Is The Air In Your Home Hurting You?
As we reach the height of fall, plenty people are enjoying the opportunity to spend a bit more time outside in the fresh air before the temperature makes it more comfortable to stay in; but what about outdoor air makes it so much more “fresh” than indoor air? Surprisingly, indoor air might actually be actively harmful to your health. The EPA estimates that indoor air quality is usually two to five times dirtier than outdoor air. Before winter hits and you and your family are pushed back indoors for the coldest months of the year, here are a few things you can do to improve the air quality in your home.
Choose Indoor Paints Carefully
When you’re painting and decorating your home, there are a few more things you’ll need to keep in mind than just what color you pick, especially if you live in a home with children. According to Sweden’s Dampness in Buildings and Health study, among children with multiple allergic symptoms, PGE-exposure nearly doubled the likelihood of developing allergic sensitivities to other allergens. If you have young kids or are planning on having kids, look to select a paint for your walls that’s as natural as possible to limit off-gassing impacting your home’s air quality.
Clean Your Vents Regularly
When was the last time you had your vents professionally cleaned? Most people look past this regular maintenance because it’s hard to know just when you’re due for another cleaning; you don’t regularly look inside your vents, after all. However, dust and allergens can regularly build up in your vents, especially during seasons where heating is going to be used more frequently, so it’s a good idea to get them cleaned on a regular basis.
Be Mindful Of Pets
If you’re one of the millions of households in the United States that owns a pet, you’ll need to be extra mindful of your indoor air quality. Pets contribute a variety of allergens to the air in your home. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 80% of Americans are exposed to dust mites on a daily basis and 60% are exposed to pet dander, which can cause health problems particularly for people who suffer from asthma and allergies. Do your best to clean up carefully after your pet, particularly for furry friends like cats, dogs, hamsters, and more. The more your pet sheds, the more they’re going to affect the air quality in your home, particularly for those with asthma or allergies.
Know Your Heating Systems
How familiar are you with what makes your heating system work? The more you know about how your furnace works, the more you can mitigate its impact on your home’s air quality. This is especially true for gas heaters, which will automatically impact the air quality in your home by virtue of how they work. Learning more can also help you save money on your heat as well; depending on the size of the container and the type of gas, the product costs can run from $100 to as much as $3,000. Knowing more about your existing systems helps you keep them clean and save on your energy bill later on.
Keeping your home from feeling stuffy in the fall and winter starts with addressing the indoor air quality in your living space. What do you plan to do to make your home’s air fresher before the coldest months of the year arrive?