Your Healthy Home


April 14, 2014

Home Improvement, Roofing, Ventilation

Ventilation and Your Healthy Home

According to the CDC, a healthy home is “designed, built, and maintained to support health [of the inhabitants].” As a certified Healthy Home Builder, Renaissance Exteriors is one of a select group committed to designing  and remodeling for a healthy home environment.  Many of our products are manufactured using sustainable methods, installed using industry best practices, and almost all of them offer energy efficient properties not found in the building materials of old. We are dedicated to making your home healthy, safe and efficient.

Why do we care so much about Healthy Homes?

The truth is: American homes are currently experiencing a health crisis simply because the materials they were built with are outdated and some are even dangerous. Even at a time when our homes are becoming tighter and more energy efficient than ever before, evidence shows that both new homes and remodeled homes, if not carefully designed and managed, can have insidious effects on the health of American families.  We ask questions like: Why aren’t more homes properly ventilated? Most residential building codes include sections to ensure that homes have proper ventilation, but according to the U.S. Department of Energy,

“Most homes don’t meet current basic ventilation requirements and are in violation of residential ventilation building codes.”

In fact, given the known importance of proper home ventilation and the fact that we HAVE the formula for achieving it, it may seem surprising that one study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that half of American homes showed VISIBLE evidence of improper ventilation.
According to Quality Edge, a West Michigan manufacturer of sustainable building materials: There are a variety of reasons why so many homes do not meet even the minimum building standards:

  1. Roof lines have become more complicated on modern homes, resulting in the need for more careful calculation of intake and exhaust.
  2. Technical improvements have been made in exhaust technology, but corresponding improvements in intake technology lag behind. Most full vent soffit products do not allow sufficient intake (NFA) to work with the better modern exhaust products and provide the balanced amount of roof ventilation that is required for most homes.
  3. Due to modern design standards with smaller overhangs, it can be difficult with most soffit products to achieve sufficient intake for the exhaust at the ridge vent.
  4. For aesthetic reasons, center vent soffit is often selected to handle intake. Many center vent soffit products decrease intake, so intake becomes insufficient to balance exhaust.
  5. In many cases, builders do not necessarily follow the minimum building codes through lack of understanding or awareness of proper ventilation, and inspectors may not verify compliance with the codes.
Courtesy of Quality Edge

What is my “UnHealthy Home” costing me?

  • Approximately $3,200 or more on Energy Bills over 15 years
  • $5,505 with just a 4% increase in moisture/humidity in attic.
  • If your roof lasts thirty years instead of fifteen it would save you, the homeowner $4,680

  • Over the past twenty years there has been a 300% increase in Asthma and other allergen related illnesses which have been linked to mold and the decline of indoor air quality.
  •  $3BILLION in mold remediation last year


Poor Indoor Air Quality

Health problems associated with poor indoor air quality include respiratory ailments, allergies, asthma, certain cancers, and heart disease. Individuals react in different ways to indoor air pollution, depending on age, general health, and other factors.

Proper Ventialtion

Proper ventilation requires adequate air flow through the attic space, and it can be achieved naturally. Warm air rises; cool air descends. A natural ventilation system takes advantage of this natural convection by allowing cool air to enter the attic under the eaves and warmer air to exit the attic at the ridge.

Potential Savings

The excess heat and moisture caused by poor ventilation can impair the long-term life of all building materials. Outside the home, visible signs of poor ventilation can include cracking and curling shingles, soffits with peeling paint and leak evidence, and (in cool climates) gutter damage from icicles and ice dams.