Does Your Home Have Clean Air?

You built your home so you could protect yourself and your family. It keeps out the snow, the wind, the rain, and the heat. It also bars thieves from harming what you treasure. But it doesn't keep everything out.

Your home actually attracts certain dangers, like dirty air. Even if you regularly clean your house from top to bottom, it could still have contaminants floating around in it.

What Contaminates Indoor Air?

Your home's air could contain any of the following:

  • Mould—Most homes have some kind of mould in them. Mould gives off tiny spores that you could inhale. And if you have toxic mould, it could go beyond distressing you and make you sick.
  • Bacteria—Even though every surface you've ever touched has had bacteria on it, you should still be concerned about it. If you have unsafe levels of bacteria in your air, your whole family could suffer.
  • Mites—Mites have small droppings and body parts that you could easily inhale. Their feces contain allergens that bring on cold-like or asthma-like symptoms.
  • Cockroaches—Cockroach droppings, saliva, and body parts also contain allergens that cause discomfort.
  • Animal fur/dander—Unfortunately, our furry friends often contaminate our air. Their hair, feces, saliva, and urine can all trigger allergic responses.
  • Pollen—These plant-based pollutants will not harm you, but they will make breathing uncomfortable.
  • Carbon monoxide—This combustible, toxic gas can come from heaters, furnaces, grills, and stoves.
  • Ozone—Ozone comes from chemicals and electronic devices. It can damage your lungs.
  • Household cleaners—Synthetic cleaners can contain all kinds of toxic materials.
  • Perfume—Just like household cleaners, perfumes often contain toxic or unhealthy chemicals.
  • Tobacco smoke—As you've seen in the ads, tobacco smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, many of which are poisons or carcinogens.

How Do You Know If Contaminants Are Present?

So how do you know if your home contains any of the contaminants listed above? You watch for these signs:

  • Sinus congestion (sniffling)
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Headaches
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny noses
  • Itchy throats
  • Skin rashes
  • Exhaustion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

You may experience additional symptoms if you have highly concentrated chemical contaminants. However, they'll also start like an allergic reaction. So if everyone begins to have allergies at the same time, you should have your indoor air inspected.

You may also see signs around your home, like dust buildup on furniture, walls, windowsills, etc. You should consider cleaning your air if you see columns of floating dust when sunlight shines through the windows.

However, if you'd like to have proof before you update your ventilation, call your local HVAC professional and schedule an inspection. A professional can analyze your home's air using sophisticated technology that identifies each contaminant. That analysis can help you find the best way to combat allergens and toxins.

How Do You Eliminate Contaminants?

The method depends on the contaminants, but the professionals will usually recommend the following:

A cleaner home—Your home may feel hygienic, but you can take cleaning a step further by purchasing new disinfectant equipment. Microfiber mops and vacuums with HEPA filters will ensnare contaminants. Doormats keep family members and visitors from tracking allergens in. You should also make your home a no-smoking zone, and you should buy natural, green cleaners.

A new ventilation system—Did you know that many HVAC systems don't bring new air into your home? They just recycle the old air over and over, which means that contaminants have nowhere to go. They just build up over time, slowly increasing your breathing discomfort. To combat this, you'll need to install a new ventilation system that brings new, untainted air in from outside.

A new air purifier—You'll also need to install an air purifier. They don't usually remove gaseous pollutants like carbon monoxide, but they'll tackle everything else. Most homes have more biological contaminants anyway, and you'll feel much better with the pollen and fur out of the air. Just remember to change the filter regularly so it doesn't clog. A clogged air purifier won't do you any good.

You can often buy air purifiers on your own, but you'll need to consult an HVAC company about the ventilation system. Don't try to install a ventilation system on your own unless you have the experience.

After you've used the information above, you'll have much cleaner air. Don’t suffer any longer; use these tips (and call your ventilation specialist at East Side Ventilation) to start breathing easier today.