As the weather gets cooler, more activities move indoors. Have you considered your home’s indoor air quality, and how it affects your family’s health? Fireplaces, pollen, cleaning supplies, pets and cigarette smoke all contribute to the air we breathe, sometimes in ways we can’t see or smell.
When your house is buttoned up to keep out the cold, what can you do? Before we give you tips to help clear the air, let’s look at what’s blowing in the wind.
Indoor Air Quality is More Than Removal of Odors
Take a deep breath. What do you smell? Flowers, perfume, cut grass, fresh bread? These are a few scents enjoyed by most people. And yet, even a pleasant aroma can cause discomfort for people with respiratory conditions.
Seasonal allergies or asthma can be triggered as easily by a fun fall bonfire as they can by smog. Children, the elderly and anyone with a suppressed immune system are particularly vulnerable to airborne contaminants. Consider these other lesser-known pollutants.
- Mattresses, furniture, paint and carpets. Pollutants from the manufacturing process can be released, or “off-gas” into your home long after a new item arrives.
- Toxic elements. In addition to dust mites, dust can contain particles of lead. Household air also contains radon, formaldehyde and trace amounts of chemicals such as pesticides. Many of these may be tracked indoors on shoes or pets.
- Dander. Don’t have a pet? While the amount of dander is less in a home without a pet, in reality, we all produce it.
What You Can Do to Improve Indoor Air Quality
While you can’t eliminate every trace of allergens and pollutants from your home, there are steps you can take to improve your indoor air quality.
- Make your home smoke-free. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, and the health consequences of smoking are well established. Even though November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, anytime is a great time to kick the habit.
While quitting is always the best option, smoking outside reduces pollutants in the home. It also protects family members from more secondhand exposure.
- Keep your floors clean. As contaminants blow through the air, they eventually find their way to the floor. When you vacuum and mop regularly, you can catch and banish these particles. Put floor mats by each entryway and stop pollutants before they get into your home.
- Maintain healthy humidity. Mold and dust mites thrive when humidity gets above 50 percent. Use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture. Ensure leaks and drips are repaired. Crack a window or use an exhaust fan. This vents excess moisture from kitchens and bathrooms when you cook, run the dishwasher or bathe.
- Test for radon. Radon is an invisible and odorless radioactive gas and it can seep into any home from the soil below. Elevated radon levels heighten the risk of lung cancer. Fortunately, a radon test is quick and inexpensive, and radon levels are simple and affordable to reduce.
- Use fragrance-free or naturally scented products. Artificially-scented products contribute a blend of chemicals to your home. Instead of a lemon-scented cleanser, clean with a natural mixture of lemon juice and baking soda. Houseplants bring natural beauty and absorb chemical pollutants from your home’s indoor air quality.
Call Energy Savers for HVAC and Indoor Air Quality Needs
For more than 40 years, Energy Savers has helped home and business owners achieve the ultimate balance of air quality and comfort. We service and repair all brands of HVAC equipment and provide air quality solutions.
To learn more about your options to improve indoor air quality, please call us. We love to share our expertise about dehumidifiers, duct cleaning and other ways to help your family breathe easier.
We get up every day to provide quality products and great customer service in and around Columbus, Georgia and Opelika, Alabama. For better comfort and health, call us for indoor air quality help today.