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Energy Efficiency & Health: Sustainable living and reducing environmental impact are promoted by modern smart appliances.
Indoor Air Quality: Advanced ventilation systems are necessary to maintain indoor air quality and a safe environment in tight building envelopes.
Atmospheric Management: Effective ventilation controls temperature, humidity, and air quality, ensuring healthy and comfortable living environments room-by-room.
Technological Advancement: Monitoring ventilation systems with smart technology provides real-time data and alerts for maintenance needs.
Ventilation Integration: Future homes will achieve net-zero energy and eco-friendly living using with integrated smart ventilation systems.

Creating Happier, Healthier, Energy Efficient Homes.

Energy efficiency means more than just reducing bills; it’s about creating a healthier living space for future homeowners. As homebuyers become more aware of their environmental impact, smart appliances help minimize energy consumption. This trend has also raised the importance of tight building envelopes, using high-performance windows and advanced installation techniques.

Maintaining a healthy living environment and energy efficiency are two important aspects builders should consider when working on a new home. Recently, these trends have become popular with homebuyers through the implementation of smarter home appliances. Smart technology is able to fulfill both of these needs, managing indoor air quality, ventilation, and overall comfort more effectively than ever before.

A tight envelope can negatively affect the home, increasing CO2 levels and volatile organic compound (VOC) contamination. To maintain a healthy living environment, homeowners must ensure that their space is free of pollutants, allergens, and harmful gases. Indoor air quality (IAQ) directly impacts an occupant’s health and well-being, as poor IAQ can lead to respiratory issues, allergies, and other health problems. Today, we are exposed to more chemicals in 30 days than our grandparents were their entire lives.

Luckily, energy efficiency and a healthy home can be facilitated simultaneously using a single concept: ventilation. Proper ventilation systems exchange stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air. When these systems are coupled with other forms of smart technology, the homeowner can monitor and control air quality in real time, ensuring optimal health and comfort conditions.

Leaky Homes of the Past

“In the 1970s, homes were built so leaky that air management relied on the house’s natural airflow.” – Tim Costello, Built4F

50 years ago, lower-quality home construction resulted in more gaps and cracks throughout homes, which assisted airflow going indoors and outdoors. This natural ventilation helped manage IAQ, however, this approach was highly inefficient from an energy standpoint.

In the 1970s, due to the energy crisis, builders began to create homes with tighter envelopes. Energy conservation tools were developed with a focus on building science, a shift aimed at limiting the exchange of indoor and outdoor air. Tighter construction led to new issues like trapped pollutants, moisture, and CO2, which resulted in poor indoor air quality and created health issues for occupants.

As of this time, there are few regulations on ventilation in new homes, but that doesn’t mean that builders should ignore the possibility of future regulations being created. When builders create high-standard homes, they move away from the conventional, used home. With each step builders take to increase their standards, they gain more leverage against used homes and stand out as new policies and regulations are implemented.

Atmospheric Management

“We figured out that with the technology we were building, you can build too tight. You can make a house really tight, but without the air management science side of this, it’s not a healthy home, it’s not a comfortable home to live in.” – Tim Costello, Built4F

As homes became more airtight, it was clear that focusing solely on energy efficiency could create unhealthy indoor environments. Although they were conserving energy, homeowners were exposing themselves to harmful particulate matter. Without proper ventilation, that dirty air can become trapped in the home, highlighting the need for a balanced approach that conserves energy and facilitates health. This realization laid the foundation for atmospheric management that controls temperature, humidity, gas concentrations, and particulates.

Atmospheric management represents a comprehensive approach to controlling air quality. Besides managing temperature, it is important to be aware of airborne particles like dust and pollen, maintain optimal humidity levels, and prevent mold growth and excess gas concentrations. These strategies allow homeowners to have total control over each room’s environment within their home, using modern building practices to ensure that a home is not only energy efficient but also provides a safe and comfortable living space for its occupants.

Technological Advancement

“The proper function of the equipment is more important than a smoke detector. A smoke detector is hopefully a low-probability event, but the probability of CO2 levels in your home are 100%”- Brian McCarthy, Abrazo Homes

Smart home technologies allow homeowners to monitor their indoor environment in real-time, as they are provided with valuable data for air quality and energy use. Installing advanced air management systems is only part of the solution, as monitoring and maintenance are essential to ensuring these systems function correctly.
This is where smart technology comes into play, alerting homeowners of any malfunctions or maintenance needs. This creates a constant feedback loop where smart home technologies help maintain optimal air quality. For example, advanced sensors can detect when ventilation systems are not working correctly and notify homeowners to act accordingly.

This proactive approach ensures the efficiency of air management systems and prevents the buildup of harmful pollutants and gases, contributing to a safer and healthier living environment.

Health and safety in modern homes

“As soon as a person walks into a house, your air quality inside is worse than it is outside because you’re there. You produce humidity, you produce CO2, you dust off from the day; Whatever you bring into the house makes the air quality worse.”– Cameron Vreeland, Carrier

Everyday activities such as cooking, cleaning, and even breathing contribute to indoor air pollution, releasing CO2 and VOC pollutants into the air. Without effective ventilation, contamination will accumulate, lowering air quality.

Implementing effective ventilation strategies can help minimize these effects and maintain a healthy indoor environment. The process of exchanging stale indoor air with clean outdoor air guarantees that you are breathing in clean and healthy air while indoors. Regular monitoring and maintenance ensure that the home remains safe and comfortable for its occupants.

Ventilation Integration

The future of homebuilding is focused on achieving Net Zero homes designed to produce as much energy as they consume, featuring tight envelopes with state-of-the-art ventilation systems that can be integrated into a smart home. This combination of functionality and convenience allows homeowners to be more connected to their homes, and specifically air systems, than ever before.

The constant evolution of homebuilding is setting a new standard for the way ventilation is handled, ensuring future homes meet the highest standards of efficiency and health. By adopting modern technologies and practices, builders ensure that they create homes that are not only comfortable and energy-efficient but also healthy for their occupants.

Final Thoughts on Sustainable Ventilation

The integration of advanced ventilation technology and smart appliances has significantly changed the way homebuilders approach air and ventilation solutions, whether it’s improving energy efficiency or indoor air quality. As homeowners become more conscious of their environmental impact, the demand for eco-friendly, cutting-edge homes increases. Staying ahead of these trends can drive substantial profits, creating homes that meet the highest standards of sustainability and customer satisfaction.

This session was sponsored by Epcon Franchising, who provides a business blueprint for builders to capitalize on the 55+ housing market. Epcon works with over 80 home builders across the country, providing solutions in land acquisition and development, marketing, home sales, purchasing, product development, technology and more. Watch our discussion on “How to Build Tight & Ventilate in Every New Home Market Band” here.

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