1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

June 27, 2008

:179 Well-Tuned Home

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:179 EcoTip: The well-tuned home can help exclude elevated levels of outdoor contaminants when conditions are bad.


 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :039, :040, :041, :042, :043, :044, :045  

This week it has become apparent how important a well-tuned home is when adverse outdoor conditions are present. There are over 800 wildfires burning throughout California. The smoke today was so bad the sun could barely be seen through the haze. The nearest fire is about 20 miles away, but the weather conditions seem to be concentrating the smoke at ground level throughout the entire valley. Even being outside for a few seconds is quite uncomfortable. We’ve been keeping our home’s doors and windows closed and that seems to be doing a good job at keeping the smoke out.

Homes that aren’t as well-tuned will tend to have greater problems with smoke or other contaminants entering or infiltrating from the outside. This is because they will tend to be depressurized causing them to suck outdoor air into the building through available pathways. A major source of depressurization would be caused by leaking duct-work and an unbalanced ventilation system. The low level of chemical out-gassing we have from our furniture and indoor finishings means we can also keep our house more closed up during the times when it becomes necessary.

It may seem like sealing the home would be more important, but sealing isn’t enough. The EcoTips listed above in the suggested review are some of the main tips that can help balance a home to keep outdoor contaminants like smoke from entering. Science

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1 Comment »

  1. awesome idea. thanks for doing this. have signed up for your alert and will pass eco tips along to my clients, who are architects and designers. good for you. write a book.

    Thank for your comments Mary, I am seriously considering turning 1:5:10:365 EcoTips into a book after I have completed them and seen how they will fit together.

    You and your clients may also be interested in my first two books: Prescriptions for a Healthy House – A Practical Guide for Architects, Builders and Homeowners was written with architect Paula Baker-LaPorte and MD Erica Elliott. It has just been released in its 3rd edition.

    My other book (released last year) Extreme Weather Hits Home- Protecting Your Buildings Against Climate Change is about making out buildings more sustainable in the face of our changing climate conditions, but the tips apply to many other building related problems as well.

    John Banta

    Comment by mary — June 27, 2008 @ 8:52 am

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