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Indoor Air Quality Is A Very Important Part Of Healthy Building
An important part of making your home energy efficient is eliminating air leaks. But does an airtight home have to mean a high concentration of indoor pollutants? Not at all.

First, don't introduce pollution sources into your home. Many common products "outgas" (give off) toxic fumes. Radon, lead, formaldehyde, cigarette smoke, organic chemicals used in furnishings, and carbon monoxide from ranges, fireplaces, and heating systems are some of the common indoor pollutants. Drapery fabric, cleaning products, carpeting, paints, and furniture can all contain harmful chemicals. Simply keeping them out of your home is the best way to avoid indoor contamination. Instead, choose household furnishings that are made with natural or non-toxic materials. These products are available, but you have to ask for them.

Many people assume that having a leaky house will flush out any pollutants. In fact, unless the wind is blowing hard, pollutants will accumulate in the still, indoor air and harm you and your family. The answer is to have a very well ventilated house, but to have the ventilation under your control. A leaky house is unpredictably and irregularly ventilated. On the other hand, a well designed, energy efficient house will use air to air heat exchangers to flush out the stale air and recover the heat (or in a warm climate, the cool) from the outgoing air to warm (or cool) the incoming fresh air. In this way, you can have lots of fresh air but not pay for "space" heating, heating outer space.

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This page was last modified on April 06, 2012
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