Ensure indoor air quality with insulation and proper ventilation

Ensure indoor air quality with insulation and proper ventilation

Customers interested in spray foam insulation often wonder if it will make their home airtight. One of the benefits of spray foam is that when installed properly, it serves as an air barrier in addition to providing a high R-value.

Regardless of the type of insulation being installed, we suggest testing the air quality when home modifications have been made. The air quality of a home is measured by the amount of natural ventilation it has, and can be quantified by a blower door test.

This test allows us to measure the amount of air changes in a home and can determine if additional ventilation should be added to maintain proper indoor air quality and prevent harmful conditions with your equipment.  While spray foam certainly impacts the tightness of a home, due to its excellent air sealing properties, every home should be tested regardless of the insulation product used. 

New homes vs. existing homes

New homes
For those of you building a new home, we would recommend installing a ventilation system. This system will help achieve the desired indoor air quality of your home. An HRV, or heat recovery ventilator, is a good option because many building products such as windows, house wraps and sheathings have improved their capability to control airflow over the years.

We also recommend exhaust fans in kitchens, bathrooms and other necessary areas to control interior humidity. If these recommendations are taken, you will be building a home that will not only minimize your energy usage and cost, but also promote healthier indoor air quality.

Existing homes
Improving your home’s insulation, in an energy efficient home, saves money. Improved insulation can tighten up your home, resulting in it  being too airtight.

Though this is not typical, we still recommend doing an evaluation of your home’s tightness following any improvements to ensure no concerns, such as the back drafting of naturally drafted appliances, are present.

The bottom line is every home is different, and each home must be evaluated individually. The Insulation Experts at Kinzler Construction Services, Inc. would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Kinzler Construction Services is located in Ames, Iowa. As of July 31, 2012, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check AngiesList.com for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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