Mold in the corner of the plastic windows.

Ventilation fans may not be top-of-mind for builders and remodelers. But for many homeowners, proper ventilation is becoming a top concern as they look for healthy home solutions.

More than 26 million Americans suffer from asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a single year, a six-room house collects an average of 40 pounds of dust, which can be laced with up to 45 toxic chemicals, according to the EPA. The EPA also warns that repeated exposure to indoor air pollution can lead to serious health problems such as respiratory disease, heart disease and cancer.

People spend 90% of their time indoors, where pollutants can be two-to five-times higher - it’s no wonder homeowners are more aware of indoor air quality and are looking for alternative solutions.

Source control and filtration are certainly part of the strategy. But ventilation is key. Installation of ventilation fans — and choosing a fan with features that promote good indoor air quality — are key to helping create the healthy home customers demand. But meeting growing IAQ homeowner demands isn’t the only reasons builders need to think carefully about ventilation. Here are 5 more:

  1. Inspection rejection. Studies show 48% of bathroom exhaust fans failed to meet ASHRAE 62.2 required airflow, which includes operations at a certified sound level of 3.0 sones or less. Be sure the fan you’re installing meets code.
  2. Warranty nightmares. If a new home isn’t properly ventilated, it could lead to mold and mildew or be damaged over time, triggering difficult-to-solve and often ongoing warranty issues with no end in sight.
  3. Endless callbacks. If ventilation fans aren’t moving air properly, you could receive complaints and callbacks about moisture in the bathroom that causes foggy mirrors, odors, mold and mildew. Proper ventilation will prevent such problems.
  4. Legal jeopardy. Poor ventilation can lead to structural problems throughout the home and can have a devastating impact to the occupants’ health. When homeowners start looking for reasons for these problems, guess who ends up in the crosshairs?
  5. The Yelp effect. If a new home’s indoor air quality doesn’t meet homeowners’ expectations, they’re quick to report it through social media. Fixing bad reviews takes a lot more work than choosing the proper ventilation fan and installing it right.

To avoid all of these problems, be sure to look for easy-to-install ventilation fans with sufficient power to move air. Not all fans are created equal. The best fans are those with powerful airflow that perform beyond the minimum 0.1- and 0.25-inch static pressure benchmarks. Choose fans that overcome static pressure at the 0.375-inch level, which is more common on typical installations, and meets required specifications on every project.

For more information about ventilation systems and help with installation, visit Panasonic.