Is Your Indoor Air Uncomfortably Dry?
There are a lot of factors that could be affecting your physical health during the winter here in Tennessee. Sure, the common cold is going around and certain seasonal allergies are at their peak; but have you ever considered that the dry winter weather and your sinus symptoms, headaches and nosebleeds could be made worse by an excessively dry home?
The home health and performance experts at E3 INNOVATE spend their days making homes in Nashville more comfortable by controlling the year-round humidity. Here are a few things you may not know about how your home could be affecting your health!
Understanding Indoor Air Quality
It surprises many of our clients that indoor air quality (IAQ) can actually be much worse than the quality of the air outside — two to five times worse in fact. How can this be?
When contaminants and allergens like dust, bacteria, pollen, cleaning chemicals and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) enter the air in your home, it is difficult for them to escape without proper ventilation. As a result, these harmful particles re-circulate in your home, aggravating your allergy symptoms time and time again.
With the dryness that winter brings piled on top of poor IAQ in your home, you and your family are much more susceptible to experiencing an increase in symptoms such as:
Dry nose & throat
Headaches & Fatigue
Battling Winter Humidity
Controlling the humidity of your home involves much more than plugging in a desktop humidifier. E3 INNOVATE takes the whole home approach towards making homes healthier, and we know that controlling humidity is a multi-tiered approach. The ideal level for the humidity in a home is between 40% and 50% — this helps prevent the mold growth that excess moisture promotes and keeps your respiratory pathways from drying out due to overly dry air. E3 INNOVATE uses the following services to keep Nashville homes from drying out in the winter and accumulating excess humidity in the summer.
We cannot begin to keep moisture and contaminants from recirculating inside your home if air is able to freely move between the outdoors and your living space. Creating a tight air seal throughout your home will give you increased control over the quality of your air and humidity levels.
Finding all of the holes, cracks and gaps in your home can be done with an energy audit, where a blower door test will tell us exactly how air leakage there is through the exterior walls, ceiling, and floor. Then, we can locate those holes in your living space and attic using infrared technology. During the energy audit, we may discover for example that there are issues in your crawlspace that require installing an encapsulation system to prevent any additional moisture infiltration, or that the ductwork associated with your heating and cooling system is dirty, leaky and problematic.
Once your home is properly sealed off from the outdoors, you need to have a system in place to recycle the old, stale and contaminated air back outside. E3 INNOVATE does this by installing an energy recovery ventilator (ERV). These ventilation fans replace your stale indoor air with fresher, outdoor air without losing the conditioned temperatures that your heating and cooling system work so hard to achieve. An ERV will keep the harmful particles in your air from exacerbating your allergy symptoms, especially during the dryness of winter.
You might be thinking, “Wait a minute — we've been talking about an excessively dry home. Why would I need a dehumidifier?” Like we mentioned before, the ideal humidity levels for a home are between 40% and 50%. When the Tennessee summer months bring that southern humidity back up over the 70% mark, you will want to have a system already in place to keep your home at the ideal humidity level. A whole home dehumidifier will provide complete control over your humidity (in an air sealed home) and aid in ventilation.
Stay Healthy & Breathe Easy with E3 INNOVATE
If you are tired of the symptoms of winter dryness, take control of the air in your own home. Improved ventilation and humidity control provides benefits beyond just reducing your allergy symptoms, headaches and nosebleeds. Stable humidity levels are much healthier for possessions like wooden furniture and musical instruments, and since the air in your home is more comfortable overall, you won’t have to rely as heavily on your heating and cooling system. You will not only breathe easier and live more comfortably but also spend less on your energy bills!