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HOUSING AND ENVIRONMENT

Your home is often your most valuable investment. Cornell Cooperative Extension through our housing programs can help you

  • Identify environmental risks, concerns or problems in and around your home or apartment.
  • Make simple changes in household practice to care for your home and its furnishings, prevent pollution and help reduce consumption of water, energy and other resources.
  • Take preventive actions to safeguard your home health and the environment.
  • Learn about new building technology, energy-wise products and housing improvements through the annual housing tour.

HOME*A*SYST

Home*A*Syst is a confidential self-assessment program you can use to evaluate your home and property for pollution and health risks. Home*A*Syst explains what risks to look for and describes safe practices for reducing and eliminating risks. Resources and selected topics included in Home*A*Syst include:

  • Household Wastewater
  • Storm Water Management
  • Household Hazardous Products
  • Lead In and Around the Home
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Heating and Cooling Systems
  • Managing Household Waste: Reusing, Recycling and
  • Composting

HEALTHY HOMES FOR AMERICA

Most people spend a least half their lives inside their homes. Indoor air can be more harmful to your family’s health than outdoor air.

  • Mold & Mildew - Moisture control will help prevent mold and mildew problems in the home. Contact Jeanne Darling at 607-865-6531 or delaware@cornell.edu for information on cleaning up mold and mildew inside the home.
  • Biological Contaminants - Biological Contaminants are allergen triggers that can cause asthma. Pets, tobacco smoke, dust mites, cockroaches and insects can pollute the air and make asthma worse. Housing fact sheets on biological contaminants can help you control triggers with house cleaning tips.
  • Lead - Lead is a serious health risk for children and pregnant women. Learn to lower lead in your home by requesting information on lead.
  • Asbestos - Many products used to build and furnish your home can make indoor air unhealthy. Check out the healthy homes fact sheet on asbestos.

Cornell Cooperative Extension offers programs and resources to keep your home safe including several fact sheets on our Fact Sheets page.


WHAT IF EVERYBODY DID IT?

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is participating in the ENERGY STAR® Change a Light, Change the World Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging consumers to switch to ENERGY STAR qualified lighting products such as compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). These transactions are tracked by a pledge, completed by the consumer, stating that the change has been made.

If you have questions on becoming a pledge driver, call 1-877-NY-SMART or send an e-mail to residential@nyserda.org


BE ENERGY SMART

Partnering with Cornell University and NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research Development Authority) Cornell Cooperative Extension has promoted ENERGY STAR® products, appliances and home performance with ENERGY STAR®. Find out today how you can save money on your energy bills. Cornell Cooperative Extension has promoted energy savings through workshops and exhibits at the Delaware County Fair, local community events and the annual housing tour.

Check out fact sheets on our Fact Sheets page to find out more about the savings these products generate on your utility bills.


WATER QUALITY INFORMATION

Water quality information is available for home owners interested in water testing, water treatment, water conservation, private water systems, household chemicals and your septic system, bottled water and water in emergencies.

Contact Jeanne Darling for information at 607-865-6531 or email delaware@cornell.edu.


RADON

Beginning in November, it will be the time of year again when during the winter months Delaware County homeowners should test their homes for Radon.  Radon gas is invisible, odorless and tasteless. It comes from decaying uranium deposits found in the soil and rocks under and around the homes foundation. The health risk from long term exposure to elevated levels of Radon is lung cancer; this risk is 10% higher if there are smokers in the family. There are steps homeowners can take to lower or mitigate an elevated radon level. 

PDF:  Radon Basic Facts & Dispelling Common Myths


FREE POST-MITIGATION RADON TESTING

Radon in the air testing available for homeowners who have lowered an elevated radon gas level through the services of an EPA Certified Radon Contractor.

If you have installed a radon mitigation system to lower the radon level in your home, then this is NEWS FOR YOU: NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Environmental Radiation has a FREE RADON TEST KIT for you to use as a Post-Mitigation Test. You can access the order form for the test kit: EITHER CALL: NYS Department of Health at 1-800-458-1158 or 518 402-7556 and get details on this website: http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/radon/radonhom.htm.

If you have questions, call either NYS Department of Health at 800-458-1158 or Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Delaware County at 607-865-6531.