Is Your Home Air Quality Healthy and Clean? A 101 Guide to Find It Out

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Written By Berry Mathew

While we cannot control the quality of the air we breathe outdoors, we do have some control over the air quality in our homes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for regulating both outdoor and indoor air quality. According to the EPA, indoor air quality can sometimes be 100 times worse than outdoor air.

The quality of the air at home will affect our health more than outdoor air quality does, because we spend a lot of our time at home. Unhealthy air can contribute to or exacerbate health problems such as asthma and allergies.

We should therefore try our best to ensure that the air inside our homes is free of all pollutants so that we can protect our families.

What Leads to Bad Air Quality?

When people think of air pollution, they think of acid rain and thick smog clouding over the skies of big cities. However, sometimes it is the seemingly harmless things that we are unaware of as pollutants until they start causing health concerns. It could be the freshly painted walls or the fresh smell of new plastic coming off of the new set of toys you got for the children.

It could also be due to really old or damaged air filters in your air conditioning and HVAC systems. When they get old, they can no longer carry out their function of trapping dust particles, pollen, and other contaminants. To fix them or swap them out for new ones, you should hire the services of professionals, such as this company that carries out HVAC repair in Louisville, Kentucky.

Dust particles, mites, pollen, and pet dander are non-chemical pollutants that can lead to a reduction in air quality. Carbon monoxide and radon are colorless and odorless gases that can act as chemical contaminants. Mold, mildew, and spores are also hazards that can be hard to detect and will require the help of professionals to get rid of.

The cleanliness of the space, the building materials used in its construction, and its purpose are all factors that determine the healthiness and cleanliness of the air within it.

How to Check the Air Quality of Your Space

Pay Attention to What Your Body Is Feeling, and Take Note of It

Individuals with lung problems may experience increased struggles, which could indicate issues with the air quality. Worsening allergy symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and headaches and the development of new ones like nausea and rashes should alert you and let you know that something might be wrong.

A scratchy throat and watery eyes are examples of allergic reactions to pollutants. If there are dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in the house, nausea and constipation are some symptoms that you will notice.

It is important to be observant and promptly notice any changes in your health. Do you immediately start coughing when you enter a particular room in the house? Does being at home give you chronic headaches that clear immediately when you step outside for some fresh air? We can’t rule out the fact that these symptoms might not be connected to bad air quality, but it is always better to be sure of this.

Get an Indoor Air Quality Monitor

Air quality monitors are an affordable means of detecting and recording air quality values. These devices measure things like the humidity, temperature, level of volatile organic compounds present in the family home, levels of particulate matter, and the air quality index.

If safe levels of these values are exceeded, an air quality monitor will beep and alert you so that you can carry out appropriate steps to make the air clean again.

Keep an Eye on the Levels of Radon and Carbon Monoxide in Your Home

Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. It is a gas that is generated as a byproduct of home appliances such as stoves, furnaces, fireplaces, and water heaters. Carbon monoxide can be called a silent killer, and it will build up to dangerous levels in poorly ventilated areas.

Radon can lead to lung cancer due to long-term exposure to it. It is a radioactive gas that is a byproduct of the breakdown of uranium. It can seep into people’s homes from the soil and well water. You can buy carbon monoxide and radon detectors to help you monitor the levels of these chemicals in your house.

Steps to Improve Air Quality in Your Home

Once you have identified that the air quality in your home is not as clean and healthy as it should be, the next step is to take action to improve it.

Ensure Proper and Adequate Ventilation

Open the doors and windows as much as possible to allow the stale air to flow out and fresh air to enter. Even in winter when it is really cold and this is something you would not normally do, try to open the windows for at least a little period of time so that fresh air will circulate.

Establish a Regular Routine of Dusting and Vacuuming the Home

Regularly dusting and vacuuming helps to remove dust particles and mites from the environment. Additionally, wiping down surfaces with a damp cloth helps to remove particles that may have adhered to them.

Buy an Air Purifier

An air purifier can operate by either releasing negatively charged ions to attract and trap particulate matter on surfaces or by using HEPA filters to screen and collect it from the air.

Electronic air purifiers are way more effective than filtered ones, as they remove dust particles, allergens, and mold spores.

You Could Also Buy a Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier performs the function of reducing the level of humidity in the air. It will draw out excess moisture in the air and this will reduce or prevent the growth of mold spores in the house.

Spend Some Money on an AC

An air conditioning system will cool the house, and improve the air quality. It also helps to reduce humidity and eliminate airborne pollutants.

Get Some House Plants

Plants do a very good job of recycling the air and cleaning it. they don’t make a really huge difference, but a little is always better than nothing. However, if you have allergies, it is not recommended as certain plants may trigger your symptoms.

Key Takeaways

We cannot control the quality of the air we are exposed to outside our homes, regardless of its condition. We spend more time at home, and we need to pay attention to the quality of the air we breathe there, especially as it can have really important effects on our health.

To determine if the indoor air quality is poor, you can purchase an air quality monitor and monitor your health symptoms. Investing in an AC or some houseplants and ensuring proper ventilation in the house are ways to improve the quality of air at home.