Climate Change, the Indoor Environment and Health: Pay attention, your life depends on how you treat your house.

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 A recent study from the Institute of Medicine identifies how climate change affects the environment in our homes which has an impact on our nation’s health. It is Ironic that when the weather gets worse, we seek shelter indoors from extremes outside and in doing so still potentially put our health at risk. It is also reassuring that as a Home Performance contractor our work on homes is just what the “doctor ordered”. Most of the issues raised in the report are exactly the things we keep an eye out for with health and safety in mind. Every job we do starts and finishes with testing to ensure your home is a safe haven.

The report identifies 5 major issues:

Indoor Air quality: People don’t think all the cleaning chemicals under the sink amount to much but they can. We tend to leave all sorts of chemicals in our homes, leave connections to garages full of thing we shouldn’t breathe. We also have combustion appliances in our home which left un-checked can cause issues with CO. Our advisors keep an eye out for these conditions, it’s an integral part or health and safety for us.

Dampness and Moisture: Extreme weather conditions outside lead to more frequent issues in our homes as water gets in where it shouldn’t. Cooling systems can contribute to moisture issue if not handled properly and certainly basements and crawlspaces do too. There are fixes for spaces with moisture issues that we sometimes ignore until it’s too late.

Bugs and Bugs: weather and climate change can influence infectious diseases and pests and expanding the area where they flourish. A new “bug in town” will lead to new exposure for some of us and possibly an increase in pesticides previously not used before. Moisture in our home can lead to issues with mold and other pests. A home should be a healthy haven not a petri dish.

Thermal Stress: High heat especially for those not prepared or more susceptible such as the elderly, will experience thermal stress almost exclusively inside. With temperature extremes come power outages compromising our ability to run cooling systems. Treating our buildings by insulating against the heat helps buffer your home.

Building Ventilation, Weatherization and Energy use: As we experience climate change and weather extremes it gives us good reason to weatherize but it must be handled with expertise and always with a mind towards health and safety. No longer can we tighten up a home or insulate it without thinking about the whole house. GreenHomes America makes sure that every home is left a healthier home at job’s end.

“Fixing” old buildings with new methods can create new problems if not done properly.  Being a BPI accredited company   means we are committed to quality and accountability. A comprehensive Home Assessment with solutions provided to you from our team of experts will offer the safest answers to the ever changing environment inside.

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2 Responses to “Climate Change, the Indoor Environment and Health: Pay attention, your life depends on how you treat your house.”

  1. Michael Says:

    In the last paragraph, the author start out by saying “Fixing “old” buildings with new methods can create new problems” but does not go on to day why. I think this is a bit of a misstatement in that “fixing” any building can create new problems… if done incorrectly. However, when an old building is thought as a system, new technology including heat ventilation recovery systems, can all a building envelope to be sealed up without any problems what so ever.

    “Old” houses, (over 100 years old as an example) were required to be leaky because of systems that they had. The CO and CO2 from wood, coal, and natural gas would be enough to kill a person if the house did not constantly have fresh air coming in. With today’s technology and higher energy costs, not only is that no required, it should, and can be, completely reversed if done correctly. But it does require looking at the entire system within the house to make sure that everything is working together property, which is no different than if you were building a new house.

    • Mike Rogers Says:

      I think your basic premise is exactly the point of both this post and a pervasive theme in this entire blog. You’ll note the next two sentences in that last paragraph:

      “Being a BPI accredited company means we are committed to quality and accountability. A comprehensive Home Assessment with solutions provided to you from our team of experts will offer the safest answers to the ever changing environment inside.”

      BPI Accreditation and the GreenHomes approach is about the right fixes to ensure the comfort, heatlh, and safety of the occupants, and the durability and energy-efficiency of the building. And we do this in homes from two years old to two hundred years old. But as in medicine, prescription and treatment without diagnosis is malpractice.

      Thanks,
      Mike

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