Houses Need to Breathe ... Right?
Sick-building syndrome. Toxic mold. Asthma. The EPA lists poor indoor-air quality (IAQIndoor air quality. Healthfulness of an interior environment; IAQ is affected by such factors as moisture and mold, emissions of volatile organic compounds from paints and finishes, formaldehyde emissions from cabinets, and ventilation effectiveness.) as the fourth-largest environmental threat to our country. The American Lung Association notes a link between IAQ and asthma, the most serious chronic illness of American children. Are tight houses poisoning us? Tight houses save energy, but they also can trap pollutants that are generated indoors. The energy savings from a tight house more than offset the cost of operating a small fan for mechanical ventilation; a better option than relying on random leaks to ventilate a house.