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Q: I understand the best way to control heating and cooling costs in a home is to create a tight "seal" to keep conditioned air from escaping the home. With all the super-insulation and caulking techniques, is it possible to create a house that is actually too tight?

A: To answer the question simply,yes, it is possible to build a house so tight that the air quality is poor because it lacks a beneficial amount of fresh air. However, the addition of an air exchange unit is a simple solution for a house that is too tight.

By building a tight house and then using an air exchange unit to introduce a specific and appropriate amount of filtered, fresh air, a home owner can maintain control over comfort levels, heating bills as well as allergens introduced into the home.

Good indoor air quality has become a more prevelant topic in the building industry in recent years because we are spending more time than ever indoors. According the the American Lung Association, Americans now spend nearly 90 percent of their time inside

In the process planning a new home, be aware materials and appliances that can create pollutants or harbor allergens if you are intentionally building a tight house to capitalize on energy efficiency.

Combustion appliances like gas furnaces, gas water heaters, woodstoves or fireplaces emit the largest amounts of harmful carbon monoxide gases into the home.

If you live in a home that has any of these appliances, the REMC recommends that you purchase a carbon monoxide detector. These detectors will will alert you if levels of combustion byproducts - including carbon monoxide, reach levels that are detrimental to your health. If you are building, it is worth your time to find out what products can potentially cause problems before you ever begin the construction process.


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