Fresh filtered, warm and dry air leads to better health outcomes.
How, then, does building to the Passivhaus standard improve health outcomes.
- The constant temperature experienced in a Passivhaus removes the risk of condensation and mould growth that intermittent heating and fluctuating temperatures otherwise bring.
- Temperature consistency, too, also removes this risk. Besides, in a heavily insulated building with no cold bridges there is nowhere for moisture to condense anyway.
- But a building that is too warm may also impact negatively particularly in the young, elderly and infirm so care needs to be taken to reduce overheating, especially in summer.
- The accurate control of ventilation and moisture in a Passivhaus means that relative humidity can be maintained within the ideal comfort range thus preventing the growth of moulds and the establishment of dust mites – both associated with respiratory complaints such as asthma.
- On the other hand, if indoor air is too dry this can lead to skin or eye problems in some occupants though, this has not been our experience at Dormont.
- Poor ventilation regimes allow contaminants such as off-gases from carpets and furniture as well as moulds and dust mites, for example, to potentially affect health.
- An efficient Passivhaus MVHR delivers warm fresh, filtered allergen- and dust-free air.
- It is, however, important to ensure that the air flow is balanced to avoid perceived draughts
- and to regularly change the filters.
And the very high indoor air quality is prompting comments like:-
“I always had chilblains until I moved here”
“I used to sit in front of the fire all day just to keep warm. Now I can do things outdoors that I couldn’t do before”
“I’m allergic to everything and suffer from asthma but I haven’t had an attack in nearly 4 years”
“This is the first winter in all our 38 years of married life in which we have felt warm”