Everywhere you look someone else is getting sick with another form of the flu, a cold, or stomach bug. This time of year, sickness tends to spread like wildfire. To prevent getting sick, we spend a lot of time focusing on things like washing our hands, covering our mouths, and sanitizing everything we touch. But what about the air we breathe? Doesn’t that deserve some care and attention? The quality of the air you breathe, particularly the air in your home, is critical to keeping you and your family from getting sick.
The Importance of Air Quality
Homes with poor air quality lead to both short and long-term consequences, such as the spread of viruses and respiratory diseases. The cleaner your air, the better you’ll feel. Unfortunately, there are many home invaders you need to work to repel. Air pollutants come in numerous forms, including:
Luckily, there are just as many ways to keep them at bay.
How To Improve Indoor Air Quality
The first step is routinely changing the air filters for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.
Other small changes, such as opening windows when the weather’s nice, can help improve ventilation and air circulation by letting fresh air in to replace pollution.
Next, be on the hunt for excess moisture and mold. Bathrooms are prime suspects due to the steam from showers. If you do find mold, clean it up immediately. Make sure you fully dry the area after the mold has been removed. However, if the area in question covers more than 10 square feet, it may be worth investing in a professional contractor with experience in mold removal.
If you suspect there is mold in your HVAC unit, do not use the system and consult a technician as soon as possible. Exposure to toxic mold can cause serious respiratory issues, in addition to other health problems. Reach out to a professional for removal.
Dust regularly to prevent the buildup of pollutants. Also be sure to vacuum often to keep your carpeting or other upholstery clean. It’s especially important to clean frequently if you have pets.
While you may be able to sniff out some air quality problems by smell, others are odorless yet incredibly dangerous.
Radon is the result of uranium breaking down in nature. You can’t see, smell or taste the gas, but it’s the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. While new homes are often built with radon-resistant features, it’s important to test your home for this gas. If it’s found, there are radon reduction systems that will help you decrease the gas to safe levels.
Carbon monoxide is also odorless but can be protected against with detectors in your home. A standard carbon monoxide detector costs approximately $35, but the peace of mind it offers is priceless. Be sure to regularly change out the batteries and test the alarm to ensure it’s working properly.
Visit our Indoor Air Quality page to find out more about improving air quality in your home.