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EPA Indoor airPLUS

EPA created Indoor airPLUS certification to help builders meet the growing consumer preference for homes with improved indoor air quality. EPA developed additional construction specifications to help improve indoor air quality in new homes.

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Better Environments Inside and Out

EPA created Indoor airPLUS certification to help builders meet the growing consumer preference for homes with improved indoor air quality. EPA developed additional construction specifications to help improve indoor air quality in new homes.

Construction specifications include the careful selection of and installation of moisture control systems; heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems; combustion-venting systems; radon resistant construction; and low-emitting building materials. Ask about the Indoor airPLUS qualification for your next new home.

How Does a New Home Become Indoor airPLUS Qualified?

A builder must first design a home to earn the ENERGY STAR label — the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency. The result is a home that is significantly more energy efficient than a home built to minimum code, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To earn the Indoor airPLUS label, the builder then adds up to 30 home design and construction features to help protect qualified homes from moisture and mold, pests, combustion gases, and other airborne pollutants. Before the home officially earns the Indoor airPLUS label, it is inspected by an independent third-party to ensure compliance with EPA’s rigorous guidelines and specifications.

What are the benefits to building an Indoor airPLUS home?

By constructing homes that meet EPA's Indoor airPLUS specifications, builders can distinguish themselves by being among the first recognized by EPA to offer homes designed to truly deliver better indoor air quality. Participating builders can expect higher levels of quality assurance, improved reputation, reduced callback and warranty costs, and less business risk. Partners are also eligible to use Indoor airPLUS marketing materials and tools to help promote their qualified homes as well as access technical and marketing assistance. 

Indoor airPLUS construction specifications are designed to help improve indoor air quality (IAQ) in new homes compared with homes built to minimum code. However, these features alone cannot prevent all IAQ problems. Occupant behavior is also important for IAQ. For example, products used in the home after occupancy and smoking inside may both negatively impact the home’s IAQ and the performance of the specified Indoor airPLUS features.

What features are included in new homes that qualify for Indoor airPLUS?

Moisture Control:
Moisture problems can lead to mold and other biological pollutants that can negatively impact health. With Indoor airPLUS, builders use a variety of moisture control features designed to minimize these risks, including improved control of condensation and better roof, wall, and foundation drainage.

Radon Control:
Exposure to radon, a naturally occurring radioactive, invisible, and odorless gas, is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. In high radon potential areas, homes meeting the Indoor airPLUS specifications are built with radon-resistant construction techniques. Homebuyers in these areas are also provided with test kits to check radon levels after they move in.

Pest Management:
Residue from pests such as rodents and cockroaches are known to trigger allergy and asthma episodes. With Indoor airPLUS, builders provide a first-line defense against these problems by fully sealing, caulking, or screening likely pest entry points. When these physical barriers are combined with proper pest management techniques, fewer pesticides may be needed.

Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC):
Poorly designed and installed HVAC systems can lead to comfort and air quality problems. Homes with the Indoor airPLUS label include properly engineered systems, improved duct and equipment installation, improved filtration, and whole-house and spot ventilation to dilute and remove indoor pollutants. Builders also inspect air-handling equipment and ductwork to ensure they are clean and free of debris and provide adequate air-flow.

Combustion Venting:
Homes with the Indoor airPLUS label can help protect residents from potential exposure to combustion pollutants by requiring heating equipment that cannot leak combustion gases inside the home, installing carbon monoxide alarms in each sleeping area, and taking steps to prevent pollutants in the garage from entering the house.

Building Materials:
The types of materials that builders choose and the way they manage them during construction can affect a home’s indoor air quality. Builders following the Indoor airPLUS specifications reduce sources of pollutants by protecting materials stored on-site from weather damage, using materials with reduced chemical content, and ventilating homes prior to move-in to help improve indoor air quality.

Homeowner Education:
After purchasing a home with the Indoor airPLUS label, owners receive a checklist of verified indoor air quality features, and instructions for operating and maintaining equipment to continue minimizing risks of indoor air quality problems.

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