelling. If you use an attached garage for storage, make sure there’s an airtight seal between the garage and the rest of the home. Additionally, use building materials and cleaning products with low toxicity levels. Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to completely eliminate all indoor pollutants. Mechanical ventilation is your only protection against these harmful elements. A home with mechanical ventilation offers higher quality air, better health for the home - and a comfortable living environment for the entire family.
Seattle Chapter Green Pages
Seattle natural awakenings October 201 6
The NW EcoBuilding Guild's directory of sustainable building professionals