EPA Releases Guidelines to Ensure Healthy Indoor Air during Home Energy Upgrades

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its Healthy Indoor Environment Protocols for Home Energy Upgrades to better integrate health protections into energy efficiency programs. This first-of-its-kind guidance will provide the home energy industry the ability to identify, manage, and reduce health risks during home energy upgrades, retrofits or remodeling.

"These protocols will help the home energy retrofit industry deliver high quality work while protecting the health of families," said Gina McCarthy, EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. "Homeowners, occupants, and the energy services industry will benefit greatly from this simple and clear guidance for addressing critical indoor air quality risks during home energy upgrades. Following these protocols will help families save money on utilities while safeguarding their health.”

EPA’s new protocols describe a step-by-step process for conducting assessments to evaluate indoor air conditions and the potential for risks that may arise during residential energy upgrades. The protocols include recommended minimum specifications and best practices to maintain or improve indoor air quality.

The protocols serve as a companion document to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) guidelines for Home Energy Professionals. The DOE guidelines are intended to foster the growth of a skilled work force that will increase the homeowner’s confidence in the retrofit industry and increase the demand for home energy retrofits. Together, the DOE guidelines and EPA protocols will help facilitate increased home energy efficiency, improve the quality of work performed and provide healthier homes for America.

By working with the home energy upgrade industry, other federal agencies, industry standard organizations, and state and local programs to implement these protocols, EPA and its partners will help improve indoor air quality and energy efficiency in homes around the country. The protocols were announced today at the Weatherization Plus Health Regional Conference in San Diego, Calif.