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LaHouse open house focuses on indoor air quality, home safety

News Release Distributed 11/04/14

BATON ROUGE, La – Louis Fournet was thinking of moving. He suffers from allergies and has a hard time finding relief in Louisiana’s humid climate. A visit to the LSU AgCenter LaHouse Home and Landscape Resource Center’s seasonal open house may have changed his mind.

“I was thinking about moving to the desert, but I got a lot of ideas here that are cheaper than moving,” said Fournet, who traveled from Franklin to attend the Saturday open house on Nov. 1.

LaHouse holds quarterly Saturday open houses. This one focused on indoor air quality and safety features to help people like Fournet. He left with a handful of notes, brochures and fliers that offered solutions to improve conditions in his home.

LSU AgCenter extension housing specialist Claudette Reichel spoke with Fournet about reducing humidity levels in his home, which would help reduce the dust mites and molds that trigger his allergies.

“Dust mites cannot reproduce when indoor humidity is below 50 percent,” Reichel said.

Reichel showed Fournet four dehumidifying systems at LaHouse that range in costs and performance levels. Two are portable, and two are whole-home units.

Pete and Maureen Rucci, of Baton Rouge, also visited the open house. They are interested in building a home near San Antonio, Texas. They wanted information on moisture and termite control and making their home handicapped-accessible.

“We’re interested in building techniques to avoid problems down the road and reduce long-term costs and maintenance,” Pete Rucci said.

LaHouse is built with universal design features that make it an easy home to navigate for children, seniors or people with handicaps.

“You want to ensure convenient living in your home throughout life, so you want to build universal design,” Reichel told the Ruccis. This includes 4-foot clearances in hallways and around counters, 3-foot interior doorways, curbless thresholds and shower, an accessible master bedroom and bathroom on the first floor and many other design details exhibited in LaHouse and included on the LaHouse Healthy Home features checklist.

Reichel said she chose the indoor air quality and home safety feature for the fall open house because with winter approaching, people will be spending more time indoors and there is a strong connection between home and health.

LaHouse is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for self-guided tours. The seasonal Saturday open houses accommodate people who can’t visit on a weekday.

Tobie Blanchard
Last Updated: 11/4/2014 11:47:25 AM

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