When David Barnard moved into his brand-new home, he began having health issues. The culprit: mold.
In a recent podcast interview David Barnard opened up about his “mold story.” David moved into a brand new, custom built home in 2011. This is the dream for so many people – But it was not as perfect as it seemed.
Shortly after he moved in, Barnard started having health issues. He dealt with allergies and other health issues for years. He went to numerous doctors and tried countless treatments, but to no avail.
In 2017, an ear, nose and throat doctor recommended Barnard get nasal surgery to reduce the tissue in his nose so he could breathe easier. To prepare for this, the doctor gave Barnard a handout, which stated that dust mites thrive in environments with over 55% humidity. This puzzled Barnard, and he started to wonder what the humidity in his house might be.
He bought a humidistat, and found out the humidity in his house was reaching 75-80%. So he decided to have a professional investigate his HVAC system.
To Barnard’s shock, the air vents in his home were filled with layers of mold, which the HVAC professional informed him had been growing for years.
“It took me on a deep dive into indoor air quality,” Barnard said.
Barnard set out to get to the bottom of the issue. He had a building scientist investigate the home, and they found it was poorly ventilated.
“Moisture was just getting trapped and not having anywhere to get out,” Barnard said. “Our HVAC was not able to keep up with the dehumidification itself.”
Barnard started to do some research. He listened to podcasts, investigated online and talked to experts. Eventually, the house was properly ventilated and an air quality monitor and whole house dehumidifier was installed. The air quality in Barnard’s home significantly improved, but he still lives with health issues to this day.
“I likely developed a hypersensitivity to the mold that was in our house for years,” Barnard said. “The problem really is the concentrations and species of mold.”
This process can be confusing for renters and homeowners. It can be overwhelming, and it’s hard to figure out where to start.
“Some people would say you need to immediately move out and find a new home,” Barnard said. “But that’s a massively life-altering decision. It puts you in a really tough place when you find that kind of thing.”
Barnard eventually moved out of the home, which improved his health. But he said his body’s stress threshold has significantly risen since he was first exposed.
“My body was having to deal with a toxin,” Barnard said. “The body has to deal with those stressors. It at least contributed to or perpetuated all these symptoms that I did have.”
Because of these issues, Barnard has tried a host of air purifiers. He’s found Austin Air purifiers to be the best.
“The Austin Air purifier I’ve had in my bedroom, I’ve had for almost 20 years now,” Barnard said. “I was blown away by how fresh the air smelled. There’s so much carbon in there that it’s actually scrubbing the air and ends up improving air quality for a much longer time period. I’ve done a deep dive on all of this, and Austin Air is by far my favorite air purifier. It’s just the best combination of practicality and affordability.”
All of this has raised Barnard’s awareness of the importance of indoor air quality.
“If you haven’t been aware, there’s so many things you’re probably missing,” Barnard said. “It’s just so unfortunate that as a species we give so little care to the environment we spend 18-22 hours a day in. There’s a whole rabbit hole you can go down to better understand what’s going on in your indoor environment. If you’re not at least doing a cursory look at your indoor air quality, you’re doing yourself and your long-term health a disservice.”