The short answer is yes! While we’ve discussed things like caulking and weather-stripping to seal up leaks in the home, it is possible to seal a building so tightly that a whole different set of problems can occur. In recent years, contractors have been building energy efficient homes with incredibly well-sealed envelopes, high tech super sealed windows, doors and so on to eliminate the loss of heating or cooling. Sometimes, however, if correctly designed ventilation hasn’t been added to the equation, indoor air quality can suffer significantly due to the buildup of residue in the house.
Dangerous carcinogens that can build up in a “too tight” home include: mold, mildew, pollen, pet dander, viruses, bacteria and even smoke. Also, gas and oil burning equipment like furnaces, fireplaces, clothes dryers and stoves require significant air to create the combustion which they need to operate efficiently. If a home is too tight, Carbon Monoxide buildup is another possible scenario, and a bad one too, as discussed previously.
The good thing is that a qualified HVAC professional has diagnostic tools and the means at his disposal which can accurately measure how sealed a home is, and how to correct any issues concerning the specifics of the problem. Once an analysis has determined a course of action, recommendations can include but may not be limited to:
- Improved air filtration or additional air cleaning
- Humidifiers or dehumidifiers
- Ventilation equipment
- Upgraded thermostat(s)