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Does Your House Need to Breathe?

April 19, 2012

How confused have you become over insulating, not insulating, how, when, how much, too much, not enough, what kind, here, there, up, down, inside, outside, – EXACTLY….me too. Enough already!

Before the craze to go energy efficient we didn’t have the extra insulation in walls, attics and crawl spaces. We had natural ways for air to escape the house and be replaced with fresh air. We had windows that we used as our ventilation system and we even believed that we got fresh air from the attics and outlets (now we even plug those holes up).

Sealing your house and having proper insulation is a good thing but how do you know what is good and what is bad? Basically what we should have in our house is what we want in good exercise clothes, like Under Armour. We want it to keep the cold air out but let our body vapor (hot, moist air) out also. So, in other words, we want our walls to be air tight, but vapor permeable. We need fresh air but not so fresh that we are freezing or sweating.

Today remodelers have several ways to accomplish fresh air in a house (but typically this sets aside energy efficiency goals). One is to installs a bathroom fan that runs throughout the day. He/she would choose a quiet model that more or less runs continuously throughout the day when someone is in the building or house.

Another way to get fresh air inside without having open windows all year is to install a heat exchanger which controls the amount of air that goes out while bringing in the same amount of fresh air and minimizes the amount of heat lost (I choose this option). This is the most efficient and safe method. It also ensures a cleaner air flow and you will be able to keep the loss of energy to a minimum.

If you need to remodel – why not do it right and make the changes to your house healthy ones. Who knew that this would all become so complicated?

I can help determine if your house needs mouth-to-mouth, if it is breathing too much and is hyperventilating, or just needs some adjustments for better air flow. Call me!

Here’s to women getting it done,

Jo Ellen Soesbee, The ToolBox TomGirl

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