What is one of the first things that comes to the mind of a home or building owner who is concerned about cutting energy costs and going green? Most people will think of the more obvious energy efficiency solutions such as adding solar fans to the roof, or insulation in the attic. Although these green options are indeed terrific and save money and the environment, they would be useless if not for one extremely important yet often neglected aspect of home care: adequate ventilation.
Proper ventilation is crucial to achieving an energy efficient, safe and healthy home. For going green and energy saving answers, making sure to have a fresh exchange of air throughout the attic and the house is one of the best things that can be done. It helps keep the temperatures cooler in the hot summer months, and prevents moisture buildup in the winter. It is a relatively unknown key to lower electric bills, the prevention of polluted air as well as many other health and safety hazards.
Without proper ventilation, numerous problems can occur. In the colder seasons, moisture is easily trapped in the attic and causes terrible problems such as dry rot, fungi, decaying wood and of course mold. Extreme weather conditions can even cause ice in the insulation if there isn’t adequate ventilation.
During the summer and in hot climates, stagnant attic air causes temperatures to rise up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Poor ventilation makes it impossible for the extremely hot air to escape, turning the attic and therefore the whole house into an over-sized oven. This trapped air causes the attic trusses to dry out which in turn makes the house unbearably hot. Not only is it extremely uncomfortable, but the lack of adequate ventilation can increase energy bills by up to 25-35 percent.
Another thing that many people don’t realize is that in an effort to “go green” and reduce energy bills, oftentimes they have caused more harm than good by unwittingly plugging up the attic vents with insulation. This stops both the stale air from going out as well as the fresh air from coming in, leading to numerous health hazards and inefficient energy usage. Some of the dangers this causes are: contaminated air from pollutants and gases from household objects (such as cleaning supplies), mold from unnaturally high humidity levels, and resultant sickness such as asthma and allergies.
Other dangers include: unwanted pests such as termites which come to live in and feed off of the rotting wood, the steady deterioration of building structures, and of course sky-high electric bills.
So for those who are serious about reducing energy bills, breathing clean fresh air, staying healthy and living green, all you have to do is take the necessary steps to ensure your home or building has adequate ventilation. If you are wondering how this can be done, you will be happy to know that it is not as hard as you might think! There are many energy efficient solutions which incorporate going green with lower electric costs, and you don’t get much better than that!
The UK government have introduced the Green Deal Scheme which is a way for everyone to have access to greener energy sources and products without the upfront cost