Keeping the air in your home clean can have many benefits from warding off respiratory diseases to preserving the life of technology. Below are some of the most common indoor air contaminants and how to reduce levels for each of them.
If there is too much dust in the air, you are likely to experience problems such as sneezing or wheezing. Those with dust mite allergies may suffer more serious symptoms. Dust can also destroy hardware such as computers. If surfaces and carpets aren’t regularly cleaned, dust can build up on them, which can be kicked up into the air. To beat dust, make sure that you are keeping your home clean.
If you have pets that shed hair, this could also affect the air quality of your home. Some people can develop serious allergies to pet dander (saliva and other substances found in animal’s fur) which could result in sneezing or breathing difficulties. Cleaning your home can reduce levels of pet hair in the air. It could also be worth brushing long-haired animals when molting.
Smoking indoors could make your whole home smell like smoke (and cause nicotine stains on walls). It can also be bad for the air quality in your home – even when you’re not smoking a cigarette, you’ll be breathing in smoke and anyone in your home will also breathe this in. Both smoking and second-hand smoking can lead to lung diseases. Consider setting a rule of smoking outdoors to keep the air in your home cleaner and healthier.
Mold is a fungus that thrives in humid conditions. Breathing in mold spores can lead to a respiratory disease called aspergillosis, which can lead to mold growing in the lungs. If there is mold on your walls there is likely mold in the air. You can get rid of mold using anti-fungal sprays and by tackling any sources of the dampness of humidity (ventilating your home and repairing leaks can often prevent mold growth).
VOCs are toxins given off by various chemical products such as paints, cleaning products and deodorizers. Exhaust fumes can also produce VOCs. Exposure to VOCs has been linked to a higher risk of developing cancer. You can reduce VOCs in your home by looking for low-VOC products. If you live near a busy road meanwhile, you may want to take measures to prevent VOCs entering your home from cars such as closing windows facing roads and using extractor fans and air con to provide ventilation.
Asbestos is a material that was used in many old homes for insulation. When damaged, asbestos can cause harmful dust particles to be released into the air, which when breathed in can lead to a deadly disease called mesothelioma. Some mesothelioma symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath and persistent coughing. If your home hasn’t been checked for asbestos already, it could be worth arranging an inspection and getting any asbestos professionally removed to protect your health.
Radon is a toxic gas naturally produced underground. It can seep up into homes through faulty foundations. If a home is poorly ventilated, radon levels can build up in a home. This can lead to serious health problems in the future such as lung cancer. A radon test kit may be able to reveal if radon levels are high in your home. You can get rid of radon in your home by sealing up foundations or improving insulation.