As we stop, watch and wait in our homes while the world battles Covid-19, should we also be taking a moment to think about the health of our home and work environments?
Is the air we breathe free of smoke, dust and pollutants, and what can we do to reduce these additional unseen risks?
Current Affairs and Health
Lately, every time you turn on the TV, radio or social media it seems we are viewing some form of a natural or medical disaster.
Whether it’s increased levels of pollution, dangerous smoke from bushfires and now the global Covid-19 epidemic.
Well, it’s not all bad news, high performance homes are certainly positive in these uncertain times. If you’re considering building, there hasn’t been a better time to explore what is a Healthy Home.
Typically in standard construction, we find that we follow the habits outlined below – regardless of the design or size of home:
❄️ WINTER – “Shut windows and doors to keep the heat in.”
☀️ SUMMER – “Shut doors and windows to keep the heat out and save on the air-conditioning.”
As soon as we open our homes to the external environment we are at the mercy of the weather, wind, dust, pollens, humidity and temperature.
Although modern homes are built with better heat insulation, they are far from being healthy and comfortable. There is no mandatory energy modelling, there is no mandatory air tightness tests or indoor air quality tests, energy performance or predicting comfort levels, and generally, they are under ventilated.
How to achieve a Healthy Home?
Modern homes are increasingly becoming more air tight and under ventilated, therefore mould and mildew in Australian homes are a silent epidemic, and much more dangerous than what we think.
Our homes need regular changes of air to keep them healthy. Baths and showers, doing the dishes, clothes washing machines, drying clothes indoors, and even breathing produces astonishing amounts of water. A typical family will produce 10–15 litres of moisture each day.
A Healthy Home uses a lot less energy to heat or cool your home. HOW?
Imagine a thermos flask. You use energy to cool or heat the water once and the thermos ensures this lasts for many hours. This is exactly the same principle with a High Performance Home. It uses very little energy to keep heat or cold in, whilst maintaining relative humidity at healthy levels. This means you can utilise your air-conditioner for only a few hours a day instead of all day!
With advances in technology and building sciences, Healthy Homes take advantage of systems such as Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV), or Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV). These systems allow fresh air into your home without letting the heat or cool escape.
Opening doors and windows are the obvious way to get rid of moisture and bring in fresh air, but in summer or winter you might just as well flush your money down the toilet: All the heat or cool you’ve expensively introduced via heater or air-conditioners will dissipate in an instant!
What our clients are saying
“Dear H4 Team, over the years with my husband in the Army we experienced many homes around the country. In some country properties we assumed we were breathing fresh air, but I continuously suffered from hay fever and asthma. Being skeptical at first about your homes and the whole concept of a high performance healthy home, I can honestly say that this is the best home we have ever lived in. We find that we rarely open the windows anymore, despite you saying that we can open windows anytime we feel like it, my health conditions have improved dramatically, and I have better sleep patterns, it is amazing. As soon as I spend a couple of days in my daughter’s home I immediately start to get my allergies back. Thank you so much, we are happy to show our home and talk to people that are considering building, they can call anytime. Oh and another positive are the low energy bills!”
Ron & Sharon Baumgart Sunshine Coast Hinterland
A Healthy Home, either being a new home or a major renovation, doesn’t just happen by chance, there is extensive planning and detailed execution.
High performance passive homes are a holistic approach to building using the right design, the right experienced teams and the right materials.
Unlike traditional construction, when creating a high performance home, there are no guesses. We use sophisticated planning software tools and testing during the build to ensure you will end up with the desired result, not just an ordinary home with solar panels on the roof.
We understand the concept of a ‘Healthy Home’ may be hard to grasp, so our friendly team are happy to answer any questions you may have.