Is your energy efficient home harming your health?
Making your home more energy efficient can pay off in more ways than one. Not only are you lowering your carbon foot print, you are also lowering your utility bill. Cities like Austin, also offer rebates for green upgrades. But could making your home energy efficient also be making you sick?
According to experts at ABC Home Services making your home more “tight” in design, can harm your health.
Director of Business Development at ABC, Adam Turnipseed said his crews see the issue weekly.
The problem stems from off-gasses or volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) becoming concentrated in your home. VOC’s are found in household cleaning products, paints, stains, and cosmetic products.
The “ice chest” or “cooler” effect you get from making your home energy efficient, can also trap VOC’s inside.
If inhaled in large doses or over a long period of time, that off-gassing can lead to irritation in the throat, sinus problems, itchy eyes, and even develop into liver issues, according to Turnipseed.
"You make a home too tight and it doesn’t have enough fresh air coming in," said Turnipseed.
Turnipseed said the solution is fairly simple, but crucial. Special air filtration products can be installed by a professional to help bring fresh, clean air into the home. That air exchange will help keep pollutants and chemicals from making you sick.
Air purification systems like the REME HALO, also work like mother nature to zap everything from indoor air pollutants to viruses and bacteria.
"It’s going to give you a sterile environment, inside of your home," said Turnipseed.
After homeowner Richard Spencer lost his home to fire, he decided to make his new home energy efficient. He added double-paned windows and spray foam insulation to his roof.
After consulting professionals and learning the risks, he said he won’t be cutting any corners. He is taking all the necessary steps to make his new home, both green and healthy.
"It’s our air,” said Spencer. “We breathe it."