Air Quality

this old house, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning-chapter ten

In this chapter of “This Old House, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning,” the authors busy themselves with explaining certain factors that can influence the air quality. They also concern themselves with the placement of the house and certain exterior design qualities.

Homeowners are encouraged to keep the “envelope” of the home in good repair with no leaks. Air leakage is a great drain on electrical energy. Windows are shown to be an important factor in the efficient design of the home. The authors even explain where to plant trees, shrubs, and vines to provide the correct amount of shade vs sunshine for the dwelling. Awnings are discussed with design suggestions given.

Tips are given in this chapter regarding how to increase and how to decrease humidity levels in the home.

  • To lower humidity levels…

  • Use natural ventilation.

  • Remove some plants.

  • Remove firewood if it is inside the house.

  • Add some mechanical ventilation.

  • Don’t take long showers.

  • Install an HVAC system

  • Use a dehumidifier.

To increase humidity levels…

  • Add new houseplants.

  • Put a kettle of water to boil.

  • Do not use bath and kitchen exhaust fans.

  • Insure the house is completely sealed.

  • Use a humidifier.

How to control and use the sun is discussed in this chapter of the book. Of special concern is the use of awnings, overhangs, and shutters. Natural ventilation is explained for different home designs.

Indoor air quality occupies a place in this chapter. Air filters are explained and their many varieties shown. The authors also explain the various pollutants that can be found in a typical American home and what to do if these are discovered in the air.