When someone mentions poor air quality, we might immediately think of the smog that hangs around our major cities or the hazy smoke that erupts out of factories. Yes, air quality is often perceived as an outdoors issue, not something that we worry about in our homes. But the fact is, the air that’s in your home might be worse than what’s outside. The air in your home might be polluted by harmful substances like lead, mold, radon, and chemicals from cleaning products.
All of these substances have a negative impact on our health, as some develop allergies, or irritate existing health concerns. This becomes of greater concern as people spend more time indoors and in their homes. The key to improving our health begins at home and with the quality of our indoor air. In today’s blog post, NOW Environmental will cover some simple ways that you can improve your indoor air quality.
Keep Your Floors Clean
While not everyone loves mopping and vacuuming, it has added benefits beyond making your home look nice. By keeping your floors clean, you can reduce the number of pollutants and allergens in your home. If you’re still using a vacuum that was built last century, it might be time to upgrade to a new machine that incorporates a HEPA filter. Vacuums with rotating brushes, a HEPA filter, and strong suction keeps dirt and dust from flying out of the machine’s exhaust. This keeps dirt and grime in the vacuum where it belongs. To ensure that you suck up as many pollutants as possible, vacuum two or more times a week, and wash your filter every month or so. Don’t be afraid to vacuum high-use areas more than once, and make sure to target the walls, the edge of the carpets, and even fabric-covered furniture.
For hardwood floors, it’s good practice to wipe down these surfaces after you’ve vacuumed them. Not only does it keep it cleaner, it also picks up any dirt or dust that the vacuum missed. Rather than using a chemical cleaner that could introduce more irritants to your indoor air, you can rely on plain, clean water.
Cut Back On VOCs In Your Home
Whether you realize it or not, you likely introduce many VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, into your home on a regular basis. These chemicals are present in innocuous things like body care products, furniture, paint, construction materials, and many other products. By increasing your exposure to VOCs, you’re also setting yourself up for more frequent headaches, a feeling of weakness, and respiratory issues like asthma. Fortunately, you can easily limit and reduce the number of VOCs in your home by being a more conscious consumer. Purchase products that do not use synthetic fragrances. Store chemical cleaners and solvents outside of your living areas. An outdoor shed is ideal, but a well-ventilated garage will do too. Finally, make sure to keep your house ventilated while working on construction or home improvement projects, especially painting.
Keep Your Home Smoke Free
This should be no surprise, as the negative health effects of cigarette smoke have been well-documented for decades. But second-hand smoke has also been shown to have a severe impact on the health of families who live in a home with smokers. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals that can increase an individual’s likelihood of developing diseases and illnesses like asthma, heart attacks, and cancer. The best way to remove these harmful chemicals from your home is to stop smoking entirely. However, if you’re struggling to quit smoking or are someone who isn’t interested in quitting, simply smoke outside, as this dramatically reduces the number of chemicals that are introduced into the home.
Conduct AN IAQ Test
If you’re not sure what the quality of the air in your home is like, it’s time to have an Indoor Air Quality test done. As members of the Indoor Quality Association, NOW Environmental uses the latest testing and sampling techniques to provide you an accurate understanding of the quality of air in your home. We can test for the presence of harmful molds, toxic gases, lead, asbestos, radon, and many others.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the quality of your indoor air, contact the asbestos testing and IAQ specialists at NOW Environmental in Seattle. We’re happy to discuss your concerns and provide you with a free estimate. Breathe easier—call NOW Environmental today.