Indoor Air Quality
We spend so much time indoors breathing recycled air, yet it is quite rare that we consider the ill effects of doing so. According to ConsumerReports.org, 70% of people don’t consider the quality of indoor air to be an issue at all, and only 9% do consider it to be a health issue. However, airborne contaminants can be a very serious health hazard. If you feel sick in your home and don’t know what is causing it, you should consider the quality of the air in your home. What are the possible causes of poor indoor air quality?
• Interior mold. Mold loves to live in damp, warm places, so the bathroom is a likely place for this culprit. A basement is another place to check for this insidious fungi, especially around the windows. Mold can affect some people more seriously than others, causing breathing problems such as nasal stuffiness and wheezing as well as eye and skin irritation. Indoor mold exposure can lead to upper respiratory tract symptoms even in otherwise healthy people, so it is important that you stay vigilant and remove any mold immediately.
• Lead-based paint. If your home predates 1978, when lead-based paint was banned, you may be in danger of lead poisoning. About 35 million homes have lead paint, but only 17% of homeowners surveyed by ConsumerReports.org had their homes checked for the presence of lead paint. It is advisable to do so, and you should contact quality professionals to have it removed.
• Artificial air fresheners. While they may smell nice to you, artificial air fresheners can contain a dangerous additive, phthalates, which has been linked to cancer and reproductive problems. If you want to improve the air quality of your home and also help to make it smell pleasant, consider placing live plants and flowers around your home—they help purify the air while giving off pleasant scents and lending a certain charm to the home.
• Carbon monoxide and radon. Odorless and colorless, these gases are also deadly. Carbon monoxide, which can be emitted from faulty gas ranges, furnaces, and cooktops as well as kerosene and propane heaters, kills quickly and without warning. Radon, which comes up from the rocks and soil beneath the home, is the top cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers. Ensure that you have the proper testing kits for both CO and radon.
If you suspect poor air quality or simply want to know the safety level of your air quality and you’re not sure what to do, call a trusted HVAC company to ensure your air quality is safe. One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning is a popular choice serving the Springfield and surrounding areas.