Homes these days are built with an eye on efficiency. One of the best ways to minimize a home’s energy consumption is to limit the amount of air that can flow in and out of them. But as it turns out, minimizing air leaks by making homes air tight also has a downside when it comes to the health of the air you breathe. So let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of air tight homes and how you can avoid the problems they pose when it comes to your home’s air.
Why are newer homes more air tight than older homes?
In the 1970’s, stricter building codes were put into place in an effort to reduce our nation’s energy consumption. Since then, homes have been built as tightly as possible in order to increase their heating and cooling efficiency. As building techniques have improved, homes have become more-and-more air tight. That means that the newer your home is, the more tightly it was likely constructed.
What are the effects of extremely air tight homes?
Making homes extremely air tight has both positive and negative effects. As mentioned above, air tight homes are great for energy efficiency. In the summer, air tight homes prevent heat from getting into your home and forcing your air conditioner to work harder. In the winter, air tight homes do a great job at containing heat indoors and minimizing the amount of work your furnace has to do.
The side effect of air tight homes is that they don’t allow for much natural ventilation. As a result, all of the airborne particles like dust, germs, mold spores, bacteria and more that build up in your home stay trapped inside unless you have a way to remove them from your home’s air. In addition, moisture can build up in your home during the summer which adds to your home’s humidity.
What should owners of air tight homes do to keep their air clean?
Luckily, there are steps you can take to enjoy the energy-saving benefits of air tight homes while also reducing the amount of contaminants in your air. The most effective solutions include installing the following products:
- An air cleaner and/or air purifier to remove particles, germs and gasses
- A whole house dehumidifier to reduce your home’s humidity during summer
- A whole house ventilation system to bring fresh air into your home
If you have any questions about the effects of air tight homes, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis air conditioning company. We service the St. Louis area, including towns like St. Charles, St. Peters and Town and Country.