Q: Can you seal a home up where it is too tight?
A: I get asked this question on a weekly basis. The answer is no as long as you ventilate properly.
What happens is that someone might seal up an existing home without thinking about the ramifications of not looking holistically. You cannot just seal your home without proper ventilation. Bad things happen.
The inside of a home is its own environment. Signs of poor ventilation may be condensation on your windows, when showering your mirrors fog, a musty smell in a teenager’s room, cooking odors that linger or pet reminders. All this is manageable.
When we design homes we software model how each home will perform based on how people live. Proper and continuous air flow is extremely important. Our central heating cooling systems are equipped with state of the art whole house ventilation. When setup properly you literally can forget about it—it works great.
Today’s fan technology allow for proper ventilation in bathrooms. Most people will turn on the bath fan with the light switch. You really want a timer so that the fan has the time to do its job.
Kitchen fans have come a long ways. It is common for us to put a system in for those who cook with high heat and oil—i.e. WOKS. It is truly amazing how these fans exhaust.
When we ventilate properly we are protecting the home for the long haul. Moisture in the building structure is not our friend. If you are seeing moisture you probably are getting moisture in areas that you can’t see—like inside wall cavities. I highly recommend you pay attention. If needed cut some holes in your sheetrock to look for mold or wood decay. You are better off being proactive rather than hoping.
Next week I will discuss indoor air quality.
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Build well and enjoy life.
Please submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!