One of the foundations of Green Building is to create healthy indoor air quality.
One of the greatest concerns with energy efficiency is to create a “tight envelope,” or a super insulated home.
This is great for reducing your electric bill, but what about your family’s health?
Creating such a tight seal on your home can keep bad air in, and good fresh air out.
Many of your building materials will emit gasses after they’ve been installed.
The first step you’ll want to take to limit the build up of such gases is to purchases products that are free of VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.
Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors.
VOCs are emitted by a wide range of household products numbering in the thousands.
Products like: paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper, graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers, and photographic solutions.
Organic chemicals are widely used as ingredients in household products. Paints, varnishes, and wax all contain organic solvents, as do many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing, and hobby products.
Fuels are made up of organic chemicals.
Just because you see or hear the word “organic” or “Green Building” doesn’t mean it is good for you. Make sure you understand the context in which it is being used.
All the products mentioned above can release organic compounds while you are using them, and, to some degree, when they are stored.
A leader in their commitment to Green Products is Mohawk Flooring.
“Mohawk GreenWorks™: Environmental Leadership That Works!
While making “green claims” is easy, Mohawk is committed to actually making a green difference.
For years, Mohawk has been an industry leader in actively seeking innovative ways to recycle, reduce, reuse and renew. Through GreenWorks, our umbrella program for simplified management of information about green projects, we continue to develop numerous energy-saving initiatives and eco-friendly flooring options. These solutions work for everyone: our business, our industry, our neighbors, our immediate environment and our entire planet.
We’re constantly exploring new ideas to make our products and processes more sustainable and reduce our use of natural resources. Our Corporate Policy reflects our commitment to being responsible and sustainable.
By the Numbers
- 500: The number of Mohawk products currently containing recycled materials
- 3 Billion: Approximately how many recycled plastic bottles we take in each year to manufacture Mohawk EverStrand™ carpet and other home products
- 3 Billion: Pounds of pre-and post-consumer waste Mohawk diverts from landfills each year
- 100 percent: Water from manufacturing processes at certain Mohawk ceramic tile facilities that is reused and never discharged as waste
- 7 square yards: Energy savings for this amount of SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® carpet is equal to one gallon of gasoline
- 1 Billion: Pounds of foam trim diverted from landfills and used to create Mohawk cushion”
Those are just a few of the many ways we’ve found to decrease our carbon footprint.
The result: beautiful, environmentally friendly flooring and reduced impact on the planet. After all, Mohawk’s not just doing this for show; we’re doing it for generations to come.”
I don’t know about you but they sound like a company I would like to do business with.
The next steps in Green Building and increasing your air quality would be making sure there is plenty of ventilation in your house and take advantage of crosswinds provided by your southerly oriented home.
In your heating system, especially if you have duct work, make sure the ducts are clean, and install a whole house HEPA air filter.
Don’t underestimate the impact of cleaning your duct work.
My wife has allergies and when we first moved into our older home she was experiencing great difficulties. We had our duct work cleaned and you would be amazed at the difference in her health. She has gone from having chronic indoor allergies to none!
Yes, I can tell you it was not cheap to clean the duct work however, I can also tell you it was less expensive than the doctor and medicine bills we were accumulating.
Most importantly , I am sure she would tell you the quality of her life has improved dramatically.
Think about how you can improve your health by healthy air quality with Green Building.
Ultimate Guide To Finding Your Best Places To Live In The Carolinas
Make Your NC and SC Dream Come True!
Bob Bencivenga is a professional site locator and location analyst for major corporations. Bob researches the growth of NC and SC to find the Best Places to Retire or Relocate that are still affordable.
Bob Does Not Sell Real Estate!
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