A green home is a healthy home - the health benefits of insulation
Posted by Jordan Willis on 28 September 2017 at 3:53 pm
We all know that properly insulating your house is an environmentally friendly decision. Insulating a home cuts down on lost heat, keeping your house warmer with less energy, cutting both carbon and costs. However, insulating a house is not only a cost-cutting measure, a spate of recent studies have discovered a wide number of health benefits to a proper insulated home. This blog will talk through the various ways in which insulation can help you stay well across the winter.
Firstly, a properly insulated home has been proven to help alleviate the symptoms of many respiratory conditions. Research shows that issues such as asthma and bronchitis can be better managed in homes that are properly insulated. Cold homes are often damp homes, and damp homes (especially those with mould) can provide conditions for particles and pollutants that are damaging to the lungs. Code Watcher found that as much as 40% of diagnosed asthma can be associated with home exposures (such as moisture, variations in temperature and pests), but also reported that a lot of these problems can be solved with energy-changing activities. Insulation would not only help fight moisture in the home, and thus keep away many pests, but also allow for a steady temperature to be more easily maintained in your house. Many studies showed that even those who didn’t consider that they had respiratory health conditions noticed an improvement in their health, such as reduced symptoms of allergies, throat irritation and common colds, so the health benefits of insulation aren’t just for those who have existing medical conditions.
However, the benefits of a well insulated home go far beyond that of respiratory health. The NEF’s Better Housing, Better Health scheme also helped a number of homeowners with heart issues manage a cold winter better with the installation of external and internal insulation. According to E4TheFuture, improving the temperature and reducing indoor pollutants of homes allows for a reduction in hypertension in those suffering from heart issues. A study in New Zealand found that insulation significantly cut complications for over 65s with coronary issues. Similar risks of skin diseases and rheumatic fever have also been noted to drop in a properly insulated home.
These changes in health would bring along significant societal benefits, too. A study in the US simulating insulating all homes in the US found that, as well as emitting 100,000 fewer tonnes of Nitrous Oxide and 190,000 fewer tonnes of sulphur dioxide, rates of asthma attacks would also decrease, saving over 100,000 days of work per year and potentially saving lives. A similar study in New Zealand, analysing over 200,000 homes, found that the health benefits exceeded the costs of insulation by four to one. The same study found, even factoring in subsidies, insulation the homes of vulnerable children was both cost and health effective. They also found there was much less strain on public health, prescriptions, doctor visits, and increased time at work and in education.
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About the author:
Jordan is a full-time intern here at YouGen this summer, specialising in online marketing as well as driving the site forward as part of an ambitious development plan.
Jordan is interested in all aspects of energy and sustainability and has a strong background in social media marketing and engagement.
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