Do you suspect that the air in your home is making you sick? If you have health problems that improve when you leave your house and worsen when you return, you might be right. You need to take steps to better your air quality.
You have probably heard about air quality problems like asbestos, second-hand smoke, and radon. These issues are all dangerous, but they are not the only or the most common air pollutants. If you’re looking for everyday air quality issues, look for the following.
Bacteria and Viruses
Most types of germs don’t make you sick. However, other kinds of bacteria and viruses can give you the flu or a cold, or they can worsen problems like asthma. If you keep getting sick, you may have an issue with too many germs in your air.
If you have a large family in a small home, germs can spread easily when you’re all together. Additionally, many germs thrive in warm humidity.
To stop the spread of airborne germs in your home, make sure that your family is not continually passing on their germs. Everyone should sneeze into their elbows-this technique ensures that nobody launches viruses or bacteria into the air. Additionally, make sure your home is well ventilated and the humidity is not over
50 percent. Buy a dehumidifier if you do have high humidity levels
If your home is new or if you have recently remodeled, your home may have materials that emit fumes. For example, building materials made of pressed wood, like plywood, can emit volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. If VOCs are in your home’s air, your eyes, nose, and throat can get irritated. You can even feel nauseous and have trouble breathing. Some VOCs, such as formaldehyde, can cause cancer.
Plywood is not the only source of VOCs. You can also find these materials in products like paint, paint remover, cleaning chemicals, glue, and air freshener. When you purchase any of these materials, look for products that have low VOC levels. After your project, get rid of unused materials so they don’t stay in your home.
Ventilation can help your indoor air quality here, too. Let building materials like plywood air out before using them to get rid of most of the VOCs. After bringing these materials into your home or using paint, let your home air out by opening windows and turning on a fan.
Dust mites are microscopic bugs that feed on dead human skin cells found in dust. They are not dangerousthey do not bite people-but they are everywhere. Most homes have at least some dust mites. However, if you or another person in your family has asthma or allergies, dust mites can trigger a reaction.
If you are only mildly allergic, you may get a runny nose and sneeze often. But some people react more severely. They can get a cough, sneeze constantly, become congested, or have a severe asthma attack. Those who are sensitive to dust mites should take steps to eliminate them.
Reducing your home’s humidity level to below 50 percent can help get rid of dust mites. The most effective treatment is to get rid of places they can live. If you remove upholstered furniture, curtains, and carpets, you should have better air quality. Additionally, wash your bedding once each week with hot water and use a damp cloth or rag for cleaning instead of a dry one.
As previously mentioned, extra humidity contributes to dust mites and germs spreading, but its most common effect is mold growth. Mold spores in your home’s air can cause nasal congestion, wheezing, coughing, sneezing, and sore throats. Additionally, like with dust mites, those with asthma or allergies may have particularly nasty reactions to mold.
You may see mold growing in places with extra water, like your bathroom. You might also smell a musty odor. If there’s a small amount of mold, you can probably get rid of it yourself.
To eliminate mold, you need to eliminate excess water, which can be caused by leaky pipes and windows and poorly ventilated bathrooms. Again, keep the humidity level in your home below 50 percent. Fix any leaks in your home or in your plumbing, run an exhaust fan in your bathroom, and increase air flow and ventilation. Clean the places where you see mold growing often.
If your reaction to the mold is severe or you fear that the mold is pervasive, talk to a mold remediation professional. You may need to get rid of what the mold grows in, like the carpet, and you’ll need help containing the mess.
Most of these problems can be fixed by lowering your home’s humidity and adding ventilation. Getzschman Heating can help you make the necessary improvements. Contact us, and we’ll assist you in bettering your home’s air quality.