The word “healthy” is generally associated with something positive. After all, who doesn’t want their family to be healthy? We spend time and money getting healthy, and staying healthy. Industry and government are working toward (although sometimes fighting each other about) better air quality for a healthier public. A lot of focus is put on reducing pollution emissions. What about the air in your home?
This is a touchy subject. Even if you have spent less than an hour doing research on the topic of Indoor Air Quality, or Home Ventilation or Residential Ventilation, then you already know about the debate that is going on regarding the problems, solutions, and even the realities of this topic. The participants in the debate range from industry experts to local heating and air companies that make their living keeping their clients comfortable.
At GAMA Air we certainly are not going to stand on a ‘soap-box’ and defend one side or the other, if you can even narrow it down to two distinct sides. Neither are we interested in selling our customers a “snake-oil” product, that is, a product of little real worth or value that is promoted as the solution to a problem.
Having said that, we feel it is important to explain to our friends and neighbors in Beverly Hills, Culver City, Mar Vista, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air, Westwood, Downtown Los Angeles, Vernon, Huntington Park, Sherman Oaks, Encino and surrounding communities a little bit about why the topic of Indoor Air Quality should matter to you.
First let’s shoot down a myth: “A house needs to breathe”. Perhaps you have heard that a house shouldn’t be sealed up too tightly because it needs to breathe? That’s just not true. Houses do NOT need to breathe. You and your family need to breathe.
Over the years there have been lots of efforts made to conserve on energy consumption. Since a central heating and air conditioning system can consume between 30% and 50% of a home’s annual energy usage, then it is a good target for saving energy. So the logic is: If we are heating or cooling the air in our home, and seal the home to prevent any air coming in, then our heating & air units have less work to do. That is true.
Here is where the topic of Indoor Air Quality comes into play. Think of a house that prevents 100% of outside air from coming entering. It isn’t possible, but just to make a point consider the idea. If that was ever done, then other problems would be created. Why? Like we said, people need to breathe. We need air to come in from the outside. But not just for breathing. If you cook with a gas stove, or have a gas fired water heater then you are burning some of the oxygen in the air in your home.
Then there are the issues of pollutants and moisture. Products that we bring into our home, or that are a part of our home’s construction, can give off gases or VOCs (volatile organic compounds). And the moisture? Regardless of the humidity of our climate, moisture is introduced into the air in our homes from regular activities such as showering, washing the dishes, watering the plants, among others. Without removing pollutants and moisture, and replacing it with air from outside the home, your family’s health will be adversely affected.
So does the quality of the air in your home matter? Yes. But stay tuned for future posts about improving indoor air quality.
Dying to know more right away about this topic? Then visit our “Ask an Expert” page, fill in the form, and the resident expert at GAMA Air will get back to you quickly.