How energy efficiency can improve your health

We then develop what we call a healthy home advisory plan, which gives specific directions as to what things we saw in the home were good – we want to give them positive reinforcement – and then what recommendations we could make to either change their practices, or to use new ones. tools and technology – something as simple as a new vacuum cleaner with a good filter so you reduce the amount of airborne particles in the house, look at the stove system to see if it needs to be serviced, repaired or upgraded. .

And then, thanks to these improvements, there should be less exposure to what are called “triggers” of their asthma. In the long term, we hope for an overall improvement in this patient’s quality of life.

YCC: What are the most common problems you face when entering a home?

Kennedy: The most common things we see in homes are related to chronic moisture problems. Probably two-thirds of the chronically ill homes we visit had some sort of moisture problem. The second most common are ventilation problems, where the ventilation system is not working very well or the air circulation is very poor, so we see the accumulation of chemical particles in the house, which include allergens.

YCC: What do you see in common between energy efficiency efforts and the environmental health program you provide?

Kennedy: The work that the energy efficiency industry does in homes is to improve the indoor environment of the home. This makes a significant difference in how air flows and circulates in the home: where the air comes from and its quality.

And we know that when a home is weathered, properly sealed and properly insulated, it greatly improves comfort. Facilitates the management of indoor air temperature and home humidity, eliminates temperature fluctuations. And the more comfortable people are indoors, the healthier they are, and there is certainly research to back this up.

And then doing the insulation, the air seal, gives anyone, any homeowner, better control over where the air comes into the house from. How much of this air passes through the filter? How much of this circulates and is evenly distributed throughout the house? What I mean is that actually the goal is to improve the entire interior environment of the house. So there are many similarities.

YCC: Are people from two disciplines starting to work together?

Kennedy: I have been a supporter and supporter of the importance of integrating healthy homework into energy efficient work. And I was one of the leaders helping to develop new credentials and new certifications for energy efficiency people. [through the Building Performance Institute]. So we have been true advocates of educating this workforce to integrate a healthy home into their work.

Thus, we have been trying for a long time to ensure that people involved in energy efficiency understand that the work they do has the same impact on the internal environment.

One of the tragedies is that insulation programs have a process where they do a home inspection and if the home has bad environmental conditions like moisture and mold problems, they have to set aside the property. In other words, they will not make insulation.

Thus, some families may qualify to improve their home with insulation. But the work cannot be done due to poor environmental conditions in the house. Thus, nothing is done to improve the home and they are still forced to live in environmental conditions that are likely to affect their health. One of the things we’ve been advocating for recently is that we need to find funding to overcome these delays, fix these things so that [workers] Then you can go and do the energy efficiency work that is really needed.

The work that [energy-efficiency workers] really about indoor health and environment. This is the main advantage of the family. Energy efficiency and improvements leading to lower utility costs are, in a sense, secondary. In my opinion, what matters most is the health benefits and long-term results for people living in the home.

Connected: How to insulate your home

YCC: Do the benefits extend beyond people with acute respiratory illness?

Kennedy: The best thing ordinary citizens can do is invest in making their home more resilient to climate change, and thus more energy efficient. By doing things to lower the cost of utilities, reduce your carbon footprint. And when you do these things, when you invest in energy efficiency, you get an additional – and perhaps more important – benefit in improving the overall health and quality of the indoor environment of that home. So there is a natural benefit to this investment.

The more we can get people to invest, but also provide funding to support those investments to increase the number of homes that get energy efficiency, climate control and healthy homework, the more resilient these buildings will be, the more they will respond to extreme conditions. weather. All this ultimately improves the quality of life and health of people in our country. So it all makes sense as a natural way forward.

We then develop what we call a healthy home advisory plan, which gives specific directions as to what things we saw in the home were good – we want to give them positive reinforcement – and then what recommendations we could make to either change their practices, or to use new ones. tools and technology – something as simple as a new vacuum cleaner with a good filter so you reduce the amount of airborne particles in the house, look at the stove system to see if it needs to be serviced, repaired or upgraded. .

And then, thanks to these improvements, there should be less exposure to what are called “triggers” of their asthma. In the long term, we hope for an overall improvement in this patient’s quality of life.

YCC: What are the most common problems you face when entering a home?

Kennedy: The most common things we see in homes are related to chronic moisture problems. Probably two-thirds of the chronically ill homes we visit had some sort of moisture problem. The second most common are ventilation problems, where the ventilation system is not working very well or the air circulation is very poor, so we see the accumulation of chemical particles in the house, which include allergens.

YCC: What do you see in common between energy efficiency efforts and the environmental health program you provide?

Kennedy: The work that the energy efficiency industry does in homes is to improve the indoor environment of the home. This makes a significant difference in how air flows and circulates in the home: where the air comes from and its quality.

And we know that when a home is weathered, properly sealed and properly insulated, it greatly improves comfort. Facilitates the management of indoor air temperature and home humidity, eliminates temperature fluctuations. And the more comfortable people are indoors, the healthier they are, and there is certainly research to back this up.

And then doing the insulation, the air seal, gives anyone, any homeowner, better control over where the air comes into the house from. How much of this air passes through the filter? How much of this circulates and is evenly distributed throughout the house? What I mean is that actually the goal is to improve the entire interior environment of the house. So there are many similarities.

YCC: Are people from two disciplines starting to work together?

Kennedy: I have been a supporter and supporter of the importance of integrating healthy homework into energy efficient work. And I was one of the leaders helping to develop new credentials and new certifications for energy efficiency people. [through the Building Performance Institute]. So we have been true advocates of educating this workforce to integrate a healthy home into their work.

Thus, we have been trying for a long time to ensure that people involved in energy efficiency understand that the work they do has the same impact on the internal environment.

One of the tragedies is that insulation programs have a process where they do a home inspection and if the home has bad environmental conditions like moisture and mold problems, they have to set aside the property. In other words, they will not make insulation.

Thus, some families may qualify to improve their home with insulation. But the work cannot be done due to poor environmental conditions in the house. Thus, nothing is done to improve the home and they are still forced to live in environmental conditions that are likely to affect their health. One of the things we’ve been advocating for recently is that we need to find funding to overcome these delays, fix these things so that [workers] Then you can go and do the energy efficiency work that is really needed.

The work that [energy-efficiency workers] really about indoor health and environment. This is the main advantage of the family. Energy efficiency and improvements leading to lower utility costs are, in a sense, secondary. In my opinion, what matters most is the health benefits and long-term results for people living in the home.

YCC: Do the benefits extend beyond people with acute respiratory illness?

Kennedy: The best thing ordinary citizens can do is invest in making their home more resilient to climate change, and thus more energy efficient. By doing things to lower the cost of utilities, reduce your carbon footprint. And when you do these things, when you invest in energy efficiency, you get an additional – and perhaps more important – benefit in improving the overall health and quality of the indoor environment of that home. So there is a natural benefit to this investment.

The more we can get people to invest, but also provide funding to support those investments to increase the number of homes that get energy efficiency, climate control and healthy homework, the more resilient these buildings will be, the more they will respond to extreme conditions. weather. All this ultimately improves the quality of life and health of people in our country. So it all makes sense as a natural way forward.