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It's Fall and the Windows are Being Shut. Why Does My Home Now Have an Odour?

Posted in Weather, on January 22, 2014

When fall arrives and winter is just around the corner, many of us close the windows for good to keep the cold out. This may be good for energy conservation but can be not so good for indoor air quality. If your home has adequate ventilation and is not overly sealed then closing the windows should not affect the indoor air quality. However, if your home does not ventilate very well on its own and holds on to VOC’s, gases, dust, and humidity, the result can be odours and poor air quality.

The odors can vary from room to room and can even vary from day-to-day. The odour can vary in intensity as well as the type of odour. In some cases, the odour can be musty in nature and in other cases a more chemical type odour is reported.

There are Many Reasons for Home Odour Issues

You could have a mould growth issue that is either hidden or not so hidden that is causing an odour. You could have a sewer gas issue or plumbing issue that is allowing sewer gases from entering the home. There could be a recent renovation that is affected the air quality through a VOC off-gassing problem. You could also have recently bought new furniture that is not quite green or has a VOC issue. However, the most common issue that is often overlooked is how well the home ventilates.

A properly ventilated home should be able to dissipate or dilute the air and thereby vent out or reduce odours, VOC’s as well as gases and humidity. If the home is overly sealed it will not do any of this. The reason for an overly sealed home can be simple or complex. The entry door and windows could have a very good seal that prevents any kind of air from entering the home. It’s good to keep drafts at a minimum and keep the cold air out...but then a mechanical means of brining air into the home should be considered.

An air exchanger or HRV or ERV should be considered. These are like having mechanical lungs for the home that will make it breathe better. Better ventilation will dilute or reduce VOC’s, lower dust levels and also control or reduce the relative humidity in the home. This will, in turn, reduce or eliminate odours and improve the indoor air quality in the home. Better ventilation equals better air quality.

In indoor air quality test is a good first step to determine if your home breathes or ventilates in a way that supports good air quality. Properly calibrated air quality instruments will show a trained air quality consultant what issues can be affecting your home or office.

An indoor air quality assessment is like getting a Physical For Your Home. Call us today and we will be glad to discuss your needs.

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