Indoor Air Quality

You can breathe easy in an R-2000 home, knowing that it is designed and built to protect the quality of your living environment and your family ’s health.

The air in your home can have a big impact on you and your family. Poor indoor air can leave you feeling tired and unwell. It can also aggravate asthma and allergies.

There are many different reasons for poor indoor air quality. Excessive moisture in basements, bathrooms and kitchens becomes a breeding ground for mould and fungus; over time, it can also cause a deterioration in your home. Synthetic materials give off chemicals. Dust and pollen seep in through cracks and leaks. Cooking and other household activities produce unpleasant odours.

R-2000 takes a systematic approach to improved air quality and a healthier home.

Elimination

During construction, R-2000 builders are careful to not introduce pollutants into your home. Products that emit chemicals are kept to a minimum, such as alkyd paints, formaldehyde-bonded particleboard, solvent-based glues and carpeting. Instead, your builder will choose healthier building components, e.g. water-based paints and finishes, sealed wood products, hardwood flooring, linoleum, ceramic tile and carpeting that give off fewer chemicals. Hard-surface flooring has the added advantage of being easy to keep clean and free of dust mites that have been linked to allergies.

Ventilation

An important key to good indoor air quality is ventilation—getting rid of moisture and stale air and replacing it with fresh air from the outside. In most homes, this is largely an accidental process. Not so in an R-2000 home, where ventilation is carefully controlled.

Most R-2000 homes use a whole-house mechanical ventilation system, called a heat recovery ventilator (HRV), that brings fresh filtered air to every room and removes stale air, excess humidity, pollutants and odours. The air in the home is replaced with fresh outdoor air about 8 times a day. To save energy, the HVR captures the heat from the outgoing stale air to pre-heat the incoming fresh air. As a result, the cost to run the system is just pennies a day, a small price to pay for fresh air all the time. And you can still open your windows anytime you want to.

Construction

But good ventilation is only part of the picture. It is just as important to try to prevent problems from occurring in the first place.

Careful air-sealing of the exterior walls helps to keep dust, pollen and other outdoor pollutants out. At the same time, it also reduces the noise coming in from the outside—an additional benefit of R-2000.

During construction, R-2000 builders are careful to not introduce pollutants into your home. Products that emit chemicals are kept to a minimum, such as alkyd paints, formaldehyde-bonded particleboard, solvent-based glues and carpeting. Instead, your builder will choose healthier building components, e.g. water-based paints and finishes, sealed wood products, hardwood flooring, linoleum, ceramic tile and carpeting that give off fewer chemicals. Hard-surface flooring has the added advantage of being easy to keep clean and free of dust mites that have been linked to allergies.

Equipment

Whenever combustion equipment is used, such as gas and oil furnaces, there are combustion gasses. If these gasses enter the home, they can pose a serious health and safety risk to you and your family. The R-2000 Standard addresses this risk by setting rigid requirements for the venting of combustion equipment. In addition, a carbon monoxide detector is installed in all homes with combustion appliances or an attached garage.

Contact your regional R-2000 Office for more information on R-2000 in your area, or use the "Find A Member" module to the right. Select "R2000 Builder" under Category with your province or local HBA to find R-2000 Builders in your area.

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