As summer turns to fall and the weather grows cooler, a lot of us are likely to be spending some more time indoors. Are you sure your home is ready for you to be spending more time in it?
Studies by the Environment Protection Agency have recently shown that the air inside may be anywhere from two to five times more polluted than the air outside of the home. These indoor air pollutants can quickly harm our health, and even have a fatal effect on the human body.
Familiarize yourself with the most common sources of indoor air pollution and discover how to leave your home with more room to breathe.
Radon is a radioactive gas that seeps into the home from the ground below, well water or other building materials. What makes the gas so dangerous is that it often goes undetected in the home, due to its colorless, tasteless and odorless properties. Inhalation of the gas is linked to lung cancer, and the CPSC estimates the gas to cause anywhere from 7,000 to 30,000 deaths each year. Schedule a routine radon test with a professional air quality investigator, and find new ways to keep your home ventilated to keep this gas to a low.
The effects of secondhand smoke are well known by most, but allowing these chemicals to stay in the home can lead to severe health problems in the long-term. If you must smoke indoors, use an air purifier and keep the home well ventilated to avoid the harmful effects secondhand smoke can have on your health.
- Biological Sources
Pets, insects, mold and mildew can all play a part in polluting the air in your home. While there is no absolute way to rid your home of these pollution sources, there are some steps you can take to reduce their presence in the home. Start by keeping your home free of any extra moisture with exhaust fans or ventilators, and make it a point to dust and vacuum the home regularly.
- Carbon Monoxide
Carbon Monoxide naturally enters the home through stoves, heaters, furnaces and more. Too much CO in the home can leave your bloodstream and central nervous system at risk. Invest in a Carbon Monoxide detector for your home to make sure you’re aware of any harmful levels of CO in the home.
- Nitrogen Dioxide
Nitrogen Dioxide comes from many of the same sources as Carbon Monoxide, carrying similar health risks along with it. However, nitrogen dioxide will often possess a sharp and easily detectable smell while leaving a reddish-brown color behind on surfaces throughout the home. Keeping the home well ventilated can reduce the levels of nitrogen dioxide in your home.
- Organic Gases
Also known as volatile organic compounds, these gases come from many common household objects that can lead to eye irritation, dizziness, nausea and even more long term effects. Make sure to store your paints, cleaners, glues and other sources of organic gases in temperature safe places, or even outside the home to reduce their effects.
- Airborne Particles
Airborne particles are the small bits of matter emitted from a variety of sources that are easily inhaled. Like many other air pollutants, these particles can lead to eye, nose and throat irritation – with serious cases leading to cancer as well. Ensure your home has good ventilation, and consider installing an air purifier to help rid your home of these respirable particles.
Formaldehyde is an invisible, organic compound that is usually found in glue, smoke, some textiles and pressed wood building materials. The presence of formaldehyde can usually be detected through a strong glue or paper smell. Keep formaldehyde levels in your home to a minimum by maintaining a low humidity and moderate temperature in the home.
With a purpose to kill unwanted insects in the home, it’s no surprise that pesticides can also be very harmful to our own health. Reduce the amount of pesticides you use indoors, and be sure to keep any area where pesticides are applied well ventilated to reduce its effects.
Asbestos is commonly found in older homes, as their blackish grey fibers were once used for building materials and insulation purposes. In recent years, these fibers have been found to cause several different types of cancer, so be sure to contact the professionals at the first sign of asbestos in the home.
Keep the air in your home fresh and free of harmful pollutants with help from the air quality experts at Tudi Mechanical Systems. Using an indoor air quality test, our team will identify the problem pollutants in your home and develop a customized solution to meet your home’s needs. Call Tudi today to schedule your free air quality test, and discover what a difference clean air can make in your home’s comfort levels.