Due to the growing concern about indoor air quality, the EPA developed the Indoor airPlus program. According to the EPA, “Indoor airPLUS labeled homes are designed and built to help protect your family from indoor air pollution.” “Homes built to earn the Indoor airPLUS label include features to reduce contaminants that can lead to poor indoor air quality, including mold, moisture, radon, carbon monoxide, toxic chemicals and more.”
The EPA program lays out technical guidelines for moisture control and has specific guidelines for basements and crawl spaces. Why is moisture control in the basement and crawl space so essential to healthy indoor air? As the EPA states, “Crawl spaces and basements can become moisture laden, supporting the growth of mold and the decay of building materials and providing ideal conditions for insect pests and even rodents. Moisture and contaminants can be driven into living spaces.” Moisture, air pollutants, gases, and other contaminants make their way into the rest of the house putting you and your family at risk. Addressing the problematic air in the basement and crawl space is essential to healthier air throughout the entire home.
Let’s see how the Wave Ventilation unit compares to the EPA recommendations
According to the EPA guidelines:
“Crawl spaces should not have any ventilation openings; all openings, exterior doors or hatches, and joints should be sealed. A vapor barrier should be placed on the floor, but not on the interior walls as they may trap moisture present in the foundation wall creating moisture and mold problems.”
WAVE Home Solutions recommends sealing all points of exterior penetration into the basement or crawl space so that humid or otherwise unfavorable air does not enter the damp, unconditioned area thereby exasperating the problems. Our systems will help dry out the foundation, walls, beams, and floor and remove any trapped moisture as the continuous ventilation draws it and any that wicks through from the outside, to the fore and expels it.
Again from the EPA:
“Install a Mechanical Ventilation system which has 2 components; (a) Exhaust air at area no less than 1cfm per 50 sq. ft. from the crawl space or basement to the outside and (b) Replenish that air with conditioned air from the upper levels or the HVAC system.”
WAVE Ventilation systems expel the moist and polluted air from the basement or crawl space directly to the outside at a rate exceeding the EPA recommendations, while at the same time replenishing that air with conditioned, drier air from the upper levels. In the crawl space application this is achieved with a booster fan that draws down the same amount of air that is being expelled and in the basement application this is achieved through a passive grill or open stairway. One unit has the capacity to address the entire basement or crawl space.
The EPA developed these guidelines because conditioned crawl spaces:
- Provide better moisture control
- Are more energy efficient
We can understand how conditioned crawl spaces would provide better moisture control but are they more energy efficient?
The answer is yes because it takes a lot less energy to heat or cool a dry environment as opposed to a damp one. In fact, a Department of Energy study showed that the use of mechanical ventilation in a crawl space saw more than a 15% improvement in the overall efficiency of the HVAC system.
Not only will our system reduce moisture and improve indoor air quality, but it will also help improve the energy efficiency of the overall heating and cooling system. And a WAVE Ventilation system is extremely energy efficient; with energy costs of approximately $3/month vs. an energy guzzling dehumidifier which can cost $60-$80/month to operate.
A WAVE Ventilation system incorporates all the components recommended by the EPA for healthier indoor air quality as laid out in their airPlus program.
The focus of the EPA’s guidelines is on moisture control. Not only does our unit comply with these guidelines, it provides the added benefit of expelling harmful gases such as radon as well as other indoor air pollutants. All this is achieved with a system that requires no maintenance, costs pennies a day to run, and will help improve the overall energy efficiency of the entire heating and cooling system.
You don’t need to build or buy a new home to have one that complies with the indoor airPlus program, just install a unit in your crawl space or basement and start reaping the rewards of a healthier, more energy efficient home just as thousands of satisfied customers have already done. You can also read some Wave Ventilation Reviews and Testimonials straight from our blog!