The more we continue to learn about the coronavirus, the greater understanding we have about the importance of breathing healthy, clean air. If you are looking down the barrel at spending a lot more time at home this winter, helping the kids with their virtual learning or working in the new “home office”, you may be asking yourself how you can improve the health of the air in your home this year, and for years to come.
You may have heard conflicting advice about how to clean the air in your home, like opening the windows or buying a portable air purification device. While these measures may offer some temporary help in making your indoor air cleaner, a long term solution involves creating a tighter barrier between our indoor living space and the great Wisconsin outdoors!
What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
Indoor air has been estimated by the EPA to be up to five times more contaminated than the air outside. How can that be? There are multiple ways that contaminants can enter your home, stemming from both inside your home and out. Once these contaminants enter the home, it is much harder for them to exit. Some common contaminants include:
- Dirt & dust
- Cleaning chemicals
- Off-gassing chemicals from furniture and carpeting
Humidity and moisture control are another important contributor to indoor air quality. If you are able to keep your home humidity stabilized between the EPA and CDC recommended levels of 30%-60%, you can reduce mold growth as well.
Home Upgrades That Improve Indoor Air Quality
So, how can you upgrade your home to keep outside contaminants out, and keep indoor temperatures and humidity stable? At KV Tech, we rely on three home improvements to accomplish this.
Air sealing is what the better building industry refers to as the process of locating the holes and gaps in a home’s construction and sealing them up using an expanding spray foam insulation material. Air sealing prevents more contaminants from entering your home, making it easier to dilute their concentration in your breathing air.
The insulation throughout your home should prevent heat from escaping or infiltrating your home, through the materials your home is built with. Upgrading your insulation will provide increased control over your indoor temperatures, humidity, and drafts. Additionally, once the snow starts to accumulate on your roof, your upgraded insulation can prevent ice dams from forming.
Choosing the right insulation material for your home will increase the effectiveness of your insulation, and we install the following insulation types:
- Spray Foam Insulation using Demilec® spray foam insulation
- Applegate Cellulose Insulation made here in Wisconsin
- Fiberglass Insulation batts or blown-in fiberglass insulation
Crawl Space Upgrades
One of the most common problem areas when it comes to excess moisture infiltration, unwanted temperatures, and common IAQ contaminants is the space underneath your floors. For many homes here in the Northwoods, the heated air from the furnace or boiler ends up escaping through holes and insufficient insulation in the attic. That air is then replaced with cold, damp, contaminated air from the crawl space or basement. Installing an airtight vapor barrier in the crawl space can help rid your home of cold morning floors and increase the stability of your indoor temperatures.
Take a Breath of Fresh Air in Your Home This Winter
If you are looking into upgrading the overall performance, comfort, and efficiency of your Northwoods home this year, there is no better partner than KV Tech Construction. We can help you diagnose the exact issues that are causing discomfort or high energy costs in your home, through our diagnostic energy audit. From there, we can help you sift through your Wisconsin insulation options, like spray foam insulation costs and which heating and cooling appliances will pair best with your newly renovated, high-performing home.