The 5 Worst Air Pollutants In Your Home
See Why Indoor Air Quality Should Be One Of Your Biggest Priorities
It’s easy to think of your home as this perfect little bubble of safety from the big bad world beyond. However, the air in your home can potentially be a great deal more polluted than what’s outside. While some of the pollutants, like pet dander or dust, can be annoying, they don’t really pose much of a threat. Others, however, can be quite risky - even deadly.
Many appliances in your home generate carbon monoxide gas upon burning fuel. Gas ovens, water heaters and grills can all contribute to the CO level in your home. Even your car, if the engine is running while it sits in the garage, can be a major source. This odorless, tasteless and colorless gas can cause symptoms like nausea, headache and blurred vision - and in high enough concentrations, even death.
Since it’s impossible to detect through sight or smell alone, it’s important to have detection technology in your home. Carbon monoxide detectors are inexpensive but priceless in terms of the peace of mind they can offer. If you have appliances powered by gas, one of these detectors is just as important, if not more so, than your smoke alarm. If anyone in your home is showing signs of CO poisoning, get them outside to fresh air and seek medical help immediately.
We’ve all seen the commercials talking about mesothelioma. This dangerous cancer is just one of many potential problems that can be caused by asbestos. The material is a highly fire resistant fiber that was used to help protect homes prior to the 1980s, but over time it’s been discovered the fibers can get airborne and if they do, they spell trouble for your lungs.
You can help mitigate the issue with a HEPA-based air filter, but the only way to be certain you’re safe - especially if you live in an older home - is to contact a professional to inspect your home and properly remove any asbestos that remains.
Radon is a radioactive gas that results from the decay of uranium in the soil. If your home has a crawlspace, or you’ve got cracks in your concrete foundation, this colorless, tasteless and odorless gas can seep into your home, bringing its dangerous radioactivity with it. Scientists consider it the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
One way to combat radon in your home is to install a radon reduction system that can help pull it out of your air. It’s also important to seal up any cracks in your crawlspace, your floor or your walls to keep it from getting in your home.
Curious as to the number one cause of lung cancer? Because here it is. The dangers of cigarette smoke are well-documented at this point, but it cannot be stressed enough how dangerous it is inside your home. Cigarette smoke is not just one problem - it’s a host of chemicals, some poisonous, some carcinogenic - and if it’s in your home you and your family are being exposed to all of them.
Obviously the best mitigation technique is to stop smoking, but absent that, if you do have to smoke, always do it outside. HEPA-powered air filters can help remove some of the particulates from the air, but the best way to protect your family is to not smoke indoors.
Mold in general is bad for your home. It’s an allergen, it has an unpleasant smell and is unsightly. But Stachybotrys, otherwise known as black mold, is dangerous on top of it. It can cause severe respiratory distress, particularly in children and those with weakened immune systems.
High humidity levels are the key driver of mold growth in your home, so a whole home dehumidifier is a good option for keeping them under control if you live in a humid climate. If you do find mold, you can use a commercial cleaning solution or make your own with a cup of bleach in a gallon of water. For severe problems, you’ll want a mold mitigation professional.
R.S. Andrews Can Help You Breathe Easier
It’s not worth exposing your family to these pollutants when there are steps you can take to clean them up. While there are DIY solutions, nothing is a substitute for a professional company with decades of experience in these matters. If you’re looking for a thorough examination of your home’s air quality and expert recommendations on how to make it better, give us a call at 843-706-5090 today!