Green News & Events

Could Energy Efficient Homes Cause Asthma?

I’ve long been a fan of open windows. Every morning–rain or shine–I walk around the house sliding open our windows to let the fresh air circulate inside. And although this may seem counterintuitive to those like me who live in car-clogged cities, a new report supports the practice. Because keeping the air inside might just cause asthma.

The British report concluded that energy-efficient homes could double asthma rates in England. That’s because air pollution–from VOCs like vinyl, formaldehyde in pressed wood furniture, and chemical cleaning supplies, among other things–is trapped inside when a home is designed to be airtight so that heating and cooling needs are kept lower.

And though the report warns against depending on open windows to mitigate the situation, preferring instead to create a “mechanical ventilation” solution, it’s important to keep in mind that it was “funded by Beama, a body which represents the UK’s electro-technical industry, which includes firms that install ventilation systems.” Well, duh.

If you’re concerned about indoor air quality and asthma, check out these five tips to follow. And yes, opening windows is one of them.



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