Indoor Air Quality At Home Tips

download-18In the air we breathe outdoors, we know that smog and other pollutants are a big cause for concern. But don’t assume that the air quality inside your home is perfectly safe. A number of chemicals found in the home can pollute the air, making indoor air quality testing essential for a healthy home.

The Clues: Signs of Indoor Air Quality Problems

How do you know if you should be concerned about your indoor air quality? Look for these common warning signs that may indicate you have indoor air pollutants:

  • You feel sick at home and better when you’re away.
  • You’ve noticed problems, even just extra dirt, around heating or cooling units.
  • Air doesn’t seem to be circulating properly in the house.
  • You spot mold in your home.
  • Your indoor air is humid, resulting in condensation.
  • There’s been damage to a chimney or flue.
  • Your home’s construction is too tight.
  • You’ve noticed changes in your health after renovating or remodeling.
  • The air in your home always smells old or stuffy.
  • There’s an odor in the air that you can’t get rid of.

If you suspect you have an issue with indoor air quality, you can perform tests to see if specific air pollutants are infiltrating your home and possibly affecting your health.

Improve the air quality in your home year-round with these seasonal tasks.

The Culprits: Potential Air Pollutants

Before you test your indoor air quality, you need to know what you’re looking for. Here are some of the most common indoor air pollutants that could be contaminating your home:

  • Asbestos
  • Radon
  • Lead and lead dust
  • Household chemicals
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Dust and molds
  • Pet hair and dander
  • Rodents and cockroaches

The Sources: Where Indoor Air Pollutants Originate

There are many ways that air pollutants can contaminate the air inside your home. Most often, chemicals or materials inside the home emit gases or particulates. Poor ventilation and circulation don’t allow contaminants to flow out of the home; very humid homes and climates are also a breeding ground for contaminants.

Here are some sources of indoor air pollutants that can impair your indoor air quality, particularly when ventilation isn’t good:

  • Household chemicals, solvents, and cleaning products
  • Malfunctioning space heaters
  • Poorly vented furnaces or stoves
  • Outdoor air pollution that gets in
  • Pesticide use
  • Wood, kerosene, oil, gas, and coal burned for heat
  • Insulation made with asbestos
  • Carpets, furniture, and rugs that have been treated with chemicals or have become wet
  • Tobacco products and smoke