The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) reported today that more Americans are worried today than in 2014 about environmental exposures in their homes causing health problems.

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies iconIndoor air quality, pests and water quality were the top concerns in 2018, according to the study conducted by the Harvard Center and the Farnsworth Group. JCHS Senior Research Analyst Elizabeth La Jeunesse provides analysis in her blog, “More consumers are interested in ‘healthy homes.’

The report looks at consumer health concerns and their relationship to home improvements and repairs, as well as how remodeling contractors are responding to consumer demands. Although consumer interest is climbing, contractors and manufacturers are still learning how to respond. The situation presents opportunities for growth, especially since younger consumers – and those with children – are very interested in the subject.

Of 501 homeowners and 250 renters surveyed, nearly 75 percent of households were concerned about indoor air quality (moisture, mold and dust), about 45 percent of households were worried about pests and nearly 40 percent were concerned about water quality.

Of 288 remodeling contractors who reported that they are responding to consumers’ concerns about indoor environmental quality/healthy homes, 68 percent identified customer satisfaction as a main benefit. Other popular benefits included:

  • expanding customer base,
  • it’s the right thing to do and
  • gaining a competitive advantage.

water filter in basement