Quality of life and security for the future are reasons many of us choose to own a home. In general, homeowners tend toward being responsible by nature. Routine housekeeping is done, vehicles are maintained and bills are paid on time. We are the sort to follow a healthy diet and see our dentist and doctor regularly. Good health is important to us. Naturally we are shocked at any sign or suggestion our home may be making us sick. Nevertheless, according to sources such as the EPA, poor home air quality has a formidable impact on our health. Here are some signs to identify attributes leading to slacking home air conditions.
Allergies and Home Projects
Review recent home projects for the possibility that poisons have inadvertently been introduced into the air. Painting a room can contribute to health problems including respiratory issues. Removing old paint can introduce lead related irritations and diseases. Refinishing that old table can cause allergies to flare up when certain finishes are applied. Installing new carpet can introduce pollutants into skin and lungs. Even hobbies can contain materials that cause short and long term irritation to eyes, skin and lungs.
Cross Contamination from Outdoor Activities
If your garden or lawn has been treated with pesticides, there is a good possibility it has been tracked into your home. Flooding that has occurred near or in your home is another way that outside contaminants are introduced affecting air quality. Construction that is taking place in your neighborhood can cause increased dust and fumes to build up in your home. Check to make sure any asbestos related materials are being disposed of properly. Even though these activities take place outside, they are easily transported into your home. This increases the potential for short and long term diseases to develop.
Cleaning Agents and Personal Care Products
In the quest to keep our homes and bodies looking and smelling clean we use a lot of different chemicals. It is easy to overlook the caustic effects of many cleaning products when they get the job done. It is very simple to introduce poisons into our homes and bodies just by purchasing various products in our local grocery stores. Air quality is impacted by using over the counter cleaners and cosmetics. Mixing and matching certain common cleaners can cause inconvenient reactions such as allergies and death within minutes or hours of exposure.
Ventilation System Problems
A quick check of vents in your home can reveal some obvious problems. Look for excess condensation in and around the vents. Check for signs that critters such as mice and spiders have become unwanted guests in vents and ductwork. Remember, bacteria and pests are huge fans of a warm, moist environment that preferably is located in a dark hidden area. Any signs of mold should be a signal to call for professional help. Your HVAC system is designed to improve your quality of life when properly maintained. If your HVAC system has been failing you, make sure to have a professional repair your air conditioner. They are your best defense in protecting your health from ventilation related conditions.
Most of us spend the majority of time inside our homes. We are responsible for our habits, hobbies, product choices and purchases. These things directly affect the quality of air in our homes. Therefore we control much of the impact that same air has on our health. It is critical to educate ourselves to make good choices. One of those is knowing when to enlist professional help. Our educated choices will lead to improved quality in our health and lives.
By Hannah Whittenly
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