More often than not, when asked about air pollution, people generally reference outdoor pollution caused by environmental factors outside of their control. Did you know that air pollution in home can be a source of pollution that has been found to affect short-term and long-term health for many people? By simply doing daily activities like cooling your house, showering, cooking meals and cleaning, you could be unknowingly adding to your home’s pollution and air quality levels, but there are ways to ensure the levels stay manageable and you and your family stay healthy.
What it is: Air Pollution in Home
An obvious pollutant is cigarette or cigar smoke that can hang in the air for hours and even days. But what about the not so obvious ones? Living in Florida means having to deal with unique weather conditions that may affect pollution and air quality levels in a home. Florida weather is hot and humid a good portion of the year. Water in all forms needs to be removed from the inside of a home regularly before it can cause mold damage, one of the biggest sources for indoor air quality. Other sources of indoor air pollution in home are pollen, household cleaning products and gases like carbon monoxide. Additionally, you might be surprised to discover scented paraffin candles are on the list. Burning candles create toxins and the burning scent can cause allergies in many people with allergy sensitivities.
Common Areas Where Air Pollution is Found
Attic with little or no venting
Flooding or leaking around windows, basement or roof
Kitchen with inadequate venting
How Air Pollution Begins
Air conditioners and dehumidifiers are a way of life in Florida. Regular cleaning and maintenance is very important in the quest to limit air pollution in home. Both of these home appliances work to remove water from the air. Water is either routed from the appliance to the outdoors or it is collected within a container that must be emptied. These containers can grow mold if the water is not emptied regularly or if the equipment isn’t working properly. If unchecked, the mold continues to grow and can cause allergic reactions. Keep mold at bay by having yearly equipment inspections and emptying the containers regularly.
Knowing how to cool your house properly also will help keep your home safe from mold. You don’t want to cool the air too fast which could stop your air conditioner from removing moisture if it is not able to run long enough to do its job. Keep your air conditioner’s temperature at a moderate level or increase it slowly until at the temperature you like.
In a bathroom or kitchen not properly vented, steam can wreak havoc on walls and floors because mold will begin growing when water sits for lengthy periods. Over time, if the amount of ventilation in the home is not correct, the mold will build up and depending on the wall or floor material, will begin to cause real damage, including wood rot and disintegration. Ensure your house is properly vented and the humidity level kept under 50 percent to avoid having a potential mold problem.
Another source of pollution is in the household cleaners that you may use every day. Cleaners and air fresheners both contain chemicals that can cause allergic responses in people over time. Make sure to spray cleaners in well-ventilated areas and check out the environmentally friendly cleaners available today.