Ask the Experts

Do you have a question about how to make your home safe, healthy and energy efficient? Ask us! 

At GHHI we have leading experts on lead safety, environmental health, family advocacy, tenant's rights, energy efficiency, home safety issues, pest control and more. They have provided several answers to frequently asked questions on this page. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, send us your questions by filling out the form to the right and we’ll find one of our experts to help get it answered!

How can I get fresh air into my home in the winter other than open a window?

As long as you have a good HVAC system, change your air filters regularly, install proper mechanical ventilation in your bathroom and kitchen, do not smoke in or near the home and keep your home clean with a HEPA vacuum and VOC-free cleaners. Keeping all of the interior doors inside your home open will also help the air to flow freely from room to room. Assuming you leave your house once or twice a day, you’d be amazed how much fresh air can flow through an open door, even if only for a few seconds.

My home has a lot of windows and it gets cold in the winter. Is covering the window in plastic the cheapest way to keep heat in?

Sealing your windows with plastic can cause mold growth or wood rot if moisture is trapped underneath. The cheapest and safest method is to use weather stripping, like foam tape or a metal-v strip, on the top and bottom of the window where it meets the sash. The draft you feel is not from the windows alone, it’s a sign of poor insulation. You should also check the exterior and interior of your home and seal any gaps, cracks or holes with caulk or foam sealant. Though more expensive, you should also consider hiring a contractor to install insulation in your walls, basement and attic—the results are immediate—a warmer home and a lower energy bill.

Can home weatherization improve asthma symptoms?

Yes, data shows weatherization, combined with healthy homes interventions can improve asthma symptoms by preventing excess cold and humid air from entering the home. Weatherization can also improve the quality of air circulating through the home’s ventilation systems and assist with the elimination of mold and moisture in the home, particularly in areas such as the bathroom, kitchen and basement.

Is there a connection between the weather and my child’s asthma?

Cold/dry air and hot/humid air can trigger asthma symptoms. To help protect you child from the extreme weather elements parents should:

  • Check forecasts for pollen and ozone levels in their local region.
  • Keep children indoors on extremely hot or cold days.
  • Make sure your child wears a scarf over his or her nose and mouth during cold weather seasons.
  • Keep windows closed at night when it’s cold outside.
  • Carry your child’s rescue inhaler and spacer with you in case of emergency.

Can mold in my home trigger my child’s asthma? What can I do to eliminate mold?

Mold spore inhalation can trigger asthma attacks, especially in children.Your child may also be allergic to mold. People with mold allergies may experience watery eyes, headaches,runny noses and itching.

To eliminate and prevent mold in homes, use these techniques:

  • Identify and fix all water problems(roof and pipes leaks). Look for water stains on ceilings, walls and floors.
  • Make sure your home is properly ventilated, especially in bathrooms, kitchens and basements.
  • Avoid carpeting in kitchens,bathrooms and basements.
  • Clean flooded areas in the home within one day.
  • Mold on surfaces 10 square feet or less can be cleaned with a damp cloth or mop and detergent solution. Mold on surfaces more than 10 square feet should be cleaned by a licensed professional mold remediation company.



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