Energy efficiency is the big thing in terms of home improvement these days. The high price of power and the desire to live a greener lifestyle have combined to encourage homeowners to find ways to reduce their power consumption.
One of the best ways to do that is to insulate a home effectively and to seal up any holes or leaks that may be encouraging inefficiency. Sometimes it seems like many people would love a way to create a hermetically sealed home!
But is there a risk associated with this mindset. Is it possible to “batten down the hatches” too snugly? Will sealing all of those leaks create a suffocating environment inside your home?
Theoretically, it could. Look, we all know that fresh air circulation is necessary for the well-being of those who live in a house. Not only does it make things more pleasant, it’s also necessary for good health. If you lived in a completely sealed environment for too long, it wouldn’t be a pretty situation.
So, if a house was too tightly sealed in pursuit of maximum efficiency, it could lead to an unpleasant state of affairs. We could say that it “does” create some bad situations. There are recorded instances of ultra weatherproofed homes have some problems in this regard. For most of us, however, there’s no real need to worry at all.
Energy efficiency is not going to lead to suffocation in your home. Here’s why” First, most homes will still circulate air even if you do patch up most or all of the noticeable leaks. Your home is anything but a closed system and it’s unlikely to ever become one no matter what you do. This is particularly true of drafty, older houses but it’s also an accurate assessment of even the tightest new homes.
Second, you’re going circulate air on your own, anyway. Unless you’re hermit who keeps all doors and windows shut at all times, you will be letting air in and out. If you have concerns, you’re probably going to do enough window opening to ventilate three homes. It isn’t that tough to get some fresh air inside.
Third, if you did “tighten up” too much there is an available quick fix. There are home ventilation systems available that will insure an appropriate flow of fresh outdoor air.
If you’ve been hesitating to start plugging those leaks because of a worry over airflow, you can take a deep breath and relax. Unless you’re one of those super-rare anomalies, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.
So, start finding those links, buying that weatherstripping, investing in insulation and calling the double-pane window guys. You don’t need to worry about suffocation and can hop safely aboard the efficiency bandwagon.