Why Indoor Air Quality Matters When You Buy A Home

Over 17 million people in the US suffer from asthma, according to the American Lung Association. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control state that one in 17 million people have hay fever. If you’re one of them, you know it isn’t a laughing matter. You think about ways to improve your environment all the time.

Did you know buying a new home could add to your problems?

Why Indoor Air Quality Matters When You Buy A HomeFor the last few decades, home builders have made major strides in creating a more energy efficient home environment. They’ve been adding extensive insulation and sealing techniques. They use spray foam and air sealing methods to create a snug, draft-free indoor environment that keeps the conditioned air where it’s supposed to be: inside your home.

The problem is it keeps other things inside your home as well.

Some materials used in construction can off-gas, also known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. This includes a host of chemicals, including things like formaldehyde. These chemicals come from the building supplies – treated wood, insulation, the wood in cabinetry, carpeting, paint, glue.

While today’s green building methods acknowledge the use of VOCs and many home builders select low or no VOC products, that doesn’t mean your home isn’t already affected by potential problems. It doesn’t mean stale air inside your home might not already be impacting your health every day.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers have IAQ standards for residential construction. They list IQ standards solely for homes, and list out different mechanical requirements to help make your home a safer place. Things like:

  • Standards for replacing stale inside air with fresh air from the outside

  • Standards for kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans

  • Carbon monoxide detectors and alarms

The EPA also has introduced indoor air standards to improve indoor IAQ. It looks for things like:

  • Added protection from mold and other moisture problems

  • Sealants and vent pipes to mitigate radon

  • Sealing, caulking, and screening areas where pests are likely to enter a home

  • HVAC and ductwork that minimizes condensation problems

If you’re buying a new home, how safe is the inside air quality? Only an inspection will let you know. We can help. Call us today.

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