Featured in the TecHome Builder eMagazine
Builders may be worried about suffocating under new building codes and standards. But Pepper Viner Homes is concerned about one thing when it comes to its HVAC approach—making sure the air customers are breathing in their homes is as healthy as possible.
How to achieve indoor air quality? As of recently, the Arizona homebuilding company has been going about this in a variety of ways.
For over a year, Pepper Viner has been implementing a Panasonic exhaust fan system that runs continuously at a low speed and pulls air out of the house, allowing new air to come in.
Healthy Home System
But recently, Pepper Viner was approached by Field Controls with what is being called the “Healthy Home System,” which can more easily control airflow. This level of control is ideal for monitoring and maintaining healthy air quality within the home and appealed strongly to the company.
“We like the system because the amount of fresh air is totally measured and controlled—and there’s a thermostat for it,” says Richard Barna, director of building sciences for Pepper Viner Homes.
“All the air comes from the outside and is filtered before it ever enters the house. So that’s a big advantage.”
Immense IAQ Options
Beyond this, Pepper Viner has plans to offer even more options for its customers to promote the safest and healthiest indoor air quality possible. Add-ons can include things such as a media air filter that has a high MERV rating around 13, which will take all the particles out of the air. Customers can also choose to add a UV air purification system that has a germicide lamp in it, which will get rid of things like dust mites, mold and viruses that may be in the air.
“There’s potential for having the system grow. If we get good feedback and people want to use these things, we can add them into the system,” says Barna.
Easing Energy Use
On the energy side, there is even potential to place a bigger fresh air duct on the outside of the home. Anytime the temperature outdoor is adequate for air control, it will pull the air in from outside rather than turning on the air conditioning. This would work the same way with heating.
Barna says that placing a focus on air quality was once something builders could pass off, but due to the latest building codes it has become more difficult not to zero in on air quality and HVAC performance. Builders should be focused on providing HVAC systems with air quality that both they and their customers can trust. These products are perfect in terms of price, control, and convenience, and are especially beneficial for builders unable to offer high end IAQ products for their projects.
“We want our customers to be happy. We want them to be confident that the air inside the house is safe and healthy,” says Barna.
For builders who want their customers breathing easy, following Pepper Viner’s example and pursuing methods such as the Healthy Home System is not a bad place to start.
“Moving forward, people are going to demand this,” says Barna. “It’s not good business to risk air quality.”