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  • Writer's pictureGreen Architecture

Do airtight homes wreak havoc on our health?

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

Most of our clients made the decision to build an Enertia® home with a desire to make sure that their family was well cared for as they considered the effects of climate change and experienced ongoing increases in fuels costs and growing shortages. Others invest in an Enertia® home because they have weighed the benefit of a self-heating/cooling home on the environment and want to be a part of a bright future for our planet.

It's often only after they have moved into their solid timber home that they realize that they have made a dramatically significant decision for health and wellness. According to the CDC, the average American spend around 90% of their lives indoors. With the current work from home trend, it’s fair to guess that much of that time is spent at home. The modern home building trend is to create the tightest box possible. The goal is to limit heating/ cooling transfer or loss, the result can be catastrophic. As we fill our homes with countless products that will be outgassing toxins for years to come, and close off all possibility of fresh air flow, our bodies pay the price.

In order to create these super airtight living environments, we create an enclosed space with fiberglass insulation, paper wrapped sheetrock, plastic house wrap and siding that struggles to keep out moisture. This is literally the perfect breeding ground for mold.

The consequence of chronic exposure to airborne molds can range from simple irritations to serious health risks. Here are few of the symptoms many people have accepted as “normal” and a few that have turned lives upside down. Ever increasing allergy symptoms such as blocked or runny nose, itchy nose, itchy throat, sneezing, watery eyes, hypersensitivity pneumonitis and the more serious; bronchitis, rhino sinusitis, fungal sinusitis, lower respiratory tract problems in previously healthy children, skin and eye irritation, wheezing, fever, fatigue, nausea, headache, and insomnia. All of these combined effects of indoor air pollutants led to the term “sick building syndrome”.

Enertia® homes do not rely on a “tight house” to conserve energy, quite the opposite! Our home designs rely on the powerfully anti-microbial Pine timber, heated by the power of the sun that is always at working killing harmful bacteria and a convection air loop that makes fresh air and circulation a must. In addition, there is absolutely no need for cellulose insulation, the most common breeding ground for molds. Even sheetrock is used sparingly on interior walls only. The result, and absolutely incomparable living environment. Clean, fresh air and sunshine are as necessary for the efficiency of your Enertia® home as they are for the health of the human body.


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