We often read stories in the news about air pollution. Global warming and excess use of fossil fuels has led to large amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This is especially common around large, industrial cities. Shijiazhuang in China suffers so badly with smog from local industries, that in 2014 a resident tried to sue to government over it. The World Health Organisation also estimates that around 80% of all cities have air that is considered ‘less than healthy’. However, it’s not just outside that you can be at risk from polluted air. You may be surprised to learn that dangerous air can also find it’s way into your home – and can sometimes arise from within the home too. These air types can vary from threatening to simply unpleasant, so read on to find common causes and what you can do to prevent them.
For humans to live comfortably indoors, the humidity levels should be at around 30-40%. If the humidity levels start to climb up to 50%, you can incur various problems with the air in your home. In an excessively humid home, you will experience what is known as ‘damp’ and mould. Look out for a musty smell, water stains on walls and water on hard surface to identify damp. Living in a home with damp can bring on various health issues such as asthma, fits of coughing, a sore throat and rhinitis. In order to prevent damp in your home, you need to reduce the humidity levels. You can do this by regularly opening doors and windows to let air in or by circulating warm air during winter. Companies such as One Hour Heating And Air can repair your furnace so that the air in your home can be warm. Fixing any leaks, and installing exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom are also ways to prevent damp.
Solvents in the Home
You may not think much about storing chemicals and solvents in your home. They may be in a box, or in a cupboard in your kitchen. Building materials such as plywood, and decorative materials like paint, can give off formaldehyde. This is a colourless, extremely flammable gas, which gives off a distinct odour at low concentrations. It has been linked to causing cancer, and can induce many other unpleasant side effects such as itchy eyes and coughing. To avoid bringing formaldehyde into your home, make sure you air out all new furniture and ventilate your indoor spaces.
We all know the risk of smoking cigarettes. However, you don’t have to be the person smoking to incur the effects of tobacco. Secondhand smoke is responsible for around 41,000 deaths every year, and can seriously damage the lungs of children. If you or anyone else in your home is a smoker, try and smoke outside as much as possible. As well as reducing the health risks to your family, you will also be creating a nicer home environment. Many smokers find it is difficult to sell their home or furniture if they have smoked around it, as the smell can linger for years.
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To increase your indoor air quality, remember to do regular HVAC maintenance. Poorly maintained cooling and heating systems often cause poor air quality.