Society has become increasingly more environmentally conscious. Few people, however, pay attention to the air quality in their own homes. This is problematic if the air is polluted with toxins and other irritants. If the goal is to improve the quality of the air we breathe, why not start at home?
If you?re not sure whether you should have your home?s air quality tested consider some of the factors below.
Listen to your body
One of the ways you can test for air-quality is by paying attention to your own body. For instance, ask yourself, do you frequently suffer from allergies or find yourself experiencing nausea, fatigue, headaches, or irritated sinuses? These may be symptoms that originate from the air in your home being over-filled with irritants such as dust and debris. These irritants may be comprised of dirt, air from outside, cleaning supply particles, dead skin, and mold?to name just a few.
Another way to gauge whether the air in your home is of poor quality is by checking your air vents. Do you notice clumps of dirt building up on the outside of the vent? When you open up the grate and see the ventilation filter, is the filter overfilled?
Sometimes people notice headaches after turning on their heaters. This is often a sign that the ventilation is over-filled with dust and debris. Kerosene heaters are also potential health risks depending on where they are placed. Studies show that if heating occurs in areas with poor ventilation there are a multitude of potential health problems that this can lead to. It?s well-advised to become familiar with the heat source keeping your home warm. Depending on the kind of heating your home uses, it?s often a good idea to install carbon monoxide and radon detectors in your home, as these gases are lethal and impossible to detect otherwise.
Pay attention to the moisture levels in your home. It?s important to recognize any areas in your home where moisture frequently builds up and to keep them as dry as possible. Areas such as bathrooms, pipes, confined spaces, areas of condensation etc. are the usual suspects. If moisture is allowed to linger in any area for too long it?s an invitation for mold and mildew to take root. Not only is mold unpleasant to look at, it can also pose a significant health risk. If you do happen to find mold in your home it?s highly recommended to perform an air quality test as soon as possible.
The Age of Your Home
Another factor to consider is how old your home is. Homes built before around 1980 used harmful materials such as lead-based paint, or asbestos. If you?re living in an older home consider having an air-quality test performed for your peace of mind.