Weatherization Can Improve Your Home’s Air Quality
Weatherization is helping Mainers battle high heating costs by making their homes and businesses less drafty, better insulated, and more energy efficient. Common weatherization projects include insulating walls, attics, and basements, and investing in air sealing, which reduces the amount of air that leaks in and out of a building. Over the next few weeks, Efficiency Maine will post some blogs that will dispel a variety of weatherization “myths” in an effort to inform Mainers about the potential benefits of making our buildings more energy-efficient. Today’s topic: weatherization can improve your home’s air quality.
Some homeowners have questions about how weatherization projects affect a home’s air quality. For example, will a home still be able to “breathe” after it is air sealed and insulated? In fact, not only will a home still be able to “breathe,” but its air quality can actually improve from weatherization projects.
A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy has shown that weatherization can reduce irritants and allergens, such as mold, dust mites, pests, extreme cold and heat, humidity, and moisture.* Reducing these irritants and allergens in your home can lead to a significant decrease in asthma attacks, bronchitis, and allergies.**
The reason for this is that most homes have spots of air leakage, and incoming air usually enters homes through basements, garages and crawl spaces. This can compromise air quality because basements, garages, and crawl spaces tend to have a higher concentration of irritants and allergens than other areas around the home. Weatherization projects like air sealing help control the flow of air in your home and can help you improve air quality, all while saving you money.
While houses do need fresh air, most homes have more air leaks than necessary. We encourage you to consider weatherization not only as a way to reduce your monthly energy costs, but also to improve your home’s air quality. We recommend finding a contractor near you and asking them about weatherization options for your home.
Efficiency Maine offers rebates and loans for weatherization projects. Rebates are available for insulation projects (up to $5,000 rebate), as well as air sealing with an energy assessment ($500 rebate). Click here to find a contractor near you. You also might want to check out this video on how to weatherize your home.