Keeping an eye on the air quality of your home is a great way to ensure you and the people you live with are as healthy as possible. Air quality can have a hidden, yet pervasive, impact on your health. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that, on average, Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors. They also note that people who are sensitive to allergens and pollution tend to spend even more time inside.
There are many factors that play into your air quality at home and having your air quality tested is a great step in addressing any problems you may be able to fix. However, even before you test the air quality in your home you can begin to learn about some of the factors that impact your air quality and consider how you can make yours better.
Chemicals are an extremely common cause of poor air quality at home. From cleaning products to paints, using chemicals within the home without proper ventilation is a common way that people quickly introduce volatile compounds into the air. Make sure that whenever you are cleaning, painting, using pesticides, or using any other chemical in your home, that you are ventilating the room with open windows, fans, or a mix of both.
Humidity has a larger effect on air quality than most people think. Low humidity dries people out, leading to eye irritation, dry skin, and even rashes. High humidity, on the other hand, can quickly lead to mold growth in dark and damp parts of the house. Mayo Clinic recommends keeping home humidity between 30%-50%. Home humidifiers and good ventilation can help with humidity control.
Anything that burns is likely releasing byproducts into your home’s air that is lowering its quality. Many common sources are appliances that use wood or coal, fireplaces, tobacco, or even some candles. A good rule of thumb with combustibles is to avoid them if possible, but if you can’t, ensure the space they are in is well ventilated. Otherwise they can quickly introduce harmful byproducts such as carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (or VOCs).
Microbes are a very common source of low indoor air quality, and often are directly linked to the development of asthma and allergies in young people. The most common types of microbes come from molds in the home, so doing your best to keep your home as clean and mold-free as possible is a good way to prevent poor air quality from these sources. Check damp, dark areas of your home for mold, and if you suspect an extensive mold problem be sure to call a professional to reduce the risk of transferring it to other areas.
No one wants to think their pets are the cause of their stuffy nose and itchy throat, but it’s extremely common. The dander, shedding, and dirt that animals track around a house have a significant effect on the quality of your home’s air. When you have a pet, it’s important to be extra diligent about cleaning your home regularly to minimize the impact these allergens will have on your air quality, and therefore your body, in the long run.
If you’re curious about your home’s air quality and are considering testing it, reach out to us at Triad Services. Not only can we offer advice, but we can also help you ensure your home is free from pollutants through air cleaning and HVAC services. Call today at 770-682-0075.
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