Understanding how your home works will help you keep your indoor air quality at a high level, and reduce the conditions that cause indoor air quality pollutants to grow or accumulate. A healthy home is not just four walls and a roof, it’s a complex ecosystem with parts that need to work together efficiently in order to perform at their best.
So what are the parts of a healthy home and how do their affect indoor air quality? Starting at the top, the roof and attic space are key players in good indoor air quality and the health of your home. In the winter, the roof is like a hat – it keeps the heat in. In the summer months, a roof helps keep your home cool, and in all seasons it keeps the weather, especially water, off. Your roof is a key part of good indoor air quality, because when it is well maintained and well ventilated, it helps your home breathe. A moist or under- or over- insulated attic can cause mold growth and structural damage, and missing tiles or loose areas can invite in unwanted pests who will cause damage and leave droppings. These things will not just contain themselves to the attic – mold spores or bacteria from droppings or pests can travel to other parts of your home and cause indoor air quality problems as they do so.
Next, bringing good materials into your home is also important for good indoor air quality. Using low-VOC products when renovating or cleaning have a huge day to day affect on indoor air quality. Paints, glues, varnishes and sealants are big poor indoor air quality culprits – many of the standard products on the market contain harmful chemicals that off-gas and can cause unwanted health effects. Bringing materials into your home that have low-VOC or environmentally friendly tags and labels can be one way to reduce indoor air quality pollutants and improve the quality of your air.
Ventilating properly is one of the biggest ways to improve indoor air quality, though it can also be one of the biggest expenses when it comes to new or old homes. In new homes that are sealed tightly against moisture and outdoor air often have indoor air quality problems because of inadequate ventilation – sealing tightly isn’t a problem, but you do need fresh air circulating around your home to prevent mold growth and other indoor air quality problems from accumulating! In older homes, the problem is often that they’re TOO well ventilated – drafts, air leaks and gaps in your building envelope will invite in pests or mold, and let out all your conditioned air, and this can cause indoor air quality imbalances and problems.
Identifying problem areas in your home where indoor air quality has been compromised and choosing healthier materials or installing new tools to help you solve indoor air quality problems can have a huge affect on your day to day life. Call us at SafeAir for an indoor air quality test and let us help you make your home the healthiest it can be.