Remember when you were young and loved to watch a lightning bug light up so much, that you had to have one for your very own? So you caught one and put it in a jar. That night you marveled at how it lit up the room. When you woke up the next day you were shocked to see it had died. That was the hard lesson learned, that all living things need air to breath. We only needed to pop a couple of holes in the lid. Today we have three forces colliding with each other in the building industry. First the cost of energy is spiraling out of control. Second the need to reduce our carbon footprint, and lastly but most importantly our need to breath. Alternative energies such as Solar, Wind and Geo-Thermal and our desire for lower energy bills have given birth to new building techniques. They have also spurred the arrival of new building materials, such as Structurally Insulated Panels ( SIPS ) Insulated Concrete Forms ( ICF ) and the new open and closed cell spray foam insulation. All of which have combined to create a more airtight energy efficient dwelling. Unfortunately good clean air often
gets lost in the shuffle. These new homes are so air tight that they retain the pollutants, we as humans, and our pet family members create or carry. Pollen, dust, cleaning chemical fumes, dander, and carbon dioxide are just a few. Then we have natural occurring pollutants such as Radon. Since the air does not leave the dwelling, if it is moist we begin to see mold and mildew problems. Since 1946 we have introduced over 46,000 new chemicals into the home. The combination of the fumes of some of these mixing with emissions from electronic equipment create Volatile Organic Compounds ( VOC's ). Most of these have not yet been Identified, let alone their health hazards. Add to all this that we now as families spend an average of 90% of the day indoors, and you have a recipe for health issues from mildly annoying to chronic and serious.
The good news is the solution is readily available. A whole house ventilation system, With Heat or Energy recovery is the answer. They can be easily and economically installed during construction or even retrofitted. They will refresh and filter your air while retaining your heat or air conditioning. We at Venmar have been making them longer than any other manufacturer. We have been building the best systems all that time We have now released the first true Energy Star System on the market, using just 62 watts of power to move 157 Cubic feet per minute of fresh air. As long as we realize that the issue of fresh air in living spaces is essential and deal with that fact, there will never be any good reason for us to live like bugs in a jar.
Indoor Air Quality Consultant and,
Venmar U.S. Northeast Sales Representative