Can you believe that the air you’re breathing inside your own house can be much more polluted and dangerous than the air you breathe outside? The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that people spend about 90% of their time indoors breathing unhealthy air, making it that much important to worry about. Follow these simple tips to improve air quality in your home, making sure you and your family have a healthy environment and pure air to breathe.
The Most Dangerous Air Pollutants
Some indoor pollutants can be extremely harmful, due to their toxins. The top 3 that cause diseases are:
Carbon Monoxide: this can be deadly if you already have asthma or other breathing problems. Thousands of people per year get sick because of presence of heavy carbon monoxide inside their own homes. Get a Carbon Monoxide detector to help you monitor the levels of this substance.
Secondhand smoke: not only smokers get the countless damages and high risks of diseases. Kids are usually the most harmed ones. Annually, about 7,500 to 15,000 kids get seriously sick with respiratory tract infections due to secondhand smoking. If there’s a smoker in the house, be extra careful about filtering those toxins with a good quality Air Ventilation and Air Conditioning system.
Radon gas: after cigarette smoke, this substance is the biggest cause of lung cancer. It’s completely dangerous, and hard to notice because it doesn’t it’s silent and odorless.
TIPS TO SECURE A HEALTHY AND CLEAN AIR
NO SMOKING INDOORS
Cigarettes are harmful for the smoker, for everyone around and even a safety hazard if done inside the house when there’s many flammable materials. Simply have the rule of no smoking indoor.
2 - HAVE A CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR INSTALLED
This extremely toxic substance can harm you quickly or even kill you. It’s an odorless gas, so you might have it for quite a while and not even notice, which makes it even more dangerous. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are very similar to the flu, affecting everyone in your house including the pets. It’s essential to get a Carbon Monoxide Detector installed and all the fuel-burning appliances inspected by a professional. This will make sure that all the pollutants will be channelled outside your home.
3 - NO CARS OR FUEL-BURNING ENGINES IN THE GARAGE
One of the most harmful ways of releasing carbon monoxide is by car. Don’t leave the engine running inside your garage, and never use charcoal grills in closed spaces.
4 - GET AN INSPECTION FOR RADON
According to scientists, thousands of people die annually due to radon intoxication and lung cancer. Have your home tested for radon as soon as you can. It’s a low cost service that may save your life.
5 - CHOOSE THE RIGHT PAINT
Even months after a painting, gases called VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) may contain toxic chemicals, such as acetaldehyde and formaldehyde. Use low-VOC paint, wax or varnish in your house and don’t forget to leave the windows open during and after the application, and turning on exhaust fans. Never leave open paint cans inside your house.
6 - GETTING RID OF MOLD AND MILDEW
These are big enemies of pure and healthy air. They can cause allergies, worsen asthma, and even damage the structure of your house or quality of your appliances. Mold grows even faster in places with high humidity and water infiltration. Call a professional plumber to fix any possible leaks, roof or foundation damages or any kind of infiltration that can cause much bigger problems in your home.
7 - KEEP IT CLEAN
It’s important to maintain the air conditioners, dehumidifiers, pipes and vents clean. You can have a regular inspection and professional cleaning for maximum efficiency. This service is crucial to keep your ventilation and heating system free of mold, mites, mildew or even animals. Clean right away any leaks or drips from those components.
8 - DON’T FORGET THE PETS
Many allergies can come from a pet’s dejects, dead skin cells, fur, saliva, so if you’re sensitive to allergens, just keep them away from the place where you sleep. Maintain the house clean and get professional upholstery cleanings frequently too. By having your house and your pets clean, you’re gonna be able to enjoy the best parts of a pet’s company, in a safe environment.
9 - DUST MITES
These microscopic pests feed on crumbles of food and human skin, living in your mattress, pillows, upholstery, carpets, rugs, bedding, where they can get the moisture needed to survive. Mites can cause allergy and skin irritation. To fight them, simply keep the house clean, vacuum and steam the upholstery, and invest on covers and bedding that are resistant to dust-mite.
10 - LEAVE ASBESTOS ALONE
If there’s asbestos found in your home, this mineral fiber should not be touched. The fibers when inhaled can increase the risk of lung cancer and respiratory diseases. They’re mostly found in pipe coverings, shingles, roofs, and as soon as you notice them, call a professional. It’s extremely dangerous performing that service b yourself.
11 - VENTILATION
A quality ventilation system is the best way to protect the air in your house. With daily activities that produce heat, vapor, steam, like cooking or showering, it’s important to have a nice ventilation system to provide clean air and avoid the humidity that would lead to mold. Install exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen, making sure the vents take the air outside your house.
12 - BEWARE OF TOXIC AND STRONG CHEMICALS
Some chemicals might be extremely irritating when you smell, even intoxicating you. Those include strong abrasive cleaning products, paint, nail polish remover, hair sprays. Even the dry cleaning has solvents that are dangerous when inhaled. Let the dry-cleaned clothes air outside for a while before bringing them inside.
13 - DANGERS OF LEAD PAINT
This is a complete no-no. Lead paint can still be found in properties built before 1978. Any trace of it may be extremely harmful. Many kids had development problems when they had exposure to lead paint, usually by eating paint chips or peels. Get your house inspected if you suspect of having lead paint. Don’t try to remove it yourself, the process requires a professional and special technical equipments.
14 - WOOD STOVES AND FIREPLACES
Both of these are great for the Winter, but are only safe if the ventilation is correct. The vents should take care of any carbon monoxide, pollution and nitrogen oxides released, to the outside of your house.
15 - SNEAKY FORMALDEHYDE
This gas is found in cigarette smoke and a vast majority of home products like adhesive, insecticides, disinfectants, and it’s responsible for coughing, eye and nose irritation, skin rashes, and respiratory problems. To be free from this is easy, just choose wood panel products that weren’t made with formaldehyde glue or materials.
16 - PESTICIDES
They combat pests but on the other hand, contain harmful chemicals that may cause allergy or even worse. Focus more on blocking holes where animals could pass, and avoiding keeping food open. Only use pesticides as a last resource. For a safe way to do it, contact a professional on the business.
17 - HELP FROM MOTHER NATURE
Several plants are amazing for helping to purify the air inside your home, naturally removing pollutants. More than helping you to be healthier, plants and flowers add a lot of style and are just romantic and beautiful to have around at all times. This tip is the perfect combination of beauty and function. When buying your plants, ask which kinds aren’t dangerous to pets if ingested. The main types are:
Eliminates: xylene, ammonia, formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene and others.
Eliminates: xylene, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene.
Eliminates: xylene, formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia.
Eliminates: xylene, formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, chloroform, and others.
Eliminates: xylene, formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, carbon monoxide, and others.
Eliminates: carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and others.
Eliminates: formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, trichloroethylene, and others.
Eliminates: xylene, carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and others.
Rubber Plant (ficus)
Eliminates: carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and others.