“I have heard that if you build a house too airtight you can have problems with indoor air quality, humidity, poor ventilation and radon buildup??” … Not quite – and mainly due to an oversimplification of the issue at hand:
- In general, you want your house to be as airtight as humanly possible. This maximizes your control and minimizes heat loss. Most of your heat energy loss in a home is travelling out via air leakage. Therefore, we want homes to be as tight as possible to conserve the heat energy that we have paid to produce.
- Ventilation is the key here. A properly designed and constructed ventilation system provides continuous fresh air to an airtight home. An “ERV” (energy recovery ventilation) can recover both heat and moisture off the outgoing air to temper the incoming fresh air. This allows for continuous fresh air without a significant loss in ideal heat and humidity levels within the home.
- Continuous ventilation not only brings in fresh air, but also gets rid of pollutants, allergens, and stale air by both filtration and dilution.
- It is unlikely that a builder would have the expertise to achieve significant airtightness in a new home, without also having an understanding behind its symbiotic relationship with ventilation. The two go hand in hand in modern building practices. The goal is to achieve an ultra airtight home, with a robust ventilation system.
High performance homes are what we at Frontiers strive to build. If you would like to learn more about airtightness, ventilation or building science in general, please reach out and we would be happy to chat!
Contact us today to get started on your next project.