Ventilation Is the ‘New Frontier’ for ‘Healthy’ Homes | Realtor Magazine
Indoor air quality is one of the top five environmental risks to public health, researchers say. After all, most people spend 90% of their time indoors, whether in homes, office buildings, or other structures. Ventilation is the “new frontier for making houses healthy,” Carl Seville of SK Collaborative, a green building consulting and certification firm, told Forbes.com in a recent article.
There’s reason for the added attention. Recent studies have shown indoor air is polluted with lead, dust mites, radon, pests, carbon monoxide, pet dander, mold, and secondhand smoke, according to the National Environmental Education Foundation. Ventilation in the form of bathroom fans and kitchen range hoods can help remove some of the bad air from homes. Older homes, however, may be prone to leaks of these pollutants.
Some homeowners are taking it to the extreme to purify their home’s air. For example, a new 9,500-square-foot home in San Francisco was built in 2018 by Troon Pacific and boasts hospital-grade air filtration via a Zehnder whole-house ventilation system. It changes all of the air in the home every two hours. Also, a whole-house vacuum system ensures all areas are allergen- and dust-free. The system costs around $10,000. Builders also are constructing newer homes more tightly than they did in the past. As such, newer homes may be more energy-efficient, but their tightness may be keeping fresh air out.
Some homeowners are turning to heat recovery ventilation and energy recovery ventilation systems. They both essentially pull out bad air and replace it with good air using different methods. HRV systems run between $600 to $1,100 for a mid-size system; similar-sized ERVs may cost $150 to $200 more, according to Forbes.com.