Energy efficient homes could trigger asthma

Making your home energy efficient may be saving you money. But it could be costing you your health.

Between remodeling older houses and building new ones, it's estimated millions of more homes in the U.S. will get greener over the next four years.

But in an effort to save money and protect the environment, there have been some unintended consequences.

Dr. Nathan Rabinovitch, with National Jewish Health says, "For every solution, there's a problem. Energy efficiency is really, really important, at the same time, what's staying in the house is staying in the house."

Dr. Rabinovitch says since 1970, asthma rates in the U.S. have nearly tripled, a problem he believes begins at home.

To put his theory to the test, Dr. Rabinovitch had students carry air monitors for several weeks, not only at home, but on their way to and from school.

After analyzing the quality of the air they were exposed to 24 hours a day, the worst was where you might expect it least.

Dr. Rabinovich says, "The amount of pollution that they were being exposed to was higher inside the home than outside the home for many of the kids."

That doesn't surprise Hope Duncan. After her son jack nearly died from an asthma attack, she learned that from dust to mold to pet dander, dangers can lurk almost anywhere in our homes.

Hope says, "You never know what's underneath the carpet that you have, you know from pets or from water damage. And so there can be things underneath growing that we don't know about."

Changing air filters and cleaning your home often can help cut down on breathing problems, but the best way to control indoor air pollution is to look outdoors.

Simply opening your windows can help dry out and clear out all the things that might be making you sick.

If you or a family member suffers from asthma, doctors say two issues should be addressed.

Are there smokers or pets in the house? Both can trigger serious asthma attacks, especially in kids and older adults.

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