The EPA recently published new, voluntary guidelines to help the home energy industry improve indoor air quality in conjunction with energy efficiency upgrades. Designed as a companion to the DOE’s Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals (view), the new Healthy Indoor Environment Protocols for Home Energy Upgrades (download) include Assessment Protocols to evaluate existing conditions, Minimum Actions to be taken during upgrade activities, and Expanded Actions to promote improved occupant health.
The protocols are organized by contaminants, such as asbestos, radon, lead, and carbon monoxide, and next by building systems, such as HVAC systems, ventilation, and combustion appliances.
They were created to help weatherization assistance programs and home energy upgrade and remodeling programs because it makes sense to improve energy efficiency but not to the detriment or dismissal of indoor air quality concerns.
According to the EPA, “home energy upgrade activities might negatively affect indoor air quality if the appropriate home assessment is not made before work begins or if work is performed improperly.” The guidelines should be used to reduce health and safety problems in single-family and multi-family low-rise residential buildings.