Healthy Homes

Minnesota awards grants for healthy homes

Wed, 12/07/2011 - 11:12

The Minnesota Department of Health has awarded grants totaling $250,000 to seven local health agencies, to develop and implement programs that seek to address some of the hazards that are frequently found in residences, according to the Alexandria Echo Press. 

The news source reported that the programs are designed to identify the potential indoor air pollutants and excess dust that can come from inefficient heating systems and other household products.

"What we've found over the years is that the same homes that have lead hazards often also have other environmental hazards that expose their occupants to health risks that are largely preventable," Dan Symonik, program supervisor, told the Press. "This project seeks to address those hazards in a one-stop-shop kind of way so that intervention or prevention can happen sooner rather than later - and health outcomes can be improved."

Part of the grant money will go to developing programs to teach low-income families and provide the necessary monetary resources for them to invest in new technology, the news source reported.

A radiant heating system can be used by families who are looking to replace their old and more conventional heaters. This new technology can help to limit the amount of dust, allergens and pollutants that are present in a home, due to the radiators, air vents and heating ducts that most old products rely on.

The parasitic heat loss that comes from some of these older heating systems is also eliminated when a new radiant heater is installed, as the holes and cracks that exist right around vents and ducts are no longer present. A radiant system relies on heating a home from the ground up.