Keep Your Family Safe From Indoor Air Quality Hazards

Young girl sitting in front of humidifier

You want your home to be a place where you and your family are safe and comfortable. However, the air quality in your home can suffer without proper air flow. Air quality issues can also develop from household items that are made from toxic materials. You can improve the air quality in your home and make it a healthier space by following some simple tips.

Know the Causes of Air Quality Hazards

Air quality hazards in your home can be caused by a number of factors including excess moisture, pets, building materials, appliances, insects, cleaning products and other household chemicals. The potential health risks from these air pollutants can vary from minor irritations to major illnesses. Inhaling these hazardous materials can lead to asthma, allergies, systemic diseases and disorders, and cancer. You can alleviate many of these problems through proper cleaning, ventilation, inspections and moisture control in your home.

Know the Signs of Air Quality Hazards

There are many signs that indicate you may have an air quality hazard in your home including unusual odors, stagnant air flow, damaged pipes and chimneys, dirty heating and cooling equipment, limited ventilation, excess moisture, mold and mildew, and the development of health problems when remodeling or making home improvements.

Remove Excess Moisture

Excess moisture in your home can be a breeding ground for mold and dust mites. It is important to control your humidity levels, keeping them between thirty-five and fifty-five percent. Be sure to run the ventilation fans in your bathroom and kitchen whenever there is excess moisture in the air. By leaving the fan running for about fifteen minutes after a shower, you can reduce the buildup of moisture in your bathroom. Empty the moisture trays in your refrigerator, dehumidifier and air conditioner regularly. Check the drain of your air conditioner and make sure that is operating properly. Have any plumbing or roofing leaks repaired as soon as possible. Install the necessary moisture barriers and insulation on your pipes and around your doors and windows to reduce the amounts of condensation in your home.

Reduce Dirt Buildup

Dirt, debris and dust buildup can lead to many health issues. Dust, vacuum and clean your home on a regular basis to prevent an accumulation of these irritants. Consider using a HEPA filter in your vacuum to prevent airborne particles from re-entering the air in your home. Speak with your HVAC company about having high performance air filters installed in your heating and cooling system. Check the filters in your cleaning equipment and HVAC systems every three months. Filters that are dirty should be replaced. Filters that are clean indicate that you may have a problem with a system leak that needs to be repaired.

Increase Ventilation

Check to ensure that all of your appliances have a vent to the outside that is operating properly. Unvented appliances can lead to an accumulation of air particles and potentially more dangerous combustible situations. Read through the maintenance schedule supplied by the manufacturers of your appliances and have the products serviced according to those instructions. Have your chimney and flue inspected for any cracks or debris that could possibly reduce or prevent the flow of fumes from the inside of your home to the outdoors.

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Carbon Monoxide is a gas that has no odor or color. This gas develops when fuels containing carbon are not completely burned. Carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to serious illness and even death. Prevent the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning by ensuring that the appliances in your home that run on fuel are properly vented. Use only certified professionals to have your equipment maintained and serviced. Schedule an annual inspection and cleaning of your equipment. Use all gas appliances properly, following the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Do not use any gasoline or kerosene powered equipment inside your home. Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home that will alert you of any potentially dangerous situations.

Use Natural Air Fresheners

Many commercial air fresheners contain chemicals and toxins that can cause health issues. Consider using natural items to freshen the air in your home. When vacuuming, apply baking soda to your carpets before cleaning them. Combine lemon juice with water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture as natural air freshener. Warming cinnamon and allspice in warm water can also freshen the air in your home.

Install An Air Purification System

An air purifier can help in improving the quality of air in your home by filtering out the smallest of particles from the air. It is necessary to consider several factors when determining the best system for your home. Speak with an HVAC professional about the types of pollutants you want to filter from your space. Determine the best filter product and location in your home before purchasing a product.