Weatherization is about more than just energy efficiency. It has always been about the health and comfort of the weatherized home’s occupants as well. For a long time these benefits of weatherization have been called “non-energy benefits.” But the health effects of weatherization have now taken pride of place alongside energy benefits. Now there is new research showing increased health and well being among families whose homes have been weatherized. A recent Home Energy article—available only to subscribers—“The Health Benefits of Weatherization,” (March/April ’14, p. 36) summarized the results of broad array of recent research in the United States on the health effects of weatherization. The benefits include more money for families to buy healthy food and decreased stress—and the negative health effects of that stress—on families. Health and happiness do go together!
In February of this year, Michael Gurecka, Director of Business Development and Energy Services for the Community Action Agency New Opportunities (NOI), gave testimony on behalf of funding the state of Connecticut’s Healthy Housing Initiative, considered a model for connecting the weatherization and health efforts for low-income families. Gurecka provided the legislators with a copy of a very recent study, “Effects of Weatherization Combined with Community Health Worker In-Home Education on Asthma Control,” which was published in the January 2014 Issue of the American Journal of Public Health (Vol.104 No.1). The study found that weatherization plus-in home education is a powerful combination that “significantly improves childhood asthma control.” To download the Gureka testimony and the article, click here.