Breathe Easier: Indoor airPLUS Qualified HomesMay 29, 2012
May is Asthma Awareness month. When Asthma first comes to mind, one may think of outdoor air pollution as one of the main triggers. However, the prevalence of asthma has increased significantly since the 1970s, and there is a strong linkage between asthma triggers and air quality. With the average person spending about 90% of their time indoors, improving indoor air quality (IAQ) can improve the quality of life for asthma sufferers and also reduce a number of allegoric and pulmonary symptoms.
Available as an option in every home we build, Meritage will work with a 3rd party company authorized by the EPA to inspect and certify any home we build to receive an Indoor airPLUS label. We are the first of the top 10 publically traded homebuilders in the U.S. to partner with the EPA’s voluntary Indoor airPLUS program. Homes with Indoor airPLUS labels are designed for improved indoor air quality (IAQ) compared to homes built to minimum code. Indoor airPLUS qualified homes are built to address concerns such as:
• Moisture control
• Radon control
• Pest management
• Heating, ventilating and air conditioning
• Combustion venting
• Building with materials containing reduced chemical content
To earn the Indoor airPLUS label, a home must first be ENERGY STAR® certified. Since Q4 2009, 100% of Meritage homes have been built to meet or surpass ENERGY STAR certified levels. Next, the builder must add indoor air improvements into the design or construction process of the home. Protecting a Meritage home from the inside out means eliminating drafts with appropriate seals and insulation and properly venting our ENERGY STAR certified appliances. To improve indoor air humidity, we also use properly designed HVACs (minimum SEER 14) with high efficiency filters to add comfort to our homes. These energy-efficient systems also help homeowners reduce their monthly utility bill costs. Our fresh-air intakes help circulate fresh air into a home and our use of low VOC interior wall and trim finishes means homeowners can breathe easier. VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are emissions found in carpets, adhesives and paints that can exacerbate allergies and Asthma. These emissions are released into your home, greatly reducing air quality. Our commitment to use low to no VOC products when possible helps to create a healthier indoor air environment.
We work with a Home Energy Rater to ensure our homes are designed and built to meet Indoor airPLUS construction specifications. Then, the homes are inspected and verified by that Home Energy Rater before receiving an Indoor airPLUS label.
We take these steps so our homeowners can breathe easier and live better; not only when you open the utility bill but also in your everyday quality of life.