Healthy House

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The sun is shining a lot brighter at the Stoll house in Dewitt.

The family of seven moved to a Healthy Home approved by the American Lung Association, after living in a dusty and moldy home took its toll on the kids. Two-year-old Grace almost died from a respiratory virus, and two of the other children developed asthma.

"Grace got sick in February. Then we described Andrew's symptoms and found out he had asthma. Then when Rachel was born and she had it, we knew we had to do something," said Matt Stoll, Healthy Home owner.

The home features a special filter that circulates fresh air throughout the home, along with an insulated basement, guaranteed to protect the home from moisture for at least 20 years eliminating the possibility of mold.

The only carpet in the house is on the stairs to keep dust to a minimum.

Despite the high technology used to build a Healthy Home, program coordinators say high tech doesn't mean more dollars to keep your family healthy.

"Cost-wise it's maybe five to eight percent more above market to build a healthy home. But it's affordable and most families are willing to pay more," said Elliot Levinsohn, American Lung Association.

"The healthy home features are things I and most builders are doing anyways," said Tom McCarthy, builder.

The kids are still under a number of medications, but living in their healthy home has made a significant difference.

"In the old house, they'd get sick and it'd be worse. Bronchitis would develop and the kids would be on antibiotics. We haven't been on antibiotics since we moved in," said Heidi Stoll, Healthy Home owner.

The Stolls are among a dozen families that have been helped by ALA in the last five years, they can surely look forward to more sunny days as they continue to breathe easier.

For more info on the Healthy Home program call 1-800-678-LUNG Extended Web Coverage

Healthy House

  • In a Healthy House, either a new construction or a renovation, all of the building materials and techniques, as well as interior decoration and design, are selected to ensure improved indoor air quality.

  • As energy-conscious homes and office buildings are built more tightly and with better insulation, indoor air quality and proper ventilation have become important health issues. In some instances, the air indoors may be even more polluted than the outdoor air.

  • A dramatic increase in the incidence of asthma in our country over the last decade has been blamed, in part, on environmental factors. Families are looking for ways to create a healthier indoor environment.

Criteria for Builders and Residents

  • Healthy House specifications are determined from site to site, building-to-building, based on four key principles:
    • Air-tightness for energy-efficiency
    • Ventilation for fresh air and moisture control
    • Source control for potential pollutants
    • Effective monitoring and maintenance

  • These principles can be incorporated into new affordable construction as well as renovations, and can be maintained easily by the residents.

  • These methods reduce exposure to common asthma and allergy irritants, such as dust mites, molds, mildew and volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde, acetone and toluene.

Source: (The American Lung Association of Washington Web site) contributed to this report