How much air flow should be allowed through the exterior envelope of your home? 

Professional opinion among contractors can vary when it comes to building a home so it can “breathe.” From the house wrap used, to the type of window sealant, to caulks, siding types and even how a house is painted, there are a number of choices that impact the breathability of your home.

Making your home "air tight" can lead to poor ventilation, unless mechanical systems are installed to force fresh air throughout the structure. On the other end of the spectrum too much natural, or passive, ventilation makes your home energy inefficient. Everyone can agree on one thing, fresh air is essential to a healthy home. Without it you can expect problems.

Here are 7 of them:

  1. Air Pollutants - ventilation keeps volatile organic compounds and gases such as carbon monoxide and radon, from building up. Plus, good ventilation lessens the impact of 2nd hand smoke.
  2. Uncomfortable Interior – A home that doesn’t have fresh air circulating can feel damp and stuffy. That’s great if you’re building a sauna, but not so good if you want a tranquil place to crash after an exhausting day at work.
  3. Rot/Pests – Speaking of moisture, keeping it outside has additional benefit. Your home won’t be eaten alive by rot! The building materials in your home last longer when they are able to dry rapidly. (*Note – water entering your home is inevitable. You just need it to dry rapidly, and definitely not build up.) A good circulation of fresh air keeps humidity at an optimal level. Pests aren't attracted to a low moisture environments, which means they won't take up residence in your home. And that’s a good thing!
  4. Poor Health – Health issues like dry throat and eyes, concentration disorders, fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, poor sleep and dizziness can be triggered by poor ventilation. Yikes! Sounds like the end of a pharmaceutical commercial.
  5. Mold & Mildew – In addition to being unsightly, mold can also be a serious threat to your health. Either way mold and mildew are unwelcome guests in your home. Fresh air circulating through your home prohibits mold from getting the moisture it needs to survive.
  6. Odor – Yes, odor can be masked, but purchasing an abundance of candles and air fresheners isn’t the solution when it’s a ventilation issue. Removing foul odors is always the better option.
  7. Additional Expense – Fixing an overly sealed home can be costly, not to mention fixing the damage caused by moisture. An HVAC system upgrade might be necessary. Air that doesn’t naturally circulate through a home requires a mechanical system to move it through. That might be the best long term option for your home, but it is an added expense in the short term.

Your home is a system made up of multiple parts. Each part impacts the overall health of your home. Making this system more robust is a challenge that Daniel Builders is uniquely suited to perform. Are you considering a major renovation to enhance your home’s durability, functionality and appeal? Contact us at 864.506.5546 to start your Design-Build renovation.