A real phone call from a client.
Client: “My wife won’t sleep with me!”
Me: “I’m sorry, what was your question”
Client: “My wife says she cannot breathe in the bedroom, so she will not sleep with me. I need you to come to my house and determine if there is a mold problem.”
Arriving to the rescue, I discovered that plastic had been taped over all of the upstairs bedroom windows, effectively sealing the room off from any fresh air supply. When I was young, everyone knew enough not to put a plastic bag over your head because you would suffocate. These days, common sense seems to fly right out the window.
Me: “Take the plastic off the windows and open them up for some fresh air.”
Client: “I’m trying to reduce my heating bill.”
Me:” At some point you have to determine if the course of action you are taking is logical. It’s great if you can heat your energy efficient and tightly sealed home using only a match. It is not so great if the air quality in your home is so poor that everyone in the house becomes sick.”
My recommendation for healthy air quality is this:
In the summer, use some type of air conditioning system to remove high levels of humidity from the house. Open the windows when the humidity is low to let some fresh air in. Make sure you open the windows in the fall to let trapped moisture out of your home. Trapped moisture will show up on the insides of your windows as warm moist air attaches to the cold glass.
A Helpful Hint: Lower the top sash on a double hung window and raise the bottom sash. This will let stale air out through the top and bring fresh air in through the bottom.
In the winter the mold spores outside are usually covered with a layer of snow. This will be your freshest, cleanest air. Every once in a while, during the winter months, open the windows and let some fresh air in. Your wife will thank you for it.