Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Improve home health and safety by clearing the air

We spend at least a third of our lives inside our homes, so it’s sensible to ensure the air we breathe is as clean and fresh as possible. But even the tidiest homes can have air contamination issues if their HVAC systems aren’t properly maintained and removing airborne particulates. Worse are more pernicious issues, such as mold growth and the accidental release of toxic gases such as radon and carbon monoxide.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, basic air quality problems result from inadequate ventilation. A home may be poorly ventilated if ….
  • Moisture condenses on windows or walls
  • The air in the home is smelly or stuffy
  • Areas where books and shoes are stored are moldy
Tip: You might not notice such telltale odors in your own home. If not, give these areas of your home a visual check for mold or moisture.

Breathe Easier

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association says a typical six-room home accumulates up to 40 pounds of dust annually. Regular cleaning of your home will help reduce this accumulation, but to do so even more, be sure …
  • Your total HVAC gets periodic cleaning and servicing to remove dirt and dust from ducts and mechanical parts.
  • Know that clean HVAC systems are energy-efficient. Dirty systems work harder to move air throughout the home and struggle to maintain desired temperatures.
  • More work for the HVAC means higher heating and cooling costs.
  • A thoroughly clean system reduces the buildup of potentially irritating allergens.
Chemical Reaction

It's estimated that four-fifths of all American homes fall short of recommended safe levels for airborne chemicals such as formaldehyde, second-hand smoke and growing mold, as well as gases such as carbon monoxide and radon. Good circulation will help to reduce to the first three, but to eliminate radon and carbon monoxide troubles... 
  • Buy a home air check test kit or have a professional inspection check levels of both gases, which are odorless and colorless
  • Houses with appliances or heaters that burn wood, oil, natural gas or coal should have carbon monoxide detectors installed outside of sleeping areas.
  • Consider having a professional inspect heaters and appliances for potentially toxic gas leakage
Healthful Knowledge

Learning more about home air quality is a great way to ensure your living space is the cleanest it can be. For more information, visit these resources on the Internet or call your local HomeTeam Inspection Service:

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