Multiple chemical sensitivity, environmental allergies, and asthma are all being diagnosed with increasing regularity.Replacement windows can play a role in how individuals who suffer with these conditions enjoy their homes. One of the main attractions of home replacement windows: vinyl home replacement windows, fiberglass home replacement windows, and wood home replacement windows, is that they create a tighter, more energy efficient home. Air penetration and leakage is minimized: sometimes to the point of virtually being eliminated. On one hand, this is good news for those with multiple chemical sensitivity, environmental allergies and asthma. Environmental irritants, such as pollen, dust, animal dander, and other air borne irritants, can be kept outdoors, where they won’t bother you. The fertilizer and weed killers used in nearby lawns and gardens can often trigger respiratory difficulties in sensitive individuals: the virtual shield created by energy efficient home replacement windows can play a pivotal role in reducing exposure. However, there is the question of interior air quality to consider. The air inside our homes may be invisible: that doesn’t mean it’s pure. Some of the substances we use everyday: cleaning supplies, glues and adhesives, makeup and perfume — contain agents which can trigger allergic or other reactions in asthmatics, people with environmental allergies or multiple chemical sensitivity. Additionally, the very materials our homes are constructed of: the sheetrock on the walls, the carpet on the floor, the laminate counter tops and the paint that covers any type of surface, can also reduce contaminants into the air. These contaminants are known as volatile organic compounds — you can’t see them, but you can surely, if you’re one of the affected individuals, feel their impact in your breathing. What does this have to do with replacement windows and doors? Let’s think back, before technological advances made it possible, by installing replacement windows and doors, to create a virtually air tight environment. Older single pane windows and less efficient replacement windows and doors leaked air like nobody’s business. As warm air was going out, fresh air was coming in. That may have been uncomfortable — but it also provided the fresh air needed to keep individuals healthy. An influx of fresh air minimized the effect of poor indoor air quality: the indoor air was continually cycled with and replaced by fresher, outdoor air. As a result, we’re seeing an increase in what are known as air management systems, which allow the controlled and regulated exchange of fresh outdoor air with the air you have indoors. Rather than relying on a million haphazard drafts, cracks, and air penetration points to ensure your family’s health, an air management system leaves nothing to chance. You don’t have to hope your family has good quality interior air: you’ll know. However, it made for a chilly, drafty, uncomfortable living environment. Replacement windows and doors make it possible to enjoy the best of both worlds: increased energy efficiency and interior air quality. Remember, unlike many original construction windows, replacement windows can be opened easily and often, as the homeowner wishes, to allow air exchange to occur the old-fashioned way!