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Homebuyer Be Aware – Healthy Indoor Air

2009 June 29

My family and I just sold our first house. If you’ve ever been through this, you know how many details are involved in sprucing up a home to put on the market – painting, landscaping, cleaning, and on and on. Just like the roof, the furnace and the plumbing – healthy indoor air requires maintenance, and maybe even some elbow grease.

Working at EPA means I’m pretty up to speed on the importance of healthy air. Being a dad, the message is clear to me. When my younger daughter showed signs of developing asthma, in addition to following the pediatrician’s orders, we took extra effort to keep the house in tiptop shape. Since we bought a fixer-upper there was plenty to do. The basics for maintaining clean indoor air go like this – eliminate or remove pollutants, ventilate with fresh air, control moisture, test for radon, and regularly service appliances like heating and air conditioning, and cooking appliances. For more tips than I have room for, check out http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/careforyourair.html.

Selling and buying a home has made me realize that taking steps to protect indoor air quality actually added value to our sale and helped us spot value when we were looking for a new home. Certainly folks can take a “do-it-yourself” approach like my family did by following EPA’s tips. But wouldn’t it be nice if “indoor air quality” were built in? The good news is EPA has launched a program called Indoor airPLUS. To earn the Indoor airPLUS label, a new home must include a comprehensive set of indoor air quality requirements and a third-party verifies it.

As a dad, having good indoor air means living healthy as well as having peace of mind.

About the author: John Millet started at EPA in 2002 and is the Director of Communications for the Office of Air and Radiation covering climate change, emissions, and acid rain. He is the proud dad of two girls and a new home.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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10 Responses leave one →
  1. mike johnston permalink
    June 29, 2009

    Having good clean air is critical

  2. Johnny R. permalink
    July 1, 2009

    The freshest air comes from trees. I leave my window open whenever possible and sleep just under it. That way my body can repair itself using as much oxygen as it needs — except nowadays the growing population is producing more pollution that puts out more carbon dioxide and methane, so fresh air is becoming an endangered species. Soon they’ll be selling oxygen in supermarkets along with distilled water.

  3. Ralm Environmental Service permalink
    July 1, 2009

    I thought that this article was Right on!!!
    It is without a doubt that the air quality inside of your home is loaded with all kinds of toxins, microbial particules, Molds, Radon gas, Lead poison, Asbestos particules, and on and on. What to do?
    Have your home tested by a qualified, insured, and certified air quality inspector. This way, he or she can provide you with the a report that will reccommend a specific type of air scrubbing system needed to clean the air in your home or office.

  4. Amrita permalink
    July 3, 2009

    Hi!

    Indoor air quality is really an important determinant of population health and wellbeing. Exposure to the hazardous airborne agents present in many indoor spaces causes adverse effects such as respiratory disease, allergy and irritation of the respiratory tract. To a large extent, the inadequate quality of indoor air arises from a poor articulation, appreciation and understanding of the basic principles underlying the policies and actions related to indoor air quality.

    With Regards
    Amrita
    http://www.quality-web-programming.com

  5. andy permalink
    July 13, 2009

    It is advisable to get one of those air cleaners to get the indoor air quality as pure as possible

  6. Tina permalink
    February 17, 2010

    Thanks for sharing information about the Indoor airPLUS program. It is a great program and I wish more builders would get involved. It’s great to keep educating people about these programs.

    There are some other programs that homeowners can utilize to control their environment before it controls them. They can hire Indoor Air & Surface Quality professionals who would come in a do a free 10 Point Healthy Verification for them.

    The services that they offer are often very affordable. They utilize nanotechnology to eliminate harmful germs (mold, mildew, bacteria, algae..etc) from indoor air and surfaces.

  7. Dan permalink
    May 24, 2010

    The indoor airPLUS programm is genius – I think the EPA should advertise it on TV so it gathers speed and people start looking for it when buying a home. I think a mold air sample test in the middle of the home should also be included – not just radon. Mold is a serious issue in most fixer-uppers and is repsonsible for a lot of asthma issues in the young and elderly. For more information on mold please do some research – it’s amazing how many people do-it-themselves when mold is involved and just bleach the walls which is the wrong way to go…

  8. Ritch the DryHero permalink
    July 27, 2010

    I own DryHero in Lincoln Nebraska, a water damage restoration firm. I had never heard of airPLUS before. This is great. Most people are not aware of the level of particulate that is aerosolized in their homes.

    In our industry, it’s all about filtration. Regardless of what the pollutant is, filtration will remove it…it’s indiscriminate. And you can do it yourself with industrial grade results for less than you’d think.

    I also like the testing component as long as you keep in mind that testing, especially a single air test, can have limitations.

    Cool concept though…

    Thanks!

  9. Ralm Environmental Services permalink
    November 24, 2010

    The unfriendliest air to breathe is right in your home. Studies conducted by the C.D.C., University of Florida, and the National Board of Health and Human Sciences have all concluded by testing in just about every environment that humans habitate.
    The findings were over whelming and the outcome has stalled. Armed with direct knowledge of household pollutants, noxious gases, and household cleaning products that all cause elevated levels of very dangerous particulate matter and microbial irritants that cause more damage to lungs than outdoor air. It is very important to check with your doctor when you or someone in your home has ongoing respitory infections, and breathing connected ailments.
    Doctors continue to through antibiotics at illness that can be controlled by the air quality in your home. Get your home tested by a licensed, experienced, and insured air quality technician today.
    The discovery will make you a true believer.

  10. Crystal C permalink
    December 4, 2012

    Thank you for the post!

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