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It was snowing Wednesday morning, but that didn't stop me from driving to WERU to participate in Jim Fisher's Common Health radio program. Bobbi Harris of Washington Hancock Community Agency and Maria Donahue of Healthy Acadia were also in the studio, and we had a lively talk about how to maintain safe, warm, healthy homes.
Some of the highlights:
Being cold is not just a comfort issue. Aside from the obvious mental health benefits to being comfortable in your home, there is plenty of evidence that people with respiratory problems, arthritis, high blood pressure, and a host of other issues feel better - and have shorter hospital stays - when their homes are warm.
Moisture is a problem for almost every home in Maine. It's a function of our geography, and it's not going away. Treating basement moisture with encapsulation can reduce the risk of asthma by a third and improve overall indoor air quality, so it's worth addressing.
Lead paint, carbon monoxide, and other toxins are serious concerns. Serious enough that I'm going to devote the next few blog posts to tackling these. Stay tuned.
There are solutions for Mainers at all income levels. Efficiency Maine offers long-term, low-interest loans to help homeowners spread out the cost of improvement. If improvements are still out reach, low-income homeowners can turn to their local CAP agencies or Midcoast Habitat for Humanity's Weatherization program.
I'll post a link as soon as the audio archive of the show is up.