Designing and building homes that are healthy is an important part of our process here at Wesenberg Homes. As architects, we pride ourselves on creating beautiful spaces where families thrive, but also ensuring the details that are unseen are taken care of too. We have been taking extra steps to creating a safer, healthier indoor environment for several years now and it is paying off more than ever. Thriving in a home is not just smiling at your home’s curb appeal as you pull into the driveway, it’s also having the peace of mind that it’s a safe-haven for your family to gather and make memories.
Improving indoor air quality is in the details and in new construction we can make all the right decisions from the beginning to create a healthier home. We keep an eye on standards set by agencies such as the EPA to build better homes including home health. The steps we take to designing and building healthy homes are: 1) Controlling the sources, 2) Improving ventilation, and 3) Cleaning the air. The first two steps are standards for a Wesenberg home, and the third step has options that each homeowner can decide what is best for them.
Controlling the Source
Dust, mold, allergens, combustion emissions, and radon are just some of the contaminants that reduce home health. To minimize these items, it is important to take away the environmental factors that facilitate their growth. For example, mold produces allergens and grows from moisture. We design our homes to keep moisture at an appropriate level and if they get too far out of line, homeowners can quickly adjust indoor humidity levels by how they use bath fans and ventilation. In the winter, we advise our homeowners to target 28-32% indoor humidity. If the humidity reaches 35% or higher in the winter, mold may began growing in damp areas such as edges of glass on windows, bathroom corners, tubs/showers, and more. With an airtight home, you can quickly change the indoor environment, so our homeowners can run their bath fans for a few hours which removes 35% humidity air and brings in dry, outside winter air to bring down the overall home humidity level. Sealed combustion appliances, vapor-tight walls, radon fans, and many other items are part of the Wesenberg way. Making your home a place where these pollutants have a hard time growing and entering is the best thing you can do to keep your home healthier.
A healthy home breathes and does so in a controlled fashion. Most homes ventilate naturally through cracks and small leaks throughout the walls and ceiling. That ventilation air is passing through walls that could have mold in them and bring in allergens from outside. The best way to ventilate a home is using a mechanical ventilation system. Every Wesenberg home breathes for itself so our homeowners can rest assured the air is fresh and filtered automatically. Our smart thermostats bring in fresh air about 20% of each hour and spread it throughout the home. This air is not passing through insulation, walls, or other areas; it is coming in directly from outside and being filtered before sent out to the rooms of the home. Improving ventilation keeps pollutants outside where they belong!
Cleaning the Air
Most furnaces have filters connected to them. Filters have MERV ratings, the higher the more they filter. As a standard we put in a high MERV rating filter into our forced air systems. This is the filter that the ventilation goes through when bringing in outside, fresh air. It also is the filter that air goes through when the furnace or air conditioner are running. Once you have reduced the sources of pollutants, ventilate the home in a better way, you have much fewer remaining pollutants to take care of, so these filters can do some of that final cleanup work. For homeowners who have a stronger interest in even more air filtration, we can put in UV Air Purifiers that eliminate odors, chemicals, germs, and mold as the air passes by.
Creating healthy homes has been a standard of ours for several years, but the popularity is growing, and we’re thankful to have the design + build experience to keep our homeowners ahead of the curve and thriving in their healthier homes. If you have been considering building a new home, contact us soon to learn how the process works. If you would rather buy sooner, keep an eye on our Ready Homes page for new listings.