Winter is a time that we tend to be cooped up inside and is a good time to evaluate the quality of our air. Some air quality problems are just annoying, like dry nasal passages, but some are more serious.
According to the EPA indoor air is often five times more polluted than outdoor air. Problems include odors, toxic chemical vapors, as well as mold, bacteria, viruses, and allergens.
Humans breathe in and out about 20,000 times a day, and most people spend 90% of their time indoors. Many people notice that they feel better when they are outside and that when they are stuck indoors, they frequently have headaches or feel nauseous.
Possible indoor air quality problems can be detected by the presence of unusual odors or “stale” air. If there is a noticeable lack of air movement in your home, the air you breathe has not been circulating and is not fresh and you probably notice a big change in the way you feel when you open a window or even spend some time outdoors. You should also look for physical signs such as mold or mildew in rooms that may have excess humidity. If your heating and/or air conditioning equipment is dirty, your home most likely suffers from poor indoor air quality.
Even living in a new or remodeled home is no guarantee of good air quality. In fact, many building materials contain known carcinogens and hazardous chemicals like formaldehyde and organic solvents. Adding to the problem is the fact that homes and offices insulated very tightly these days, and the lack of airflow is a big contributor to indoor air problems.
If any member of the household is experiencing flu-like symptoms (fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and muscle ache) that disappear when you leave the home, the first thing you should check is your heating system. Carbon monoxide is as odorless and potentially fatal gas that can be emitted with a faulty combustion system. Even if you do not experience symptoms, as a safety precaution, you should have your heating system inspected annually and every home should have multiple detectors installed.
There are a few things you can do yourself right now to improve your indoor air quality. First and foremost, make sure you regularly replace your air filters. Not only will you breathe easier, it will also extend the life of your units and help you avoid costly repairs.
Another thing you can do is introduce house plants to your home. Not only do they add beauty, they also absorb pollutants and carbon dioxide while emitting oxygen. Even if you do not have a green thumb, there are varieties that are hardy, require little maintenance and can handle different light levels. Although do take care not to over water and inadvertently create a new mold problem into your home!
Here at BHCP we care about our customers and the quality of the air you and your family breathes. There are a variety of solutions for any air quality problem you may have. There are air filtration systems specifically designed for homes with pets or family members with severe allergies or asthma. There are high tech UV systems that can kill bacteria and viruses while extending the life of your equipment. The addition of a humidifier can do wonders for the comfort of your home in the long winter months.
Give us a call for a free consultation to find the solution that is perfect for your home and your family’s health and comfort.