Yukon Housing Corporation

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Building Science Links

Safe and Healthy Home

A home that provides secure, comfortable shelter and does not facilitate illness is considered safe and healthy.

Modern houses are systems comprised of a number of components that must be balanced to work effectively together to ensure the home operates efficiently and keeps the occupants comfortable and safe.

HRV: clean fresh air

A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) is a device designed to exchange stale moist air with clean oxygenated fresh air while minimizing heat loss during the exchange process. An HRV system is now a municipal bylaw requirement for all new homes constructed in Whitehorse.

View the NRC's publication on HRV systems 

Find out more about insulation R values

Check out these videos for more information on HRV systems:

Smoke detectors

Having working smoke detectors is essential to maintaining a safe and healthy home. Some guideline to follow include:

  • Install smoke detectors outside each bedroom and sleeping area, and on each level of your home
  • Read and follow every step of the manufacturer's directions when you install your smoke detector
  • Change the batteries as often as recommended by the manufacturer
  • Replace any smoke detector that is more than ten years old
  • Have an escape plan in case of a real fire

Find out more about smoke detector safety

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that forms whenever you burn fuel. CO can't be detected without a CO detector because it is colourless, odourless and tasteless. The presence of CO in homes is dangerous, and can cause serious health problems before people even notice it is present.

To prevent the presence of CO in your home, have your heating system inspected by a qualified technician to confirm safe operation.

Install at least one CO detector in your home, especially in hallways outside bedrooms where you can hear them when you sleep.

Note that CO detectors are designed to prevent immediate carbon monoxide poisoning. A CO detector is not a substitute for proper installation and maintenance of fuel-burning appliances.

Learn more about CO detection and prevention in Yukon homes at seriouslysimple.ca.


Radon is a colourless, odourless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the environment. In some confined spaces like basements and crawlspaces, radon gas can accumulate and can become a health concern.

Find Yukon professionals certified in radon measurement and radon mitigation on the Canadian National Radon and Proficiency Program website

Learn more about radon in Yukon  


Excess moisture and humidity can cause mold to grow inside homes. Keeping a dry, well-ventilated home can help prevent mold growth indoors.

For more infomation on mold prevention and clean-up, visit the CMHC website

Firesmart your home

As a homeowner you must assess your property carefully and take all possible steps toward wildfire protection.

Visit Wildland Fire Management for more information on how to protect your home and property.

Bear safety at home

Join other Yukoners in the effort to keep our bears wild and alive, for the safety of our residents, our property, and out of respect for all wildlife.

Visit Environment Yukon for more tips on how to keep your home free from urban wildlife.

Emergency planning

Know the risks, make a plan, get a kit: make sure your family and home are prepared in the event of an emergency.

Visit getprepared.gc.ca to learn more about what you can do to become prepared for emergencies.

Healthy homes

Healthy homes are bright, open and welcoming, but most importantly they take into consideration occupants' health, the home's energy efficiency, resource efficiency, environmental responsibility and affordability.

To learn more about healthy housing, visit CMHC's Five Essentials of Healthy Housing.