Learn To Keep Air Clean And Safe In Your Home
When people think of air quality they mostly think of pollution from outside sources such as car emissions, smog and toxic chemicals from factories. Not many people think about the air quality within their very own home. The air quality in your home environment is very important and a high contributing factor to our health. Indoor air quality can be 5 times more polluted than the outdoors and is rated among the top 5 environmental health risks of today according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Many of us do not realize that there are many contributing factors that decrease air quality in homes. A car idling in the garage, wet paint, the products we use to clean and our very own carpeting. It is important for all of us to be made aware of what may be causing your health issues now and to prevent health problems you may face in the future
Allergies and asthma, as well as other respiratory illnesses, could be caused by the air we breathe. Poor air quality within your home is a “hidden” concern that everyone should be aware of.
We have listed a few things you should keep in mind to keep the air in your home clean and safe.
Car Idling In The Garage
Dangerous levels of pollution are coming from your car when it is idling. These emissions can come directly into your home. Start your car and leave the garage immediately. When you return shut off the car immediately as well. Never idle your car in the garage!
This is an odorless gas which sickens thousands and claims over 400 lives per year. It is extremely important to install a carbon monoxide detector. These can be easily installed. Install on each level of your home and near the bedrooms. Mount on the wall a couple of feet below the ceiling. Carbon monoxide, unlike smoke, most often does not rise to the ceiling. Keep them out of direct sunlight, away from heating units and windows and out of bathrooms and laundry rooms. They need to be set within a moderate temperature. Do not cover and keep them away from curtains and any item that could block the air flow around them. Mount one within 10 feet of your garage, if your garage is attached to your home. Last but not least install them in an easily accessible place so they can be tested approximately every 6 months. For more information click How To Install a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm.
The silent killer is known as a cancer-causing radioactive gas. The Surgeon General’s Office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) have estimated radon is the cause of as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. The second leading cause of lung cancer.
Radon is invisible, odorless and found in many homes where the exposure level is far above the safe level. It is extremely important to get your home checked for this silent killer. This colorless chemically-unreactive inert gas is found in the ground soil, groundwater, and rock and enters our living spaces. Although it can be found in the groundwater where we can be exposed through ingestion, inhaling the radon released from the soil is thought to be much worse. The only way to find radon is through testing your homes radon levels. There are no immediate symptoms or sickness. It can take around 10 years of exposure for any symptoms to arise.
Are you in the midst of painting? While the most dangerous time to inhale paint is when it is drying you must know that toxic gases can be omitted for several months after. Wear a mask while painting, keep children and pets away. Try to open your windows as much as possible even for the months following. To purchase paint with the least amount of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) buy latex paint. Note: Prior to 1978 most homes were painted with lead paint. Beware of the paint chalking and chipping and make sure children do not ingest it.
You may not realize that your pets are bringing in outdoor pollutants. Feces, urine, and saliva can be a contributing factor to many allergies.
Humidity brings mold. Leaks can cause major mold problems. Symptoms from mold are coughing, wheezing, and asthma. Dehumidify your home and make sure you keep the unit clean.
If your home was built before 1980 it is highly likely that there may be asbestos in the ceiling and floor tiles, insulation, siding, roof shingles as well as around boilers, ducts, and pipes. Homes built after 1980 may not be exempt and can still have asbestos. Asbestos is hazardous to your health when it becomes airborne. When the items listed begin to deteriorate asbestos fibers can be released. Asbestos tiny fibers inhaled are known to cause lung cancer. If you are concerned you should have your home inspected. A visual inspection is not sufficient. Samples of the suspected fibers must be sent to a certified lab for analysis.
Many home cleaning and personal hygiene products, as well as outside yard pesticides that we may bring in on our shoes, can all contribute to poor indoor air quality. While using these products make sure space is well ventilated.
Are you one of the many who chooses to warm your home with a wood stove or do you just love it for the ambiance? You must know that the smoke causes air pollution. While you are burning wood keep your home well ventilated. These stoves can quickly reduce the air quality and have been known to trigger asthma.
Most people are not aware that carpeting can harbor many pollutants such as dust mites, pet dander, and fungi. Vacuuming is not always a cure. It can stir up the pollutants and make them airborne. Try to vacuum as much as you can. This way you can try to keep the pollutants from forming. Note: Clean your vacuum as well. If the bag or unit becomes too full, when emptying, the many pollutants you tried to get rid of in your carpet can now become airborne.
Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier Units
Dirty units are a common form of poor air quality in homes. Note: It is important to ventilate and use de-humidifiers, however, cleaning the unit is essential to reduce dust mites and to prevent the build-up of mold and mildew within your home.
It is essential to change your furnace filter. Not only will it extend the life of the furnace and reduce energy costs, but it will also greatly improve the indoor air quality.
Basically, there are 2 ways to remove pollutants from the indoors. One is to open windows and provide ventilation. The other is to install air cleaning devices, either electronic air cleaners or mechanical air filters.
Last but not least and can be deadly is cigarette smoke both first hand and second hand. Cigarette smoke puts all people at a higher risk of health problems. If you need to smoke do it outdoors. Not only will you be helping yourself but your loved ones around you as well.
We hope we have provided you with valuable knowledge that you will take advantage of within your own home environment. If you are in need of any services All American Environmental has to offer, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to help you.