Focus on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Sunday, January 6th, 2013 at 1:01am.

Indoor air quality (IAQ) has become an increasingly important element in home buyers' decision-making, and buyers have become more attuned to mold, radon and other issues that affect air quality.

Many air quality dangers once were invisible and difficult to quantify, but thanks to evolving technology, detecting and rating IAQ has gotten easier. In addition, new programs have emerged to inspect and rate homes' IAQ. One such program is the EPA’s Indoor airPlus.

Eric Werling, the Indoor airPlus coordinator, presented the April 2010 Webinar and discussed the one-year-old rating and home labeling program.

Indoor airPlus is a sister label to ENERGY STAR® and to get the label, a home first must meet ENERGY STAR® requirements. Gaining the Indoor airPLUS label requires up to 30 additional home design and construction features, the goal of which is to protect homes from moisture and mold, radon, pest-related contaminants, combustion gases, and other airborne pollutants that affect air

A home is then inspected and verified by an independent third-party to ensure that a home complies with the program requirements.

Werling addressed some of the illnesses that can stem from or be exacerbated by poor IAQ, and those include lung cancer and asthma. In an effort to improve IAQ, American consumers spend about $1 billion per year on air cleaners, duct cleaning and IAQ testing, he noted. "Customers will pay extra for good IAQ," he commented.

Although home builders of new homes are most attuned to Indoor airPlus, Werling said real estate practitioners also play a role in improving the housing stock's IAQ.

Practitioners can:

• Discuss the potential for better health that comes from living in a house with good IAQ and educate consumers about IAQ.

• Assess buyers' concerns about IAQ and determine whether it's a priority, and then point them properties that feature the EPA label.

• Explain the various green home labeling systems and help consumers see what benefits each provides.

In addition, practitioners can become an allied program partner and use the Indoor airPlus promotional and educational resources.

Green REsource Council Newsletter, April 2010

If you are ready to start looking for a home with IAQ in mind, as a Green Certified Real Estate Agent I can help. Give me a call at 831.662.6522 or email me at

For additional information, please visit my homepage at


About Lauren Spencer

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Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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