Think of your home as a system. Good insulation and air sealing can lead to better energy efficiency, but can have adverse effects on indoor air quality, so the home’s ventilation is important too. The materials used to build your home can also have an impact on the indoor enviroment.
House as a system example:
To minimize heat loss, energy-efficient home are sealed by a tight building envelope (which includes windows, doors, vapour barrier, roof etc). That’s a good thing. But this closed environment doesn’t allow moisture in the air to escape and that can cause air quality problems, mold and other concerns. An energy efficient home must be carefully built to minimize uncontrolled airflow, but the indoor environment must also be carefully balanced by employing advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning design and technology.
Home buyers go green primarily to save money on their utility bills. That doesn’t have to mean expensive alternative energy sources like solar panels or wind turbines. Advanced technologies are exciting, but paying close attention to air sealing, using the right amount of insulation and keeping good ventilation in mind are great ways to gain efficiency. Green building is also careful building.