You may not realize it, but there are many dangers inside of your home that could be causing serious harm to the health and wellbeing of your family. Dust, mold, and numerous hazardous building materials can lead to major respiratory issues, but the problem is that they are basically invisible, and in many cases, we don’t take a danger seriously if we can’t see it.
However, it is important to recognize what you cannot see because doing so will help you to breathe easier, think more clearly, and feel better overall. Let’s look at some common air quality problems and what you can do to eliminate or mitigate the threats.
Dangers of Carbon Monoxide
The bottom line is, if you have poor air quality, health hazards will catch up to you, especially if you spend a lot of time inside. The EPA reports that Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, and the more time we spend inside, the more likely it is that we will fall victim to the dangers of poor air quality.
While we know that many insecticides and cleaning products can cause harm if inhaled, one threat, carbon monoxide is invisible and odorless, making it especially dangerous.
Carbon monoxide can rear its ugly head in many ways. Inside the home, it can leak out of gas and wood-burning fireplaces, water heaters, and gas-powered stoves. Many people are familiar with the fact that cars emit this gas when turned on and running.
If your garage is connected to your home, make sure that the door between both is always closed. Since it is impossible to detect, the danger of a leak can only be determined by carbon monoxide detectors.
To protect against this threat, make it a habit every spring to test and replace the batteries in those detectors. These should be located on each level of the house and outside each bedroom. Also, make sure that all of your vents are clear, including those over your stove, furnace, and fireplace.
As a general rule, if it is known to emit carbon monoxide, it should never be used inside the home, and that includes generators, grills, and any type of motor vehicle.
Hidden Dangers Inside the Walls
There are many dangers hidden inside your walls that could seriously hamper your air quality and cause great harm without you even realizing it. One of those threats is mold, which is a fungus that can grow exponentially, especially in moist areas of your home or in rooms with limited light.
Unlike carbon monoxide, mold does have a smell. However, you may not recognize it until you start to feel the dangerous effects, including eye and throat irritation, wheezing, and skin rashes.
If you find mold in your home, you can scrub it away with clothing detergent or a mix of one part water, two parts baking soda, and one part white vinegar.
Another dangerous threat that can often be found in the building materials of houses constructed before 1980 is asbestos. Often found in roofing shingles, wall insulation, and floor tiles, asbestos is made of tiny fibers and if you breathe it in over a duration of time, those fibers can attach to your lungs and cause cancer and mesothelioma.
While lung cancer is the typical side effect, many medical establishments are also finding that this deadly chemical can also lead to heart disease.
Needless to say, if you have an older home, have it tested for asbestos. If it is found, move your family out until the dangerous building materials can be replaced. Lung diseases often begin with a persistent cough and shortness of breath, so if you feel any of these symptoms, see a doctor right away. You should also get a cardiovascular disease screening, which is often covered by Medicare.
Tips for Clean Air in Every Home
Even if you don’t have the most extreme dangers listed above, your home is still likely prone to dust and allergens that can cause irritation and breathing issues. As a first step, consider putting air purifiers in the rooms that you are in the most. The best purifiers have many great benefits, including removing COVID-19 germs and pulling toxins from the air that can often result in conditions like asthma. For professional dryer vent cleaning, look for Dan Dan The Carpet Man’s top-notch services.
You can also create a clean living space in the most natural way possible by placing air-purifying plants around your home. Plants have been found to absorb harmful toxins and provide a cleaner environment, in addition to their capacity to reduce stress, improve concentration, and put their owners in a better all-around mood.
Some of the best plants for this are the chrysanthemum, aloe vera, and the Chinese evergreen, due to their ability to cleanse the air of especially dangerous toxins like formaldehyde and benzene.
If you have a problem with excessive dust, you need to make it a point to clear your home of unnecessary clutter. That includes organizing your closet and getting rid of anything you no longer wear, so it is easier to clean and there are fewer items that can collect dust. You should also change your bedding every week, regularly beat the dust out of rugs and cushions, and upgrade your furnace filter every one to three months.
It is essential to recognize the importance of home air quality because doing so could mean living a healthier life and avoiding unnecessary illness. Keep an eye on the dangers discussed here and provide a safe space for your family.