To celebrate Healthy Lung Month and National Respiratory Care Week (October 21-27), the Environmental Protection Agency is reminding homeowners of the importance of clean indoor air. Regular exposure to pollutants can aggravate existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma, and may even cause serious lung problems in previously healthy individuals.
Control Moisture in Your Home
One of the most common causes of poor indoor air quality is moisture. Leaks from the roof and windows can allow moisture to enter a house and accumulate, which can lead to mold and mildew. This can cause respiratory problems or worsen the symptoms of conditions such as asthma. Have your home thoroughly inspected annually to find any sources of leaks and have them repaired to prevent mold.
Another way to prevent mold and respiratory issues is to control the level of humidity in your home from daily activities. The kitchen and bathrooms are the rooms most likely to become humid from the use of the stove and shower. Use an exhaust fan in the kitchen to vent moisture to the outside of the house. Turn on a fan in the bathroom or open a window to prevent steam from the shower from causing mold. You can also use a dehumidifier to control the humidity level throughout the house.
Check for Dangerous Gases
Your family may be exposed to gases at home that you cannot see or smell, but that could put your lives at risk. Carbon monoxide and radon can cause serious illness and even death. Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home and have the house tested for radon.
Avoid Other Contaminants
Don’t allow anyone to smoke inside your house. Secondhand smoke can sicken or even kill others, especially children and elderly people. The smell can also linger and can be hard to remove from furniture and carpet.
You may love your furry friends, but pets may be causing your home’s indoor air quality to suffer. Pets can shed fur and leave dander all over furniture and carpet. If you or someone in your family has an animal allergy, keep your pets as clean as possible, cover or clean your furniture on a regular basis, and vacuum frequently to minimize exposure to allergens.
Many common household chemicals can also have a negative impact on indoor air quality. Cleaning supplies, pesticides, and chemicals used for arts and crafts can affect the lungs. Avoid using chemicals inside your house as much as possible. If it is absolutely necessary, open windows and use fans to ventilate the room.
Have Your HVAC System Cleaned
The vents and ducts that make up your home’s heating and air conditioning system can accumulate a variety of contaminants. This is why it is important to have the HVAC system cleaned and filters replaced on a regular basis. Doing so can help you maintain healthy air quality in your home. Preferred HD can clean your vents and ducts to remove contaminants and protect your family’s health.