As parents, we're very careful to safeguard our kids from the external dangers of life with several rules. Look both ways before crossing the street; do not touch any electric appliances with wet hands; do not touch any broken glass; always listen to your parents. We're also careful to prevent issues with our children's safety indoors by installing smoke detectors, practicing escapes during fire drills and teaching children the power of calling 911 in the event of an emergency. But what about other seemingly less important issues that lurk under our noses – like indoor air quality?
Honest speaking, interior air quality is something many people tend to overlook until something forces them to pay attention. The signs have an array of health symptoms: asthma attacks, explosive allergic reactions, and the like. Some even say poor air quality can be linked to more serious illnesses, such as cancer. Sounds ludicrous, right? Well, be advised the health effects are very real.
How Indoor Air Quality Affects Your Home
The quality of air you breathe, whether inside or out, affects your health in many ways. From pollen to carbon dioxide to radon gas, there are a myriad of gases, particles and substances that pollute air in your home, that affects you and your family by default. If you have reliably recently moved into your home, some of short term affects you and / or your family may feel headaches, dizziness, fatigue and irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. In the long-term, though, more serious illnesses such as asthma, respiratory disease and even cancer may arise from poorly maintained IAQ.
Now this may have alarmed you and that was the purpose of what you've read so far, but there are ways in which to mitigate any severe short-term or long-term affects to your household. When cleaning, make sure that if you're vacuuming that you're using a HEPA filter. If you must use chemicals, use those that are found to not have much in the way of hazardous compounds such as Benzene. Clear off any and all mold growths and clean that area thoroughly and frequently, reducing excess moisture within those certain areas of the home by repairing / replacing leaking pipes and keeping an appropriate home humidity of between 30-50%.
As well, check your home for the presence of radon gas and, if there are any threshold levels of it present, have a professional safeguard your home against it. Changing your air filter when dirty or, at the most, every 45 days will help to ensure that the air you breathe is less likely to carry circulate ever more allergens. When painting your walls, or re-painting, check to make sure that the paint contains no, or very low, VOC products.
Dusting often is highly recommended also, because allergens such as dust mites and pollen tend to settle on surfaces after traveling through the air. Likewise, wash linens and bedsheets at least once per week as they, also, can harbor dust mites and passages of pollen. One of the simplest things to do, especially in the warmer months of Summer, is to simply refresh the stale indoor air with new air from outside by opening a window from time to time. Your family's health and safety is, obviously, an important concern. So, too, should be the quality of indoor air that your household breathes in and out.