This June marks the first ever National Healthy Homes Month. One of the most important things you can do to achieve a healthy home is to take steps to improve your indoor air quality. A healthy home begins with healthy air. The air inside of your home may contain harmful pollutants that can cause a host of health problems. Some of these problems can trigger immediate health problems such as allergies and asthma, while other airborne pollutants can cause more serious health problems down the road such as cancer.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made several recommendations on ways to improve your home air quality. Follow these tips to get on track towards achieving a healthy home for you and your family:
Tip #1 Use and properly maintain your ventilation system
Use your home’s exhaust fan when cooking. Have your HVAC system cleaned and inspected annually and change/clean your filter according to manufacturer’s recommended guidelines. The most effective type of ventilation for a home is a mechanical, ducted, whole-house system that provides a steady supply of fresh, filtered, conditioned/heated air from the outside while exhausting stale interior air.
Tip #2 Prevent mold by controlling moisture and humidity
Keep the humidity level of your home at a comfortable level and look for signs of moisture. Check for signs of mold around pipes, air conditioners, and window sills.
Tip #3 Keep your home smoke-free
The dangers of breathing in second-hand smoke have been well documented. According to the American Lung Association, there are approximately 600 ingredients in cigarettes. When burned, they create more than 7,000 chemicals. At least 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are poisonous. Do not allow anyone to smoke inside of your home, near ventilation intakes, or in your garage.
Tip #4 Reduce asthma triggers
Asthma attacks can be triggered by a number of allergens such as: dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and other airborne particles. The most effective way to reduce asthma triggers is by removing these contaminants from your home air. Clean your home regularly using microfiber dust cloths and a HEPA filtered vacuum to trap and remove asthma triggers.
Tip #5 Test your home air
For absolute peace of mind, test your home air for total levels of VOCs, actively growing mold, formaldehyde, and tobacco smoke. Comprehensive testing will alert you to the presence of any air quality threats so that you can take the steps necessary towards remediation and achieving healthy home air. Make the commitment to purchase a Home Air Test this June in support of National Healthy Homes Month.