December, 2008
News in Brief
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Get ready for National Radon Action Month

EDITED BY ASHI STAFF

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers tools and tips to help you make the most out of National Radon Action month in January.

Would you like to spruce up your Web site by adding information of interest to consumers? Could you use some tips on how to incorporate reducing radon risks into your public relations efforts? You can do both with the EPA’s help. And remember, government publications and information can be copied and used. Just remember to cite your source.

Why help reduce radon risks?


According to the EPA, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, and is responsible for 20,000 lung cancer deaths annually in the U.S. By holding radon awareness events and activities in your community, you are joining the national effort to double the lives saved from radon exposure over five years under the Radon Leaders Saving Lives Campaign. www.radonleaders.org.

 New and improved Web resources for 2009

You’ll find the following on the new and improved National Radon Action Month Web site (www.epa.gov/radon/nram/index.html):
  • New National Radon Action Month graphics options for your Web site or outreach materials, customizable PowerPoint presentation templates and an updated flyer;
  • An improved Event Planning Kit, with even more ideas, guidance and resources for outreach activities, including success stories from the 2008 National Radon Action Month and a new workplace radon testing campaign;
  • And much more!


Can you piggyback on EPA’s New Living Healthy & Green Radon Media Campaign? Put On Your Green Sox!

The EPA wants the public to know that a healthy indoor air environment is part of a green lifestyle and that protecting their families from radon is an environmentally aware and responsible choice. Living healthy and green starts from the ground up, by kicking radon out and making sure all families have safer air to breathe in their homes.

The new media campaign, Living Healthy & Green, educates the public about how easy it is to test for this invisible environmental health hazard. It features Fuad Reveiz, a homebuilder and former professional football player, who builds his new homes radon-resistant and encourages others to do the same.

Could you or your chapter contact your local station to suggest it use a radio spot, available in seven different formats? And while doing so, explain why an ASHI member or chapter is interested in reducing radon risks?

These are unique, bold radio spots that feature original music and vocals for every type of listener and radio station. There’s a song and style for everyone’s pleasure: pop, rock, R&B, country, gospel, latin and youth.

The campaign also includes TV and print ads — all are public safety announcements (PSAs).

Ask media outlets in your area to use the Living Healthy & Green TV, radio and print ads (available in English and Spanish) during January, National Radon Action Month, and in the months to follow.

Use the campaign materials to introduce yourself to the local media and to kick off a continuing relationship. Work together to educate the public about how to improve air quality and preserve families’ well being indoors and out. Every campaign element can be viewed, heard and downloaded at www.epapsa.com.

Share your activities and events using the Activity Submittal Form to gain additional publicity on EPA’s Web site.

Need more information?

Request the monthly e-newsletter or ask a question by sending an e-mail to radonevents@cadmusgroup.com.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,1200 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.,Mail Code: 6609J, Washington, D.C. 20460


The Pink Panther™ identifies biggest energy consumer

If you find yourself answering questions about energy use, you might want to point to the Pink Panther as someone in the know. He’s the topic of a new Owens Corning advertising campaign urging proper insulation to increase energy efficiency in buildings.

Although done tongue in check, campaign material does provide some valuable information. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), buildings swallow 40 percent of U.S. energy.

In a recent survey conducted by Owens Corning, only 27 percent of Americans correctly identified buildings as the major energy culprit. More survey participants singled out transportation and industry as the primary users of energy. Buildings are clearly the primary energy user, followed by industry and transportation.

Owens Corning also reports heating and cooling of buildings in the U.S. is a leading contributor of greenhouse gas emissions — a fact that is not commonly understood. According to a global study by the McKinsey Global Institute, the most cost-effective method for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions is insulating buildings. Yet only 8 percent of survey respondents correctly identified insulation as this most powerful tool, compared to other options such as hybrid vehicles or energy-efficient appliances.

What a difference it would make if owners of the nearly 80 million under-insulated homes realized they could easily decrease their carbon footprint by properly insulating.

The Energy Information Administration estimates that the average American will pay nearly 15 percent more in heating costs this winter, while those living in the Northeast may see an increase of 24 percent. A properly insulated home can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs* – and is an easy do-it-yourself project. It is interesting to note that 68 percent of survey respondents would be willing to pay up to as much as $10,000 more for a home that could help save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling energy-related bills.

Owens Corning urges homeowners to head up to their attics to measure their existing insulation and add more to meet current DOE recommendations of up to an R-value of 60. To meet these standards, an attic should have at least 19 inches of fiberglass batt (roll) insulation or 22 inches of blown insulation.

For more information about current DOE standards, the benefits of insulation and easy instructions about measuring and adding insulation, visit www.Insulate AndSave.com.

Sources: Buildings Energy Data Book September 2007, Buildings Share of U.S. Primary Energy Consumption, U.S. Department of Energy.
Consumer–Omnipulse Survey, September 2008, Owens Corning

*Savings vary. Find out why in the seller’s fact sheet on R-values.  Higher R-values mean greater insulating power.

CertainTeed promotes InsulSafe® SP Premium Blowing Insulation

The high-performance thermal and acoustical InsulSafe SP is designed for pneumatic installation in open attic areas and features key green attributes that exceed the requirements of ENERGY STAR® for Homes and the 2004 International Energy Conservation Code.

According to CertainTeed, comprised of 20-25 percent recycled content, it covers 67 square feet per bag, which is up to 20 percent better coverage than other premium fiberglass blowing insulation products, and up to 140 percent better coverage than cellulose. As a result, contractors who use InsulSafe SP achieve the same R-Value with less material to transport and handle, helping homebuilders keep their projects on schedule. And, homeowners benefit from an energy-efficient, comfortable indoor environment since the InsulSafe SP helps reduce carbon dioxide and other elements that are harmful to the environment.

Made of unbonded, white virgin fiberglass, InsulSafe SP is noncombustible, noncorrosive and odor-free. It won’t settle or cause mildew and fungus growth and contains no formaldehyde. InsulSafe SP won’t rot, decay or absorb moisture and will last the life of a home while helping reduce energy costs.

InsulSafe SP is certified for superior indoor air quality performance by the GREENGUARD® Environmental Institute and helps builders qualify for credits for The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) through the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Green Building Program. 

For more information, visit www.certainteed.com.