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A True Healthy Home Depends on Three Vital Factors – Insulation, Ventilation and Background Heating.

By Dave Trosdahl on July 11th, 2007

We thought this news story was very pertinent to our industry. A New Zealand company has developed a new type of air duct made from carbon fiber and is said to help contribute to a healthier home.

How to have a healthy home

By GRANT MILLER – Manawatu Standard | Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Insulation is only part of the package for creating healthy homes, according to home ventilation businessman Gordon Buick.

“A true healthy home depends on three vital factors – insulation, ventilation and background heating, not insulation on its own,” he said.

Mr Buick, from Foxton, has patented in New Zealand and Australia the use of carbon graphite in an air duct for heating.

It will be manufactured in Australia from September.

Mr Buick has criticized the Government’s focus on insulation as “the panacea for a healthy home”.

Mr Buick said fresh air ventilation systems are “now universally recognized as the catalyst for a warmer, drier, healthy home”.

He said 95 percent of home ventilation systems are installed for houses that are fully insulated.

“When homes cannot breathe due to insulation and sealing of gaps, water vapor is locked inside and requires mechanical ventilation to drive it out,” Mr Buick said.

However, Otago University research suggests there are significant benefits from properly insulating homes.

Project leader Philippa Howden Chapman said there was a 40-50 percent reduction in wheezing, colds, and respiratory problems in adults and children.

Overall, there was a 10-11 percent improvement in the health and quality of life in the residents of insulated homes, she said.

One-third of New Zealand homes have no insulation.

For every dollar spent on insulating houses, there was almost a $2 benefit in health savings from fewer admissions to hospital and less time off work.

New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development chief executive Peter Neilson said there is strong public support for the Government doing more to get homes insulated.

Nine out of 10 people surveyed believe the country’s 300,000 uninsulated homes present a problem that should be tackled urgently.

“In New Zealand, most homes are kept too cold,” Mr Buick said, but added insulation is not the complete answer. Therm.R.Duct is energy efficient, he argued.

“The value of introducing warm air at ceiling level and pressurizing the home from ceiling to floor is superior to using conventional heat, which simply rises to the ceiling and is wasted.”