“It’s official. Breathing dirty air causes cancer.” This is the first line of a recent email from Diana Christopulos.* The source of her information is a breaking report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, in conjunction with the World Health Organization.
We should all stay inside, right? If only. Indoor air can be many times worse than outdoor air. Dirty air gets into our homes and workplaces from outside and, even, our daily indoor activities. When particulates like dust, mold and moisture don’t have a way to leave or have an opportunity to accumulate, indoor air gets worse and worse over time. This is especially true in the winter when we keep our buildings closed up for months from October to April or May.
Dirty air is created by many sources, most of them energy-related. Cars. Industry. Homes and businesses use 70% of the electricity and 40% of the total energy in the United States. Energy efficiency is the single cheapest and most effective way to reduce energy consumption and clean up our air. In buildings, we can only do this if we look at the building and systems together.
Everything is connected.
Energy efficiency, done right, is a solution with so many benefits. Better air – inside and out. Healthier families. More comfort. (And if you’re just doing it for the money, the return on investment can be well over 20% per year).
Ready to start? Get professional advice. Use a qualified rater and ask for references because energy efficiency, done wrong, can make things worse. Here’s a good plan:
1. Conserve energy by reducing waste. If you are in the Roanoke Valley, join Save-a-Ton. Get your business to join the Clean and Green Campaign.
2. Get an Energy Audit. Call Better Building Works to set one up at 540 345 0900. You’ll learn about more ways to conserve and ways to improve indoor air quality. (And save a bunch of money, too.)
3. Implement your plan with an Energy Retrofit. You’ll notice the indoor air quality and comfort difference immediately. You’ll pay less for utilities. And you’ll be part of a growing community of people who see that everything is connected.
* Diana Christopulos is Co-Founder of the Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition and is current Chair of the Greater Roanoke Valley Asthma and Air Quality Coaliton.