7 Questions to ask – How pure is the air in your home?

1. Does anyone smoke in the house?

Tobacco smoke is a major cause of poor indoor air quality. It contains more than 4,000 chemicals, many of them toxic or cancer-causing. Avoid smoking indoors or restrict it to well-ventilated or isolated areas. Never expose children to cigarette smoke, especially if they have asthma or allergies.

2. Do you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove?

If a wood-burning fireplace or stove is improperly vented, it can give off nitrogen dioxide and particles that may cause respiratory problems. Clean your fireplace or wood stove regularly and have it professionally inspected before each heating season.

3. Do you have a gas stove range?

Gas stoves can emit carbon monoxide, a toxic gas that can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and confusion — even death. Install an exhaust fan vented to the outdoors over your gas stove. Ask your gas company to adjust the burner properly so that the flame tip is blue (not constantly yellow, which shows improper adjustment). If you buy a new gas stove, consider choosing a model with pilotless ignition. Never heat your home with your gas stove.

4. Is your attic or basement well ventilated?

Ventilating your attic and basement or crawl space and keeping humidity levels below 50% can keep moisture from building up within your home. A humid home can develop mold, which can worsen allergies and asthma attacks and cause other respiratory problems. Also, consider using a dehumidifier during humid weather.

5. Do you use a humidifier or air cooling system?

Molds, bacteria, and viruses can grow in the stagnant water that collects in humidifiers and air cooling systems. Then they can spread through the air to cause illness. Clean humidifiers frequently according to manufacturer’s instructions, and fill them daily with fresh water. Also clean evaporation trays in air cooling systems often.

6. Do you have pets?

People can be allergic to pet dander (the small scales of skin that animals shed), as well as to pet saliva. Bathing and grooming your pet often, preferably by someone who isn’t allergic to the animal, may help. Keep pets out of certain areas of the house like your bedroom — or at least limiting their time there. Sometimes, though, people who are allergic to animals may need to forgo pets.

7. Is your house carpeted?

Water-damaged carpeting lets molds and bacteria breed. Getting rid of bacteria and mold can be tough, so if possible, remove and replace water-damaged carpets.

If you add new carpets, adhesives, and padding, they can release chemicals that cause headaches; eye, nose, and throat irritation; and other symptoms. Ask carpet retailers for lower-emitting products. Consider leaving your house during carpet installation, and open doors and windows to ventilate newly carpeted rooms.

Article reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD and provided by WebMD

If you have any questions, concerns or require additional information please feel free to comment below or contact us at any of the sources provided. info@hoggmechanical.com, 519.579.5330, Twitter @HoggMechanical, Facebook Hogg Mechanical


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