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.