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Healthy Indoor Environment Protocols for Home Energy Upgrades

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HEALTHY INDOOR ENVIRONMENT PROTOCOLS FOR HOME ENERGY UPGRADES i Purpose and Scope Millions of American homes will be retrofitted in the coming years to improve their energy efficiency, make them more "green" or add features their owners want. Integrated healthy home and energy-efficiency retrofit activities can simultaneously lower utility costs and improve indoor air quality. Leading energy-efficiency retrofit programs have demonstrated the feasibility of integrating many indoor air quality and safety improvements. However, home energy retrofit activities might negatively affect indoor air quality if the appropriate home assessment is not made before work begins and issues that may affect indoor air quality are not identified and properly addressed. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed Healthy Indoor Environment Protocols for Home Energy Upgrades to provide practical guidance on improving or maintaining indoor air quality and indoor environments during home energy upgrades, retrofits or remodeling. The protocols apply to existing single-family and multi-family low-rise residential buildings. They provide guidance for conducting home assessments and undertaking the responses necessary to maintain or improve indoor air quality and safety. The protocols also can help improve the quality of home weatherization projects and other energy-efficiency retrofit or remodeling jobs, thus reducing failures and call-backs. The protocols are intended for use by the home energy retrofit industry, including energy-efficiency retrofit and housing rehabilitation professionals and contractors, and others engaged in energy-focused residential retrofit, renovation or remodeling efforts. They are also intended for voluntary adoption by federal, state, tribal and local weatherization assistance programs, federally funded housing programs, industry standards organizations, private sector home performance contracting organizations and public and environmental health professionals. EPA developed these voluntary protocols in coordination with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades (http://www.weatherization.energy.gov/retrofit_guidelines) and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Recovery Through Retrofit initiative (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/Recovery_Through_Retrofit_Final_Report.pdf). Programs and contractors undertaking energy retrofits and renovations are encouraged to coordinate their services with local health and housing resources to provide families the support they may need. This document is not intended to 1) set new EPA regulatory standards, 2) provide guidance on diagnosing occupant health problems or building-related illness, 3) address emerging issues that have not been linked to adverse health effects, 4) make training or training documents unnecessary, 5) provide detailed guidance on how to achieve the intent of each recommendation in all situations or 6) identify funding availability or which programmatic funding sources should be used.

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