It has become quite apparent that through COVID, the general public has become far more aware of the importance of indoor air quality (IAQ) when it comes to health and performance. As such, the general consensus might be that selling air quality equipment to homeowners should be a pretty easy sale. However, a recent study by Panasonic has come up with some information that has shocked many within the industry, including Panasonic themselves.
Of course, this is not all bad news, as later findings in the report outlines. After being informed of IAQ scientific findings, the number of homeowners who viewed their own home as somewhat or very unhealthy tripled from 12% to 39%. For homebuilders, this number doubled from 29% to 62%. Post survey, 62% of homebuilders considered recommending IAQ solutions, up from 49%.
Conversations On Air Quality with Homeowners and Homebuilders Are Vital to Healthier Living
It’s not those homeowners are less concerned about their homes being healthy; it’s actually quite the opposite. According to the survey 69% of homeowners place great value into healthy environments, but they mainly prioritize visual elements like proper lighting and less clutter. That, and there is somewhat of an illusion that a home is far more of a safe space compared to restaurants, offices and hotels.
However, when confronted with the risks and the causes behind poor air quality, it’s easy to see how quickly both homeowners and homebuilders move to correct. The most compelling arguments for improving air quality, according to the study came from the life-threatening risks associated with poor air quality and the amount of off-gassing from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can occur in the built environment.
The fact of the matter is, people want to be healthy. Looking at current trends with food, exercise and even sustainability reflect that. It’s just path to get there isn’t always the clearest in. This research shows that, given the opportunity, plenty of people will jump to improve their home environment, they just might not think that their homes pose any danger to them.
Starting the Conversation on Home Air Quality
The trend for the past 30 years (and something that continues to this day) has been to tighten the building envelope for maximum efficiency. Less air getting in means less money spent on heating and cooling, but therein lies the issue: less air is getting into the home, specifically less fresh air. And if no fresh air is getting in, that also means that all of the CO2, VOCs and other indoor pollutants aren’t getting out. When talking to homeowners, this is a good place to start the conversation.
How many times have you heard the stat of “The average person spends 90% of their time indoors,” bandied about? I’ll admit, I’ve been guilty of it numerous times, but that’s because that’s 90% of a homeowner’s life is spent exposed to air that is potentially five times worse than outdoor air. When talking about air quality, it’s important to approach it from an empathetic standpoint, one that values the health and safety above all other things.
Not only is it better overall that these conversations happen, but this also helps homebuilders and building professionals align with the current buying patterns of homeowners. Healthier amenities can often net greater sales figures with a home, and as showcase in the study, clutter and natural lighting have become a point of fixation because they are viewed as healthy elements within a home.
IAQ can fit into that sales equation once homeowners have been informed of the health and safety value of air quality. For homebuilders and other home professionals, this makes IAQ devices and solutions such as HVACs, central vacuums and even localized devices easily monetizable in the current construction market. All they need to do is educate their clients a little by discussing the positive health outcomes these solutions can provide in a home.