With today’s impeccable sealing and insulation capabilities, the air inside your home can actually end up being 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside. In fact, there are so many common indoor air pollutants to discuss that they wouldn’t all fit in one blog! That being said, read on to see part one of our indoor air pollutant round-up:
Asbestos – Arguably one of the most dangerous indoor air quality contaminants, asbestos is a fibrous mineral that is commonly found in older homes. Before the health risks of asbestos had been discovered, many contractors used building materials containing asbestos for its durability. As long as it remains untouched and intact, asbestos is seemingly harmless. However, when disturbed, the fibers break down and are released into the air, causing severe breathing problems and even cancer. Should you discover an asbestos issue in your home, it’s best to call a removal professional immediately.
Bacterial and Viral Illnesses – We all know how important it is to cover our mouths when coughing or sneezing to protect those around us. But, did you ever consider that with each cough or sneeze, those viral or bacterial properties are now brought into your home’s air? Without a proper ventilation system, germs can become trapped circulating within your home, worsening illness and getting others sick as well.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) – Commonly referred to as the silent killer, this dangerous gas is odorless and colorless, and is a product of burning fuels. When inhaled, CO reduces your blood’s ability to carry oxygen. If exposed for long periods of time, the body and its organs will begin to shut down due to lack of oxygen. Common sources of CO include, gas appliances, fireplaces, furnaces, charcoal grills and automobile exhausts. Since so many of these are commonly found in the home, it’s imperative to have multiple working CO detectors throughout your home at all times.
Cleaning Supplies – If you’re using chemical based cleaners, the risk of contaminating your home’s indoor air quality is very high. A variety of chemical cleaners have been proven to cause eye and throat irritation, as well as headaches, fever and chronic respiratory issues. Some common chemicals to stay away from are ammonia, bleach and any volatile organic compounds. If you must use chemical cleaning products, make sure your home’s ventilation system is working properly and open as many windows as you can.
Cockroaches – Not only are they creepy and riddled with disease, but cockroaches can also carry several allergens as well. Studies have shown that cockroach allergens have been known to aggravate and worsen the effects of asthma and even cause asthma to develop all-together when young children are exposed. The contaminants they release settle in bedding, carpets and upholstery, waiting to be inhaled by you and your family.
Dust Mites – Similar to cockroaches, dust mites produce harmful allergens that develop from their fecal pellets and body fragments. While these tiny organisms are not harmful themselves, the allergens they produce can cause chronic allergy and asthma symptoms. To put it into perspective, hundred of thousands of dust mites can live in your bedding, mattress, furniture or carpets at a time. While there truly is no way to get rid of them, having a functioning ventilation system can help keep symptoms at bay.
How’s your home’s indoor air quality? Allow the team at Tyler Heating, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration LLC to provide a full in-home consultation so we can suggest ways to improve the air you breathe day-to-day. Call 203-378-4700 for more information.