There has been a lot of talk in recent news about the worsening condition of the air we breathe, particularly in large cities. Discussions of pollution and overpopulation lead to talk about the ozone layer. At times, it can be difficult to see how this directly applies to and affects you in your own personal life. The air quality outdoors should not be your only concern, however.
Why is Controlling Indoor Air Quality Important?
Indoor air quality is also something important to consider. We spend a lot of time within our own homes, particularly during the winter months of the year. Poor air quality can affect our lives in very real ways. It can lead to the development of asthmatic symptoms in both children and adults. Certain funguses and molds can also initiate the development of dangerous health problems.
Common Air Quality Contaminates
There are many different indoor air contaminates that are found in homes. These contaminates vary from one house to another. Some of the most common contaminates include:
- Pets. Pets release dander into the air, which can exacerbate allergies and leave a difficult to remove odor in some homes.
- Cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke contains contaminates that can have serious ill health effects.
- Cleaning products. Cleaning products can release unhealthy chemicals and sharp odors in the air.
- Mold. Mold can create musty odors and can cause serious health problems for some people.
One more type of indoor air contaminate is known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs. VOCs are found in certain household products like paint. Homeowners who want to reduce their exposure to VOCs can do so by buying VOC-free products, like low VOC paints.
Some of the most common indoor air quality problems include dust, mold, bacteria, chemicals and other contaminates. People who come into contact with these types of household problems often experience a myriad of symptoms. Some include eye, nose, ear, throat and skin irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea and sinus problems. If you work outside your home and notice that these symptoms are disappearing after several hours outside of your home, it's possible one of these contaminates is affecting the quality of the air inside your home.
Strategies to Improve Indoor Air Qualities
There are several basic strategies to improving air quality in your home. The first is source control. Eliminating the individual sources of contaminates in your home, or finding a way to reduce their emissions, will go a long way in improving your home's air quality. Next, make ventilation improvements to increase the amount of outdoor air that enters your home. This will also lower the indoor contaminate levels in your home. Lastly, you can also purchase an air cleaner for your home. There are a variety of sizes available on the market to fit any budget.
Air contaminates in your home may be difficult to notice if you're not looking for the symptoms they induce in your home's residents. Keep an eye out for physical symptoms that could be a result of poor air quality, and you'll be halfway on your way to being able to improve the situation by using the strategies detailed above.
Keep Air Quality in Mind When Buying a New Home
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