We know all too well how sunlight—or the lack of it—affects our mood. While we may not fully understand why, but as long as we spend some time outdoors each day, whether it’s a walk in the morning or lunch in the courtyard, we just feel better.
In recent years, more people have been recognizing the benefits of fresh air ventilation systems in modern homes. You or a family member may suffer from allergies or live in or near a particularly congested city, so you’ve probably suspected a system like this could benefit the health of your family.
Of course, you may be wondering how hard you should push for the use of healthy home building materials, including a fresh air ventilation system, when you hire a contractor to build your new home. Isn't spending quality time outside—as well as opening windows when inside—enough to keep you breathing freely? Unfortunately, it's not. Let's take a look at why.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A FRESH AIR VENTILATION SYSTEM IN A HOME
It's important to remember that a large part of society spends the majority of their lives indoors. In the United States, the average person spends up to 90% of their time inside, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And that number doesn't just reflect the sick, elderly, or very young. It accounts for most Americans and includes both our sleeping and waking hours. We work inside, play inside, eat, clean, and interact with one another inside.
This modern way of life presents several problems, many of which—like the increased incidence of obesity due to long periods of inactivity—receive a lot of coverage in American media. However, indoor air quality and how it can lead to serious health issues is less frequently discussed. Because the air inside a home can be two to five times more toxic than the air outside, cleaning it properly should be a priority. Occasionally opening a window or taking a walk around the block is no longer enough to keep the air you breathe fresh. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) has started to express concerns about the quality of indoor air.
Here are just a few of the most common pollutants found indoors that can—at a minimum—irritate your eyes, throat, and nose, as well as cause headaches, fatigue, and poor concentration. Some can even cause serious respiratory illnesses, heart disease, and cancer if the concentration is high enough and your exposure prolonged enough.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), like formaldehyde
- Particulate matter, like dust and smoke
- Carbon monoxide
- Pet dander
Though some of these substances occur naturally, like mold, or can be carried in from outdoors, like pollen, many are generated within the home or by the structure itself. Formaldehyde, for example, can be found in glues, paint, flooring, and furniture. Carbon monoxide is produced by stoves, gas ranges, furnaces, fireplaces, and cars (which we often park in the garage). Mold will grow in an ill-insulated house or one in which a humidifier is frequently used. And, one of the largest sources of ozone in a home are the commercial purifiers intended to actually clean the air.
THE BENEFITS OF A HOME WITH A FRESH AIR VENTILATION SYSTEM
A home with a fresh air ventilation system can remove most major indoor contaminants, particularly if the system is hospital-grade. The most sophisticated systems capture more than 90% of airborne particles measuring as small as one to 10 microns, this includes things like dust and smoke, while simultaneously exhausting moisture and odors. Not only can such a system provide relief to those who suffer from existing allergies and conditions like asthma, but it can also help to prevent the rest of the family from developing symptoms.
Additionally, increased access to fresh, clean air exposes you to higher levels of oxygen. This can benefit you both physically and psychologically. Your lungs are supported in removing carbon dioxide (CO2), your immune system gets a boost, and your ability to concentrate is sharpened. Before you know it, your overall stress level goes down, too.
Fresh air ventilation systems that continuously recirculate air drawn from within the home also assist in maintaining consistent temperatures in each room. Air doesn't have to be heated up—or cooled down—as it does with traditional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that draw air in from the outside. Of course, you're going to feel more comfortable when the temperature in your house is constant. But your energy bills will benefit, too. In fact, because fresh air ventilation systems reduce the consumption of energy in addition to making a house healthier, they often come standard in energy-efficient homes.
A STRATEGICALLY ENGINEERED PREFAB HOME IS A HEALTHIER HOME
Manufacturers of modern prefabricated houses, like the team at Dvele, exemplify the strides being made to standardize healthier homes. Each Dvele home's fresh air ventilation system provides a continuous circulation of air that is constantly filtered. Air is drawn in from the top of each room, cleaned, then moved through the bottom vents. This constant movement keeps the air fresh and safe.
To ensure that the quality of the air circulated in every Dvele home is as safe as it's intended to be, we seek third-party testing for over 600 possible indoor pollutants—including pollen, pet dander, mold, and formaldehyde. We even test for radon. This is in addition to using construction materials and methods that don't contain or produce toxins in the first place. The result is a high-quality home that not only improves your living environment but that also works to protect the environment around you.
Dvele takes your health, and the health of your home, as seriously as you do. We don't sacrifice beauty or functionality to achieve it, either. So, when the time comes to build the home of your dreams, let us do it for you. You'll breathe easier and experience a higher quality of life by living in a home that is designed to promote your longevity.