5 Reasons to Have a Home Air Quality Assessment
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t spend too much time thinking about the air quality in your own home. Unless there is a serious problem, it’s rarely at the top of a homeowner’s concerns. It’s easy to focus on problems you can see with your own two eyes, like a leaky sink, chipped paint, or a broken fridge. However, your home air quality can have serious short and long-term effects on the lives of everyone living there. Here are five reasons why you should consider having an assessment to improve your home air quality.
1. The air quality of your home is often worse than you think.
It’s easy to get used to the air in your house. But like the proverbial frog in the slowly boiling water, you might just not be seeing the pollutants around you. While it would seem that the best way to avoid air pollution from freeways, factories, or other sources of pollutants, that might not be the case.
A study done by the EPA concluded that indoor air quality can be as much as 2 to 5 times worse than outdoor air quality. This might not be the case in your home, but it is wise to find out sooner rather than later so you can act on the potential problem.
Nowadays, people spend most of their time indoors. Usually, we leave our homes in the morning, go into our offices, then return to our homes in the evenings. When you spend most of your day in an indoor air environment, you must take that environment seriously. It’s not just about knowing the quality of the air in your home, though. It’s also important to know what things in your home can be contributing to the air quality of your home.
2. Chemicals may be affecting the air quality.
Powerful chemicals are present in nearly every modern home. This might be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about indoor pollutants, but you might not understand the full scope of what can harm you.
Paints or strong chemical cleaners are clear offenders, and most people know to allow for plenty of ventilation when using them. In addition to these, there are other dangers that are less commonly known. For instance, air fresheners can have a negative impact on the air quality of your home. This includes not only sprays and plug-in infusers, but candles and incense as well. Hygiene and beauty products can also release harmful emissions into the air, especially aerosol-based ones. Even more surprisingly, foam in your furniture and carpets can release harmful volatile organic compounds (VOC). These VOCs can pose an increased risk of lung disease, heart disease, and even cancer.
3. Organic sources can be just as bad as synthetic.
Keeping an eye on the chemical use in your home is important, but you must also be aware the biological factors you have to contend with. Viruses, mildew, molds, and fungi thrive in indoor environments. Proper ventilation is exceedingly important in keeping these pollutants out of your home. Should any of these problems become too advanced, you will most likely need to call in a professional. Assessing the air quality in your home can catch the problem before it moves too far, and improve the air quality of your home overall.
4. You might be worsening your air quality without realizing it.
It’s easy to forget in our daily routines how much we affect the environment around us. The truth is, the people living in a home might be the main reason for poor air quality. Smoking tobacco products is an obvious cause of air pollution, and the damage to the air lasts long after the cigarette is put out. Cooking and heating implements that use gas, wood, or kerosene can give off a heightened level of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide affects oxygen levels in the home and can lead to cardiovascular disease and even death.
The materials your home is made of can also be harmful. Asbestos is a well-known problem in older homes and can be found in many different parts of the house. Insulation, paints, and even flooring could contain asbestos and should be treated with caution if accidentally damaged or removed. A similar problem is found with older, lead-based paints. Chipping or damaging the coat can release toxins into the air you might not even be aware of.
5. Pollutants, when caught early, are easily remedied.
Clearly, there are a number of potential pollutants in your home you need to be aware of. Luckily, it is easy to address these problems if you stay vigilant. The American Lung Association reminds us to “eliminate, then ventilate.” By getting a home air quality assessment, you can find any potential sources of pollutants in your home and improve your air quality.
Check any heating and cooking implements, and ensure they are not emitting gases into your home. If you have an air conditioner, make sure the filters are cleaned frequently. Research your cosmetics, and find products that are proven not to release toxins into the air. Finally, do not forget to clean your home regularly! Wash your sheets, comforters, rugs, and anything else that could gather dust or other pollutants.
All of the risks above might be frightening, but there is no reason to panic! Now that you know the potential risks you face at home, you can see why it is important to get a home air quality assessment even if you don’t think you need one. Preparedness is a key part of keeping your home safe and improving your air quality, and an assessment is the first step to knowing what you’re dealing with.
Contact a local specialist to have the assessment done today! You can learn if you face risks from chemical pollutants in paints or cosmetics, find any organic problems like mold or dust, and even see what changes you can make in your own day-to-day life to keep your air quality pristine. Armed with the knowledge from your assessment, improving your home air quality will be a breeze!