REAL ESTATE DARIEN, NEW CANAAN, ROWAYTON,CT.
May 20th, 2010
Norwalk Aquarium Center and CTGBC sponsored a seminar on Indoor Air Quality, IAQ for residential homes. Experts explain the realities of home indoor air quality and how to improve and protect the air you breathe at home.
Speakers include: Dr. Marybeth Smuts, air toxicologist, US EPA; Dr. Gary Ginsberg, toxicologist, Connecticut Department of Public Health; and Foster Lyons, local building science expert and co-owner of Coastal Point Construction, Conn.
The average person is indoors 80% to 90% of the time. 20% of families have an asthmatic in the home. Home buyers surveyed for green build rated the following items as important: - Health 42%, Energy Savings 17%, and Environment 12% in the decision of buying a home. The EPA's program ‘Indoor AirPLUS' is for new home construction that is the next tier to the EPA's program of ‘Energy STAR'. Many of the requirements though should be used in every home. Test for Radon gas, Test Well Water, Carbon Monoxide and Smoke alarms, Low VOC's paints, Moisture control, proper storage of poisons and cleaning materials.
Major contributors to bad IAQ are Mold, Building Materials, Consumer Products, and Exterior Environment. A general rule of thumb is that if there is a strong order, then it is most likely off-gassing chemicals. Such examples are ‘new car smell', paint smell, new carpet smell. If these projects are done it is recommended that you first use safe materials such as low VOC's paints, Green Label Carpets, No formaldehyde kitchen cabinets and secondly do the work in the warmer months when you can open doors and windows to allow the circulations of fresh air. Off gassing can take days to months depending on the materials.
Another source of bad IAQ contributors are consumer products:-
BAD SOURCE GOOD SOURCE
Pesticides sprays carry in house Use bait traps
Cleaning materials ammonia & chlorine Use natural cleaners, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, enzymes, citrus oils
Any aerosol can Use pump bottles and liquids contains petroleum distillates
Spray furniture polish Use natural oil base products contains hydrocarbons
Acid base drain cleaners
CFL lights contain mercury Use LED's lights use where they cannot be broken (Light Emitting Diode)
Paints & varnishes, Use low VOC's products
Arts & Crafts...glues, matting, Use bad products outside,
rubber cement. Lots of ventilation.
Mothballs Use natural cedar chips/wood
Exterior Environment also contributes to bad IAQ such as radon gas, poor water quality and the stack effect. The stack effect is created in your home when a vacuumed is created and not enough fresh air enters the home. Up to 30% of the makeup air can be sucked up through your attached garage, basement, crawlspace and cracks in the foundation. In the ground you could have Radon gas or another possibility is that pesticides, dry cleaning chemicals, gas station pollutants, landfills leach into the groundwater and travel where vapors can get into your home from underground.
The solution for such problem is:-
1. Source Control, sealing building, materials used radon remediation.
2. Ventilation, ERV- Energy Recovery Ventilator, demand control ventilation and dehuminfining units.
3. Filtrations, installing MERV 8 filters on ductwork.
For further information please refer to the following websites:-
Dr. Ginsberg website http://whatstoxic.org/
EPA's Indoor AirPlus program http://www.epa.gov/indoorairplus/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://cdc.gov/Healthyhomes/
Licensed Connecticut Realtor Licensed Connecticut Home Improvement Contractor Member USGBC & CTGBC, accredited LEED GA
WILLIAM RAVEIS REAL ESTATE, DARIEN, CT.