Raise Your IAQ: Why Indoor Air Quality Matters
In today’s world, clean air quality is more important more than ever. People want to feel safe when they spend time at home, so construction companies and professional builders are learning to put this concern at the forefront of future projects. After years or decades in the business, some professionals may wonder how to switch their practices to this new focus in construction.
Read on to learn a few ways to raise your indoor air quality and why it matters so much. These tips are just the start to ensuring safe, filtered air for every client who looks forward to moving into their new home.
1. Use Extensive Insulation
The 1973 oil crisis kickstarted the movement to make homes safer and more energy-efficient. Researchers jumped to learn how improved indoor environments would help people and found that poor air quality increased school absences due to illness when found in family homes. To avoid this issue, construction crews can focus on improving their use of insulation.
Extensive sealing techniques with spray foam and other air-sealing methods keep unchecked air outdoors and safe air inside. These measures also increase energy efficiency, which is a plus for homeowners who want a cheaper electric bill or a smaller carbon footprint.
2. Avoid Traditional Adhesives
Adhesives for attaching drywall, molding and other fixtures often contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde. VOCs spark immediate health effects like shortness of breath and trigger lethal complications like cancer if homeowners have long-term exposure. Modern adhesives will advertise a reduced amount of VOCs so contractors and homeowners don’t breathe airborne chemicals.
3. Learn About Holistic Materials
Holistic home materials provide added mold protection by investing in smarter resources, such as moisture-resistant polyethylene plastic sheeting. When placed over the gravel basement floors, it becomes a long-lasting vapor barrier that decreases the chance for mold growth that leeches into the air.
Drywall for ceilings and interior walls can also contribute VOCs. Gypsum board is a replacement material that converts VOCs into inert compounds that are much safer to exist in the home and won’t release them after the conversation. These are two holistic materials that won’t disrupt traditional construction methods while making future air quality safer for homeowners.
4. Keep Dust In Mind
Years of exposure to airborne dust inflames and damages lung tissue, leading to persistent respiratory health symptoms. Builders can install a central vacuum system (CVS) that will consistently remove dust from rooms, as well as other pollutants and dirt. it can improve the air quality behind the scenes and reduce symptoms related to respiratory issues like allergies and asthma.
5. Prioritize Balanced Ventilation
Balanced ventilation is a simple way to ensure long-term clean air. Plan spaces for appliances along exterior walls for immediate ventilation. People can overlook appliances because they’re essential to daily life, but homeowners create contaminates inadvertently with appliances because the pollutants don’t have a smell.
Gas-burning appliances also present new opportunities for innovation. Ensure tight envelopes to eliminate potential gaps for free-flowing and unfiltered air to enter the home. Builders can also avoid air pollution by recommending gas fireplaces with flue technology that balances the air quality by replacing combusted air with outdoor air. The outdoor air won’t be filtered entirely, but it’s much safer to breathe than what builds up in a traditional flue.
6. Remember Exterior Features
Some air pollutants don’t come from inside the home. Remember that exterior features play a signficant role in filtration and air quality. Drainage plates with window flashing prevent mold growth that causes symptoms like coughing or wheezing by preventing rain from soaking the home’s building materials.
Exterior features that keep a home dry and maintain its quality after weather events are an easy way to make the indoor air safe for a lifetime of use.
Communicate With Clients
Builders and construction crews may know about these tips, but clients won’t. Give them all their options by communicating with them about why indoor air quality matters and how these efforts will raise their IAR. Afterward, builders and clients can work together to create a safe and long-lasting home.