You probably expend a lot of effort keeping your home spic-and-span: shiny floors, vacuumed and steamed carpets, dusted and polished furniture and all the rest. But what about your home's indoor air quality? Is this even on your cleaning radar?
The Environmental Protection Agency has found that indoor air in most homes tends to be more polluted than the air outside. Few homeowners realize that even with their best efforts at cleaning, their homes generate some heavy-duty pollutants that can impact negatively the occupants' health: mold, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), dust mites and dust, pet dander, pollen and radon are just some. The effects of these pollutants range from irritating and allergic to deadly, so it's a good idea to determine what might be floating around in your home's air.
Mold—There are many types of mold, and not all are a reason for alarm, but to be on the safe side, prevent the super-moist conditions that promote mold. Fix plumbing leaks ASAP, and install exhaust ventilation to the outdoors in the bathroom or over the kitchen range.
VOCs—How do VOCs (volatile organic compounds) get in your home? VOCs penetrate your home from pressed wood products, to cleaning solutions and paint, to dry cleaning. Air out products with VOCs and dry cleaning before bringing them into your home; tightly cap all VOC-laden chemicals and store them in the garage.
Dust, Dust Mites, Pollen, Pet Dander—Dust just happens when carpet, textiles and other substances break down into airborne particles. Dust mites flourish in damp areas and in bedding, so follow a rigorous cleaning regimen. Pollen, which mostly drifts in from outdoors, also originates with indoor plants. Contain plants to one room. Pet dander, obviously, comes from Fido and Fifi, so brush them outdoors.
Radon—Have your home tested for this cancer-causing gas; follow professional recommendations for containment if it's found.
A good quality air filter will trap many of the airborne particles listed above, helping you prevent allergic or other reactions to them. Learn more from P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling, serving Greater Cleveland since 1936.