Life in Plastic: How Modern Building Codes Affect Your Health

As building technologies and methods have improved and modernized over the years, we, as homeowners, have gained more control over the movement of air in our homes. Houses are now built to be nearly air-tight, which is positive for two reasons: first, it means that our homes are less drafty and we lose less heat through our walls and ceilings; second, it means that we have more control over air flow and humidity.

However, homeowners need to be aware of all of this so that they really do take control of air flow and humidity. An air-tight house without proper ventilation, air filtration and humidity control can be a recipe for disaster!

“Like Breathing Into a Plastic Bag”

Because all the walls of today’s houses include a layer of vapour barrier (a thin polyethylene sheet), without proper ventilation we are essentially breathing (and cooking, and showering) into a plastic bag. This creates the problem of condensation build-up — picture the inside of a plastic bag after you breathe into it for a short time — and this can lead to mold growth.

Escaping the Dust Storm

Another thing that can collect in the air-tight home is dust — and lots of it! It settles, makes its way into the vents, and then is pushed by the central heating system back up into the air, creating a veritable indoor dust storm. This is where your Heat Recovery Ventilator comes in. Your HRV is responsible for venting dust and particulate out of your home and pulling in fresh air.

Many homeowners also choose to take air filtration in their home a step further with a HEPA filter, which will remove dust and particulate right from the air to keep everyone breathing easy.

Stop Sharing Germs

We all know how much bacteria and viruses float around inside our homes during cold and flu season, when the windows are closed and everyone is spending their time indoors, and bringing home germs from school and work. For our clients with weakened immune systems, such as those undergoing chemotherapy, it is especially important to clear these contaminants from the air. A very effective way to do this is with UV bulbs. Ultraviolet light effectively kills bacteria and viruses in the air within its range, as well as mold spores.

To find out more about these options and others that can improve ventilation, air circulation and the overall health of your home and family, call us today. You might also want to check out our past blog posts on air purification options in the home:

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