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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!

What exactly is a green & healthy home? What steps can I take to transform my home?

GHHI uses the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) “Seven Tips for Keeping a Healthy Home,” plus we’ve added energy efficiency as the eighth element for a Green & Healthy Home, recognizing that extreme heat and extreme cold have significant impact on the health of the residents in the home. There are many things that you can do to maintain a home that is clean, healthy and energy efficient. Benefits to maintaining green and healthy homes are abundant, but most notably having a green and healthy home will improve the health of residents in the home and decrease medical costs, reduce energy costs, and produce a higher standard of living for your family. 

How can I prevent asthma attacks?

Take the steps to prevent asthma attacks by reducing exposure to mold, dust mites, secondhand smoke and pet dander in your home. For more information on how to manage the home environment to stave off asthma triggers, visit our page dedicated to asthma.

What should I know about carbon monoxide in the home?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas so it can be very hard to detect. Carbon monoxide poisoning can result in death.  Carbon monoxide can be a concern in the home when there is not an effective ventilation system; when furnaces, hot water heaters, space heaters, cooking ranges are not maintained or vented properly; and if there is gasoline-powered equipment at use inside. Test all combustion appliances for high levels of carbon monoxide in the home and install a carbon monoxide alarm in the home.  Gasoline powered electric generators should never be run inside the home. Carbon monoxide can be a concern in the home when there is not an effective ventilation system; water heaters, space heaters, cooking ranges are not maintained, and if there are gasoline-powered equipment at use. Air should be tested and maintenance of gasoline powered equipment and appliances should be done in the home. 

What are some common household allergens?

There are several types of allergens, but some of the common indoor allergens that can trigger asthma attacks include dust, dust mites, mold, tobacco smoke, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and pets. You should also be aware of food allergens, medications, outdoor allergens, and insect stings and bites which may cause an allergic reaction. To prevent or reduce allergies you should avoid things you know trigger allergies. Keep a clean home and reduce household allergens by taking actions such as controlling pests, vacuuming floors and upholstery often, preventing mold growth, eliminating smoking or not smoking cigarettes inside, and limiting the use of pesticides and chemicals (VOCs) inside the house. Download the fact sheet on house hold allergens >

How can I protect my family from being exposed to lead?

Lead-based paint was not banned in the U.S. until 1978 and therefore any home that was built prior to this year may contain lead paint hazards.

Twenty-four million homes in the United States have lead-based paint posing ongoing risks of lead poisoning for children. To find out if your home contains lead hazards, have a certified lead inspector test your home for lead-based paint and lead dust. A blood test is the only way to determine whether your child has an elevated level of lead in his or her blood. Be sure to ask your doctor for your child’s actual lead level results. There is no safe level of lead in a child’s body!

In the home, ways to protect your family include: use lead safe work practices to repair chipping paint or a have a certified contractor do the work safely; regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces with damp cloths or sponges – use a HEPA vacuum to pick up lead dust rather than dry sweeping; wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers, and toys regularly; and wipe or remove shoes before entering the house.

Learn more about lead and steps for prevention >

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