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  • Christina Colon

BEWARE: Bad Air in New Construction Homes

Numerous products come together when building a new house. Cabinetry, glues, finishes, carpets, and paints all release chemicals commonly identified as a "new home smell" but are actually volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are often irritating to the new occupants. Choosing low VOC products, (Green Guard certified products) in the first place is the best course of action - don't bring the polluntants into your house.

Once built, it is very difficult to remove the VOC sources. This is where your fresh air/mechanical ventilation system protects you. This can be as simple as a bath fan that runs on & off periodically throughout the day or as complex as an independently ducted, energy recovery ventilator (ERV). Whatever system was installed, it needs to run properly to provide good indoor air quality.

Many ventilation systems are installed, but not commissioned (like buying a suit off the rack and not having it tailored).

Addressing the poor air quality starts with an Air Quality Test to determine the source of the pollutants. The next step is determining if the mechanical ventilation system is operating properly. Using a powered flow hood, we can measure actual air flow rates. The fanciest equipment and controls can only work well if they are set properly, and that starts with measurements.

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