You want air coming into your house the same as water entering your home. You want it where you want it, when you want it and clean. Just as you control all aspects of the water coming through your plumbing, you can control the air coming into your house and stop air contaminants.
There is a minimum safe amount of fresh air needed in your home. Building Performance Analysts, such as ourselves, can test for the amount of fresh air needed and ensure your home remains safe and comfortable.
Air sealing your home by experts who treat your house as a system will give you control of your indoor air quality. This can eliminate the threat of radon and mold and significantly reduce the dust and pollen that enters your home.
What our clients and colleagues have to say:
"I am saving approximately 20% on my energy bills and find the problem areas of my house to be much more comfortable."
"Lower bills, equal cooling throughout the house. Can't wait to see what winter is like."
"So far we have only been through the winter and have experienced warmer rooms. We look forward to seeing if there is also a difference in the inside summer temperature. Lower gas bill."
Mold needs 3 things to thrive - food, moisture, and air. Food for mold is wood or dirt or anything organic. Moisture comes in two forms vapor or bulk. Vapor is a subtle source like moisture in the ground or humidity in the air. Bulk sources are more obvious like rain water or a leak in your plumbing.
Mold is omnipresent and though no one wants to be exposed to mold, for most people it is not an issue. Those with compromised lung health are most susceptible to being affected by it. We’ve had clients who thought there was black mold in their space and exhibited symptoms of mold exposure, but the air test showed no mold. The anxiety around possible mold exacerbates the problem.
When Responsible House encounters mold problems, most prevalently in basements and crawl spaces, we treat the house as a system. The sources and causes of the 3 elements must be identified and cut off. If you cut even one off, mold cannot exist.
The rule of mold is the stingy man pays the most. You need a plan by a neutral 3rd party (not the contractor proposing or doing the work) and then exacting execution of that plan. The plan must be an environmental-science-based plan that is tested at the beginning and the end.
Radon is an odorless, colorless, radioactive gas that can only be detected with testing. It is the #1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers in America. It is naturally occuring in the soil and can be found in groundwater. It enters your home because of differences in pressure between your home and the soil. Through the porousness of your foundation or through your plumbing radon can enter your home. Modern construction and insulating techniques actually increase the risk of high levels of radon in the home. We live in a high risk area with Waynesboro, Lexington, Buena Vista, Staunton, Augusta, and Harrisonburg being listed as the highest risk zone - Zone 1 and Nelson, Albermarle and Charlottesville Zone 2.
An Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) is a piece of equipment that can be installed in your home to mechanically bring in fresh air. The very helpful thing about these, is they exchange the energy of the air going out with the incoming air, so you are not losing your energy dollars. It works with the law of thermodynamics. In the winter time the hot air going out is attracted to the cold air coming in and they exchange temperature. In the summertime the moist air that is coming in is attracted to the dry air going out and loses the humidity. ERVs have 80% efficiency.
With air sealing, building performance testing, and if needed an ERV, you can have clean, safe, conditioned air in your house, when you want it and where you want it just like the water through your plumbing.