Indoor air quality has become an issue of greater importance over recent years for good reason. In the good old days of leaky and under insulated buildings, an abundance of exterior air was able to dilute whatever pollutants were in the home to pretty much the same level as exterior conditions. While this was terrible for energy efficiency, indoor air quality concerns were minimal.
Today, we go to great lengths to make buildings as tight as possible to reduce the amount of energy used for heating and cooling the home. This can pose significant challenges to maintaining a healthy indoor environment. Less air exchange due to a tighter building envelope can lead to mold, mildew, unacceptable humidity levels, and a buildup of other indoor air pollutants among other things that must be addressed.
Certainly we cannot go back to building leaky and inefficient buildings. The good news is that by building a super tight building envelope, we can control the air quality of the indoor environment without the unwanted influence of uncontrolled air leakage.
There are three basic strategies to maintaining a healthy indoor environment:
Source control is just what the name implies, reducing or eliminating the source of pollution. This includes things like not allowing smoking inside the home, set up of radon ventilation in the new building, installing point source ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens to reduce the levels of humidity which allow mold to thrive, using powerful chemical solvents and cleaners outside when possible and limiting their use indoors to an as needed basis, etc.,etc..
This strategy involves diluting polluted interior air with exterior air. This can be accomplished in two manners. The first is quite obvious and can be accomplished by simply opening the doors and windows in the building. The second method of ventilation would be by mechanical means. There are many different methods to introduce dilution ventilation through the mechanical system and it is beyond the scope of this brief discussion to look at all of them. At FoamRun, we will analyze the complete containment and control of the indoor environment to formulate an approach that suits the needs of the project.
Filtration is accomplished through the use of several different types of air cleaning systems. Specific air cleaning devices might be effective for some types of pollutants but not others. A strategy that includes different air cleaners for different potential problems might be the best course of action for a particular project. The exact details of the project at hand will direct us to the best course of action for your new home.
When FoamRun analyzes your new home, we will chart the best course of action for maintaining a healthy indoor environment. The best solution will usually involve a mix of the three strategies listed above. No matter what the best solution ends up being, you can count on a system designed to provide healthy indoor air quality in your new home.