Indoor Air Quality Affects Everyone
Indoor air quality may not be something that everyone keeps in the front of their minds when it comes to home maintenance. Understandably, it can easily be overlooked. You want your home to be safe, clean, and comfortable for you and your family, right down to the very air that you breathe. We want South Jersey homeowners to understand the importance of improving the air quality within their homes. There is a wide variety of indoor air pollutants that could be present. It is recommended to minimize these pollutants as much as possible.
Pollutants That Could Be Affecting The Quality Of Your Home’s Air
Indoor air pollution is one of the largest environmental health risks, because it affects the air we breathe. It is important to take note of what could be affecting the air quality in your home and how to minimize it. Every home has a variety of potential indoor air pollutants, some more inconspicuous than others. Potential pollutants within your home contain an elevated level of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. When VOCs penetrate the atmosphere of your home, they react with other compounds found in the air. This creates particulate matter, which can cause potential health implications in people with sensitivities. Possible health implications caused by particulate matter include sneezing, itching eyes, and respiratory trouble among other things. Keep in mind that everyone is different, and some people may display symptoms while others may not react at all.
Some household items that may put off VOCs include:
Cleaning Supplies & Fragrances: The chemicals found in cleaning supplies and many scented products such as perfumes can give off VOCs that cause particulate matter within the home. Using more natural products in your home can minimize the amount of VOCs given off.
Smoke: Smoke from cooking, fireplaces, cigarettes, and even candles can give off VOCs. Ensure that this smoke has a way to escape the home, such as a vent fan or an open window.
Mold: Elevated moisture levels within a home can cause potential for fungal growth to develop. Humidity, condensation, or even moisture from a leak or flood can build up in porous building materials, leading to mold development. Mold is opportunistic, so it can form in almost any environment so long as there is a moisture source present. There could be many indicators of mold in your South Jersey home. You have to know what you’re looking for. Mold can appear in a variety of colors, including black, white, brown, grey and green. Be aware of any suspicious odors, or staining on walls, ceilings or floors. If you are concerned about a potential mold issue within your home, call a professional mold inspection company in your area to assess the situation.
Methods Of Minimizing Air Pollutants
One of the best ways to minimize indoor air pollution in your home and improve air quality is to employ the use of proper ventilation. Keeping fresh air circulating throughout the home is a great way to make sure that particulate matter doesn’t become stagnant within your home. You should have a vent fan or an open window when showering, cooking, or running the dishwasher. Not only do these activities give off moisture, but also VOCs from detergents or potential smoke.
Avoid smoking inside. This may seem like common sense, as we all know the dangers of smoking. Ideally, you could attempt to quit smoking altogether. Smoking does not just negatively effect your body. If you are smoking indoors, it can have negative effects on your home as well. The same way smoking causes yellowing of the teeth, eyes, and even skin, the same thing can happen to the contents of your home. The VOCs given off by a cigarette can be potentially harmful to not only the one smoking, but those around them as well.
If you or your family are experiencing mild symptoms such as sneezing, irritated eyes, and trouble breathing, you may want to look into air purifiers. Air purifiers will help to not only circulate the air, but also draw pollutants out of the air to make it safer for you and your family. Ensure that the air purifier you choose has an adequate filter, and make sure you are changing this filter regularly. Dehumidifiers can also be a huge help when it comes to improving indoor air quality. A dehumidifier will help to reduce moisture levels, minimizing the potential for mold development. Ideally, indoor humidity levels should be kept between 35% and 50%.
Ensuring that your family is breathing clean air is more important now than ever. Keeping your home clean, safe and comfortable doesn’t have to be a huge chore. The steps you take to improve your home’s air quality may seem subtle. In the long run they can make a huge impact.