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YOUR HOME IS YOUR SANCTUARY
Warmth, comfort and safety are the most important ingredients in a happy and healthy home.
When a Vermont winter sets in or summer temperatures start climbing, your house may not be ready.
As of 2018, more than 50% of Chittenden County's housing stock was older than 40 years old. Integrating energy conservation with investments in healthy home upgrades provides a cost-effective means to improve the safety and efficiency of affordable quality housing, particularly for older homes.
The Energy Co-op Efficiency Team can help solve problems that make houses too hot, too cold, or use too much energy.
Key improvements like air sealing, insulating and installing more efficient heating and cooling systems can keep your house functioning at its best all year long.
Common Causes of Indoor Air Polllution
In a cold climate like Vermont when so much of the year is spent indoors, the air quality inside your paramount. It's important to keep this in mind when you are improving your home's insulation and air sealing. What are some of the biggest threats to indoor air quality?
- Carbon Monoxide
- Volatile Organic Compounds
- Indoor Air Quality
How to make your home "healthy"
Proper insulation helps reduce energy usage and keep your house cooler in summer and warmer in winter. It can also insulation dampen noise from outside to make your home quieter.
Attic- Heat rises, so in winter the attic is the number one source of heat loss from your house. The warm air in your house is drawn up into the attic and out through the roof.
Knee walls in upstairs areas that have been converted to bedrooms or living spaces are often overlooked.
Walls - After the attic, walls can be important areas for insulation, especially if you live in an older home with inadequate insulation.
Garage - Anyone with a bedroom over a garage or next to one knows that these can be some of the most uncomfortable rooms in a house.
Air sealing - Insulating your home without proper air sealing can create secondary problems like mold and mildew buildup.
What qualities make a home healthy?
Healthy homes are:
- Dry: Damp houses provide a nurturing environment for mites, roaches, rodents, and molds, all of which are associated with asthma and poor indoor air quality
- Pest-Free: Recent studies show a causal relationship between exposure to mice and cockroaches and asthma episodes in children.
- Well Ventilated: Studies show that increasing the fresh air supply in your home improves respiratory health.
- Safe: Many injuries among children and older people occur in the home.
- Contaminant-Free: Chemical exposures inside your home can include lead, radon, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, PFAS, and environmental tobacco smoke.
- Thermally Controlled: A variety of health problems are related to prolonged exposure to excessive heat or cold when your home does not maintain adequate or consistent seasonal indoor temperatures.
- Accessible: Lack of accessibility in your home can result in reduced physical activity, trips, falls and increased isolation from family and friends.