Indoor Air Quality
Improve Quality & Energy Efficiency
Here are some ideas you can use now to improve energy efficiency and indoor air quality
Insulate Existing Windows
If existing windows are in relatively good shape, it may be hard to justify replacing them. Consider installing weather-stripping, caulking, inner or outer storm windows and insulating drapes or curtains to improve performance of existing windows.
Inspect Air Ducts Regularly
Ducts should be inspected and sealed to ensure adequate airflow and eliminate loss of conditioned air. Ducts can leak as much as 15-20% of the air passing through them and can bring dust and humidity into living spaces. Thorough duct sealing can cut heating and cooling costs in many homes by 20%.
Wash and Change Furnace Filters Often
Furnace filters capture large particles of dust, pollen, and other indoor pollutants. Washable filters can be cleaned and reused. Non-washable filters must be replaced in keeping with the manufacturer’s instructions. It is suggested to wash/change filters at least twice a year (preferably more often), preventing furnace air from becoming contaminated as it is blown into the living space.
Select Low-Toxic or Citrus-Based Cleaning Supplies
High-quality, non-toxic and environmentally responsible cleaning products are readily available. Choose products that are non-toxic, ammonia and chlorine-free, as well as biodegradable. These cleaning products are as effective as conventional cleaners, without harsh chemicals that can lead to health problems and atmospheric ozone loss.
Place Doormats at All Exterior Doors
Dust, dirt-borne contaminates, and chemicals such as fertilizer and pesticides are tracked into the house on shoes. Using a doormat, or preferably leaving shoes at the door, reduces this source of toxic contaminants. A doormat is an easy and inexpensive method to reduce toxic materials thaw would otherwise be brought into the home.
Excerpted from the Home Remodeling Green Building Guidelines provided by the Marin County Community Development Agency