Breathe Easy: How to Control Household Pollutants
Did you know indoor air can be many times worse than outdoor air? You probably consider your home a safe place, but everyday activities, such as cooking, cleaning, heating and cooling can lead to dangerously high indoor air pollution levels. Follow these do’s and don’ts of controlling household pollutants to help you breathe easy.
- Have major appliances inspected annually: Your furnace, air conditioner or heat pump can contribute to indoor air pollution if it’s not serviced yearly. Mold growth, dirty air filters, carbon monoxide leaks and excess moisture will all be addressed during each visit.
- Run exhaust fans: Cooking and showering can increase indoor moisture levels, while cleaning can introduce chemicals and fumes into the home. Run the kitchen or bathroom exhaust fan when participating in these activities to help control household pollutants.
- Wash bedding in hot water: Dust mites love upholstery and bedding, so to reduce the presence of these microscopic insects in your bedroom, you should wash your bedding every seven to 10 days in 130-degree water. You can encase mattresses and pillows with hypoallergenic covers to further reduce exposure to dust mites.
- Attempt to clean up large areas of mold by yourself: Mold is a huge problem for people with sensitive respiratory systems. You can clean small areas of mold without help, but if patches larger than one-square foot are covered with mold, you should seek professional help to remove it safely.
- Over humidify your home during the winter: Colder air can’t hold much moisture, which is why water condenses on cold surfaces, such as the inside of your windows. This moisture encourages mold and mildew growth. To prevent this from happening, keep indoor relative humidity at 35 percent or lower.
- Perform certain activities indoors: Smoke- or pollution-generating activities, such as smoking and sanding, should be done outside to prevent contaminating indoor air. When repainting a room, open a window and run an exhaust fan if possible.
At Sobieski Services, Inc. our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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