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Breathe new life into your home

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

With most Americans spending around 90 percent of their day inside, maintaining a high indoor air quality (IAQ) inside your home is vital to your comfort and health.

Types of air pollutants
The air inside your home could be polluted by anything from lead-contaminated dust and mold to formaldehyde, fire retardants and radon. In addition to these, there are volatile chemicals from cleaner fragrances, air fresheners, new mattresses or furniture, carpet cleaners or paint.

Many of these pollutants may contain volatile organic compounds. Although organic compounds are found in all living things, the volatile variety are emitted as gases that can have significant short and long-term health effects.

Who is most affected?
Children, people with asthma or lung issues, and the elderly are generally the most sensitive to indoor pollutants. While many symptoms are immediately apparent, long-term exposure may lead to health effects that don’t appear for several years.

Ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality:

  • Healthy humidity – Keep humidity levels around 30–50 percent. This may require a dehumidifier or humidifier.
  • HVAC filters – Replace at least once every three months, or as often as once a month.
  • Clean duct system – Clean ducts help save energy as well as maintain a healthy IAQ.
  • Clean floors – Sweep or mop regularly, and make sure the vacuum filter is clean.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) alarm – A carbon monoxide alarm will help detect this harmful, odorless gas. For more CO safety tips, visit here.
  • Air purifier – High-efficiency purifiers can be very effective for specific applications.
  • Fresh air – On mild, clear days, don’t be afraid to open the windows.
  • Mechanical ventilation – By circulating fresh air throughout the home, mechanical ventilation removes moisture and pollutants while controlling the source and amount of air coming into the home.