Fresh Air Fundamentals: Fresh air being key to good health, it’s a shame we cannot rely on the supply and quality of our indoor air these days. Thanks to technology, our building envelopes—the physical separation between the interior and exterior of a structure-have grown significantly tighter. One hundred years ago people enjoyed generous amounts of OA (Outside Air) flowing through gaps in doors, windows, joints, and cracks. A cool draft through an old building was typical and necessary for a good ghost story. However, the cost of energy and technology has changed our perspective on drafts as well as mechanically cooled or heated air.
Home automation is far from a new concept, but it sure has taken its time becoming standard in homes. That’s about to change: In a world where we practically run our lives through mobile devices, the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) is the next trend upon us. It is estimated that by 2022, the average home could house up to 500 smart devices. We’re talking everything from temperature and air quality sensors to lighting systems, coffee makers, televisions, stoves, blinds, etc. Your home will learn how to wake you up, usher you out the door, and welcome you home as programmed by you.
Earlier in this series on radon, we discussed the dangers of this radioactive gas and how ventilation can mitigate indoor build-up. But where exactly does radon come from, why does it become concentrated indoors, and how does it damage lungs enough to cause cancer?
Origins: Radon is the result of the natural breakdown of radium, an element created as Uranium and Thorium break down. While this radioactive decay sounds every bit as lethal as it can be to human health, the process is essential to life on Earth.