|What are VOC's?
VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compound. They are derived from petroleum products and easily outgas
at normal temperatures. Some commonly known VOC's are formaldehyde, benzene, propane, xylene and
VOC's are commonly used in paints, stains, waxes, finishes, solvents, paint strippers, plastic products,
detergents, carpets, aerosol cans, insulation, plywood, adhesives, particle board and synthetic fibers.
When VOC's are leaked into the environment they can poison the water, contaminate the soil and pollute
the air.They are linked to respiratory problems, headaches, dizziness, rashes, sinus infections and cancer.
This is a question that is still undergoing much debate and research. We do know this: conventional
fiberglass insulation is made of glass melted into thin strands which are then treated with formaldehyde.
Fiberglass strands can easily be inhaled and may get caught in the lungs, causing respiratory issues,
such as coughing or wheezing. When installing or removing fiberglass insulation, strands of fiberglass
can be released into the air causing skin irritations.
UltraTouch insulation is 100% post industrial cotton material. It is treated with an EPA registered, non-
toxic borate solution to inhibit mold, mildew, bacteria and fungi. The borate solution also acts as a fire
retardant, making it Class A fire rated. UltraTouch insulation does not contain any fiberglass or
formaldehyde and passes all current building codes. It is also acoustically superior and more energy
efficient than fiberglass insulation.
R-13 is 3.5" thick and is used for walls that are built with 2"x4"s. R-19 is 5.5" thick and is used for walls
that are built with 2"x6"s.
ENERGY STAR® is a government-backed program helping individuals and businesses protect the
environment through superior energy efficiency. In 1992 the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
introduced ENERGY STAR® as a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-
efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
ENERGY STAR® qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, use 66% less energy than standard
incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. CFLs provide the same amount of light (lumens) as
standard incandescent bulbs, but have lower wattage ratings.This means they use less energy and cause
The average home has approximately 30 lights. By replacing the five most frequently used light fixtures
in your home or the bulbs in them with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR®, you can save
more than $60* each year in energy costs.*
*Based on replacement of a kitchen ceiling light, living room table lamp, living room torchiere, bathroom
bar or wall-mounted light, and outdoor wall-mounted light.
Features & Benefits of CFLs over standard incandescent bulbs:
Use 66% less energy
Last up to ten times longer
Provide the same light output with lower wattage
Convenient for hard-to-reach places
Generate 70% less heat
Can each prevent more than 500 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions
On average, can save $25 in energy costs per bulb over the life of the bulb
Most cannot be used with dimmers
Must be covered from moisture, unless made for outdoor use
Takes 30 seconds to come to full brightness
Cold temperatures increases warm-up time
Compatible with manual dial timers only
Compatible with few fluorescent photocell and motion devices
Using in totally enclosed or non-vented applications may shorten life
CFLs need to be disposed of as household hazardous waste. They should be disposed of in accordance
to your City/Town's regulations. The reason these bulbs must be disposed of in this manner is due to
the fact that they contain a small amount of mercury in them.
There is no specific shelf life attributed to CFLs, but it would probably be best if they are stored in a cool,
dry location when they are not being used.
Yes! CFLs will definitely cut down the cost of your electricity bill. There are many skeptics that believe
CFLs are not saving any energy. For those that are in this opinion, there are retail watt meters that can
easily be found at many hardware stores. These will allow you to screw in any type of bulb and get a
measure of the watts being consumed.
In general, approximately 15 - 20% of your electricity bill is directly attributed to your household lighting.
This number can vary based upon the number of light bulbs in any given household.
-Remove your shoes before entering your home. You lessen the risk of bringing in pesticides, fertilizers
and other contaminates.
-Start replacing all of your current cleaners and detergents with cleaners that are non-toxic and bio-
degradable. Some conventional cleaners are known to contain neuro-toxins.
-Open windows while cleaning to let out any contaminates that have built up within the home. There are
many homes that are climate controlled year round. Dust in carpets, dander from pets, chemicals from
carpets and cleaners and VOC's from paints and plastics build up not allowing the house to breathe.
-When appliances need to be replaced, be sure to look for Energy Star rated equipment.
-Unplug any equipment that is not being used. Also, limit the amount of electrical devices in the
bedrooms. Anything plugged in gives of electromagnetic rays (EMR's). There are some schools of
thought that are linking sleeplessness and concentration problems to high exposure of EMR's.
|Frequently Asked Questions
|The Center for Green Building, LLC 3309 Fairfield Ave, Bridgeport, CT 06605
Phone: 203-382-0774 Fax: 203-382-0764 Email Us
| Center for Green Building