Natural Housewives just ask
Touring an allergy-friendly home by Dancraft Construction at the recent Eco-Rehabarama home show in Huber Heights, OH, the Natural Housewife demonstrates that all you have to do is ask — then look for product certifications.
In answer to her first question, we are getting this video explanation of how the home’s ventilation system is better for people. Watch it, then read the rest of this blog to learn about the other green products in this home.
This home has a high efficiency 96-percent condensing furnace while an Ultimate Air Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) unit has been added to the ductwork, explains Dan Swank, owner of Dancraft Construction. The whole house ventilator removes stale, contaminated indoor air and replaces it with highly filtered, fresh air from outside, creating a healthy and comfortable environment.
Tighter construction increases need for fresh air
As the air moves out of the house the air’s energy — heating or cooling — is transferred to the incoming air to conserve energy.
Poor air quality directly affects people’s health. The U.S. EPA now reports that typical indoor-air quality is three to five times more polluted than outdoor air.
“Most people spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors, 65 percent of that at home,” Swank says. “Spending more time indoors, in tandem with tighter homes, has been linked to a dramatic rise in maladies, asthma and allergies.”
So, The Natural Housewife says, this system guarantees cleaner air in your home. How is this system better for the planet, and does it carry any third-party certifications?
Swank quotes an EPA report to underscore the energy savings of his HVAC and ventilation system:
“Climate change, dependence on foreign oil, and a dwindling supply of fossil fuels has fostered significant pressure toward greater energy conservation and the development of alternative energy sources. Since buildings account for 40 percent of the energy consumption in the United States, much of the energy conservation activities are directed toward reducing the energy use in buildings.”
Swank notes that this also has led to tighter buildings in which there is little room for error in protecting indoor air quality, other than providing more sophisticated and more tightly calibrated and coordinated systems.
“Our ERV is the mechanical ventilation that supports improving poor indoor air quality,” he says. “As for certifications, the unit can qualify for LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) for Homes and Energy Star.”
The Natural Housewife approves. No need for any more questions about the ventilation system. But she isn’t done.
Swank points out the walls, painted with Earthpaint, a low-VOC paint developed by a professional painter who developed severe health reactions to chemicals in traditional paint. While this product does not have a third-party indoor air quality certification, Swank’s painter gave it a rave review.
The floors in the house – Marmoleum Composition Tile – are made by the only flooring company to receive the approval of the Asthma & Allergy Foundation. Marmoleum is linoleum made mostly from linseed oil and other natural ingredients, including pine rosins and sawdust.
Oxidation of the linseed oil means bacteria cannot grow on this floor. In addition, linoleum repels dust and dust mites.
“The Marmoleum surface is made of all natural ingredients, which from a planet standpoint, means the product is biodegradable. This issue gets a bit more complicated when you look a different products the company makes and the fact that some of them involve gluing the marmoleum to a backing and putting a metal locking system on it.”©
Heather Curless depicts The Natural Housewife. Many thanks, Heather, for also serving as the video and photo crew for this blog!
– Nancy Kibbee is editor at www.naturalinteriors.com