What usually comes to mind when we hear “air pollution” are images of smog-covered cities and cars with faulty exhaust pipes, but there’s another kind of air pollution that poses a serious health threat and it can be found right inside your home.
Indoor air pollution is one of the five most serious public health risks, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The good new is — with proper testing to identify problems and efficient ways to solve them — you can greatly improve the quality of air in your home and McGowan’s can help.
The sources of indoor air pollution
Poor air quality can do more than make being in your home uncomfortable — for those with compromised health, recirculating polluted air through your home can cause illness. The first step to improving indoor air quality is understanding the everyday sources of pollution and how they can affect you. Just a few of the common pollutants that can be found in your home are:
Dust mites: These microscopic relatives of spiders eat the skin cells we shed and are found in the bedding, furniture and carpeting in most homes. Signs of allergies to dust mites include sneezing and signs of asthma, such as difficulty breathing.
Mold: Allergies to mold causes your immune system to overreact, bringing on symptoms such as coughing and itchy eyes. Like dust mites, mold can aggravate asthma symptoms.
VOCs: Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are the chemicals in cleaning supplies, pesticides, paints, building materials, dry-cleaned clothes are more. VOCs evaporate into the air in your home when these items are used and sometimes when they’re stored. They can cause headaches, nausea, irritation to the eyes, throat and nose, and even damage the central nervous system, kidneys and liver.
Carbon monoxide: Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness and even death. Sources of CO include improperly vented or unvented fuel-burning items such as space heaters, gas stoves, water heaters and dryers.
How to improve the quality of the air in your home
Some of the steps to reduce your indoor air quality-related health risks are inexpensive or even free. Start by eliminating the sources of pollution or reduce their emissions:
* When you can, open doors and windows to bring in fresh air.
* Use the exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen to help take pollutants out and improve ventilation.
* Change the air filters in your heating and air conditioning system regularly.
* Have an air purifierinstalled to filter out viruses, bacteria, mold, smoke and odors.
* Keep your indoor humidity down to decrease the likelihood of mold growth.
* Have the air quality in your home tested.
McGowan’s HealthyHome IAQ System makes testing easy
For just $49.95, we’ll bring an air monitor to your home that allows us to identify issues you may have with temperature, humidity, carbon monoxide and dioxide, dust particulates and VOCs. Once our technicians have tested your home, we can work with you on correcting these issues and quickly improve the quality of the air you and your family breathe every day.