To meet the demands for energy conservation, we have built our homes to keep fresh air out. As we increase our homeʼs efficiency, we also become more efficient at trapping contaminants. That means the air inside our homes — the air we breathe every day — is likely to be more polluted than the air outdoors. Up to 50 times more.
The most harmful contaminants in our homes are airborne particulates that are invisible to the naked eye. Particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in size, including fine particles less than 2.5 micrometers, penetrate deep into the lungs, causing serious health problems.
Evidence from community studies links particulate exposure to premature death, increased hospitalization, school absence, and lost work days due to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases like asthma. People most at risk are children, the elderly, and people with chronic respiratory problems.
HOW THIS CAN HELP SENIORS:
Improved Indoor Air Quality
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air is anywhere from 2 to 10 times more hazardous than outdoor air. In fact, the EPA warns that indoor air quality is the number one environmental health problem.
Control Excess Humidity
An ERV helps to control humidity in the house by transferring some of the water vapor in the incoming air to the theoretically drier air thatʼs leaving the house. If you use an air conditioner, an ERV generally offers better humidity control.
Recover Indoor Heated/Cooled Air
Thanks to a balanced air-flow exchange system, the heat or energy from contaminated exhaust air passes through the recovery core, and fresh air enters through other cells absorbing that heat or energy without mixing with the exhaust air. So, you benefit from healthy fresh air while you save on heating or air conditioning costs.
QUICK TIPS FOR ENSURING A SAFER HOME FOR SENIORS:
TIP #1 – Incorporate an HRV/ERV system. With proper ventilation in and out of your home, you can expect your indoor air quality to improve. When you have better indoor air quality, you and your family will breathe easier, be more comfortable, and enjoy less illness!
TIP #2 – Remove fall hazards. Falls are the number one cause of injury for seniors. Create a more open environment, remove area rugs, clean up clutter and consider furniture around tight pathways.
TIP #3 – Install grab bars in bathrooms. The bathroom can be the riskiest room in a seniorʼs home. Falls and slipping often occur here. Grab bars in showers and around the toilet are ideal locations to assist seniors.
TIP #4 – Improve lighting. Aging eyes tend to work harder in low light or bright white light. Darker areas in the home make it difficult for seniors to maintain balance and orientation. Consider installing motion detection lighting inside and outside the home.