Windows striking a balance for healthy air tight buildings


Excerpt and image from article written by Vinyl Council Chief Executive Sophi MacMillan and published on industry news website Sourceable


We tend to think of energy efficient buildings as being ‘air tight,’ but this is not actually the desired outcome.


There are many factors that affect levels of indoor comfort, including air quality. Air quality can be affected by external air pollutants entering the building, the materials used inside the home, the household products used, as well as activities in the building. Energy efficient buildings need to be well sealed and insulated to conserve energy and minimise thermal conductivity, but activities such as showers, cooking and clothes drying, for example, can increase the humidity in indoor air and lead to possible mould issues.


The key to having an energy efficient home or office and healthy indoor air quality is to ensure effective ventilation.


Today’s window designs, however, can facilitate easy ventilation while maintaining good thermal properties.


Common in Europe are Tilt and Turn windows and doors, which work effectively in a cross ventilation situation: the old, stale ‘hot’ air escapes over the top of the inward tilted window, while the new, fresh air enters the dwelling around the sides of the tilted window sash. This ventilation is ideal for maintaining healthy indoor air quality and a high degree of security. The window or door can also be fully opened (inwards) to provide a strong draft, for example to purge the home with cool evening air on a hot summer day.

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