Natural Health

Healthy living, herbal remedies and DIY natural beauty.

Add to My MSN

Is Your House Making You Sick?

1/22/2010 12:00:00 AM

Tags: house, chemicals, EPA

You shouldn’t have to choose between energy efficiency and good indoor air quality, but a new study in California reports that this may be the case for new home owners. The study, from the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board, found that 67 percent of California’s new homes don’t meet the state’s minimum standard for air exchanges and that 59 percent had formaldehyde concentrations that could cause cancer and chronic irritation.

cat by window
Indoor air can be more polluted than outside air, especially in new homes. Opening your windows is one way to encourage a stream of fresh air and improve indoor air quality. Photo By Susy Morris/Courtesy Flickr 

Airtight, energy-efficient homes generally have poor ventilation, which causes air contaminants to build up beyond recommended exposure levels. Opening windows and airing out your home may bring in a stream of fresh air, but the strain on your home’s heating and cooling systems can offset energy-efficient design.

If you keep your windows closed most of the year, you should install a mechanical ventilation system, which the study says is necessary to provide a steady stream of fresh outdoor air to your home. The study found that heat recovery ventilation systems performed better than ducted outdoor air systems.

Concerned? You can improve your home’s indoor air quality by removing as many pollutant sources as possible. Once you’ve done that, use an indoor air filter to capture what’s left. Check out these seven steps to cleaner indoor air.



Related Content

It’s Almost Time for the 2009 Solar Decathlon

Student teams prepare to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy hosted, fourth biyearly Solar Deca...

How to Make Your Own Beer

This presentation from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash., explains how to get started wi...

Healthy, All-Natural Air Fresheners

Clear your home's air naturally for better health and well being.

Learning About Mold in Your House

Broadening your understanding of mold and mildew in the house will help you to eliminate this hazard...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 










Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.