Crawl Space Air Quality
Many factors contribute to the lack of air quality inside a home. However, crawl space air quality can be a contributing or key factor in some cases. You should definitely not forget about the impact the crawl space can have on the overall health of the home.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) has gotten lots of attention over the last few years, and the impact on human health should not be understated. There are several illnesses that have become more prevalent with poor indoor air quality. In extreme cases, it is sometimes referred to as “sick building syndrome.”
Indoor Air Quality
The EPA states, “Indoor concentrations of some pollutants have increased in recent decades due to such factors as energy-efficient building construction (when it lacks sufficient mechanical ventilation to ensure adequate air exchange) and increased use of synthetic building materials, furnishings, personal care products, pesticides, and household cleaners.” We are bringing more and more toxic chemicals into our homes. At the same time, we are compounding the problem by limiting the air movement and trapping the toxins.
With indoor air being more polluted than outside air, an exchanging of air is necessary to increase the quality of your indoor air.
Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.– Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
You should be cognizant of the varying factors that cause poor air quality in your home. It may surprise you that the conditions of your crawl space can affect the air quality in your living space.
How is this possible? Your crawl space is an extension of your home. The air and conditions in the crawl space affect your living space. Air within your crawl space rises and infiltrates your living space through small openings or gaps. This is known as the stack effect. The air that seeps into your living space acts as a transport for heat, moisture, odors, and any toxins that may be present.
Impact on Your Health
The attention indoor air quality has received over the years is likely to due to the fact that homes are being built more airtight than in the past. This allows for stagnant air to be trapped within our living and crawl spaces. Therefore, with no escape, pollutants can buildup and potentially cause health problems.
There is a broad range of adverse health effects attributed to poor air quality. However, the length of exposure and type of exposure impact your body’s reaction. Some health effects may cause an immediate reaction while others may not show up for years.
These negative health effects range from mild to severe. Some issues that may arise are: asthma, eye irritation, headaches, nose and throat irritation, dizziness, fatigue, respiratory disease, heart disease and cancer.
Improving Crawl Space Indoor Air Quality
There are three key factors to consider when addressing indoor air quality: moisture levels, ventilation, and cleanliness. Additionally, all three of these issues play an important role in the condition of your crawl space.
The first step to improve crawl space air quality is to control the moisture. Too much moisture within your crawl space can lead to mold, fungi, wood rot and pest infestations. These issues can lead to negative effects on your air quality and your health.
The fact is you can’t have true indoor air quality without exchanging the air with outside air. For example, when you burn food on your stove you open doors and windows and turn on your kitchen exhaust fan to quickly remove the odor. These actions effectively improve the air. This same principle can be applied to your crawl space. Accordingly, in order to improve air quality, you must exchange the inside air with fresh air.
Crawl spaces are often dark and dirty. It is important to maintain a healthy functioning crawl space. Therefore, inspecting your crawl space and the area around your home for water and moisture issues is a great place to start. The crawl space is not often thought of as part of the inside of your home, but its condition has an impact on the state of your home and quality of air within your living space.
Improving Crawl Space Air Quality with ATMOX Controller
As discussed above, controlling moisture and exchanging air within the crawl space is important for maintaining a healthy home. Filtration of air can be an effective tool for drying, however, ventilation is the only option for exchanging of air for improving indoor air quality.
ATMOX controller addresses air quality by using an exchange of air when it is beneficial to the space. Depending on setup, this can be under different parameters. Learn more about the functionality of the ATMOX Crawl Space Controller.
Another approach to lowering the concentrations of indoor air pollutants in your home is to increase the amount of outdoor air coming indoors.– Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Discover all aspects of a winning crawl space moisture control solution.