Are houses too airtight / Guides

Condensation on windows leads to mold & mildew in homes, ERV & HRV systems help
Ventilation

Ventilation & air exchangers

...airtight homes need mechanical assistance to stop moisture damage and protect indoor air quality, especially true in basements where ventilation is essential to stop mold forming . There are still those that profess that walls need to breath and that 'houses are too airtight', but this myth is completely false and ve...

Problem areas of air leakage in a home and blower door test being cond
Air and vapour barriers

Airtight Construction of Homes is Essential: "Your house sucks." "Oh yeah? your house blows!"

...are if you haven't had it balanced it is most certainly providing too much or too little air compared to the amount being exhausted. Bathroom fans : If they are designed to run off a humidistat (a switch activated by relative humidity) or a timer, you can ensure they aren't running unnecessarily by simply being lef...

$40k Interest-Free Loans for Green Home Renos, How to Apply Canada 2021
Grants and incentives

Greener Homes interest-free loan scheme 2021 Canada - the ultimate guide

...are carrying out work on the inside of the house or the outside. Learn about the best way to insulate exterior walls here , since that is the easiest way to make a house airtight during renovations since you will need a weather barrier. Exterior peel and stick weather barrier / air barrier on a LEED V4 Platinum air...

How to Choose between an HRV and ERV system
HRV and ERV

Choosing between an HRV and an ERV

...are left to make a choice. One thing is for certain though, whichever you choose, an airtight home with an ERV or HRV is an evolutionary leap beyond the leaky houses of the 20th century, so if you are building or renovating a reasonably airtight house, especially if going for Passive House or LEED certification , don...

Pre-fabricated straw bale SIPS panels, an environmental choice
Wall assemblies - new construction

Modern straw bale SIPS construction: high performance, durable, affordable & interesting

...are too labour-intensive and therefore expensive. They can't handle the humid climate. The risk of water damage during construction is too great. They look like a gnome's house. They will be infested with bugs and mice. They are at a greater risk of fire. Every one of those concerns is to some extent valid, but has l...

Spray Foam Insulation - Is it Good or Toxic & Dangerous?
Insulation and soundproofing

Is spray foam insulation a good choice for your home? Or a toxic recipe for disaster?

...are off-gassing from the foam into your house, that the foam is airtight enough to keep the toxins inside while it off-gasses, but as the months and years pass and the wood dries and cracks, will it retain its original airtightness? Not likely in our humble opinion. We are fully aware that no house is perfectly airti...

Frost in Attics: What causes Attic Ice? How to Fix it?
Roof assemblies - renovation

Why is there frost in my attic? Is ice in roofs a problem & How do I stop it?

...are notoriously leaky (and this may be better left to qualified electricians) but there are airtight boxes available that should be installed and that also hold insulation off areas that may get hot if still using incandescent bulbs. The best solution all around is to replace old, leaky and incandescent light fittings ...

Preventing radon gas in homes starts with testing for radon - the only sure way
Radon in Homes - Mitigation

Radon Gas Awareness - Up to 10% of North American homes tested have unsafe radon levels

...area your home is in, the ONLY certain method of making sure you and your family aren't exposed to dangerous levels of this invisible radioactive gas is to test for it and then take action if it's found the levels are too high. Radon Tester for Canadians Testing Radon in Homes in Canada - Order Online Here Be...

High efficiency fireplaces and how to choose one
Wood stove and biomass heat

Choosing the right wood-burning stove or fireplace for both heat output & the environment

...are even houses like passive solar homes that could probably be kept warm with a fondue pot and a few mood candles. So don't buy based on your square footage alone. If you get a wood stove that is too big for your space, you will either overheat or need to operate it at a lower temperature. Running it at too low a te...

The birthplace of Passive House solar home design The Saskatchewan Conservation
Passive solar home design

Saskatchewan: The birthplace of Passive House and passive solar home design

...houses were (and mostly still are) built to suit our whims and personal egos, with little thought applied to how much money and energy we will needlessly throw away on a monthly basis. Considering what is now becoming apparent about Climate Change , imagine if we'd had 40 years head-start in reducing our home energy co...

Air and vapour barriers

Aerobarrier home and attic air-sealing spray

...are too many variables to be able to do that accurately. But to give a reasonable ballpark cost, according to Patrick Rouleau, "we are talking about a likely range of between $1.75 and $ 4.00 per square foot, depending on the building size and level of air changes. It will also fluctuate based on temperature and humidi...