A Guide to Keeping Your Family Safe from Indoor Air Pollution

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Cleaning your home to keep your children and pets safe from germs, bacteria and disease is important to you. However, you may be putting your family at risk with the one thing you are not cleaning: your indoor air. The good news is you can work to rid the home of air pollutants by following this guide:

Why Purify Your Air?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air is one of America’s five biggest public health threats. APEC lists that some of the problems caused by contaminated air include: 

  • Medical problems associated with air pollution, such as allergies and asthma, can occur.
  • Contaminated air makes your lungs work harder, reducing your energy and ability to enjoy life.
  • Your organs may become weaker. Cleaner air allows your organs to function, thereby allowing your brain to get the oxygen it needs.

Warning Signs Of Pulmonary Illness

Purified air can help our families live healthier. Kids are especially susceptible to respiratory diseases, which can be aggravated by polluted air. The most common of these diseases include asthma and allergies. Additionally, allergies can induce asthma so you should be especially careful of cleaning your air if you have a pet. Symptoms of asthma include chest tightness, wheezing, breathlessness and coughing at night or early in the morning.

Another common disease is pneumonia, which is risky for very young children as well as for elderly people. According to UnityPoint Health, symptoms include:

  • Cough lasting more than seven days
  • Low-grade fever
  • Shaking chills
  • Shortness of breath

Take your child to the doctor right away if you see these symptoms.

What Impacts Your Home’s Air Quality

Several things affect the purity of the air inside your home.  Obviously, built-up dust is one problem, but according to Petro.com, other pollutants include:

  • Pet dander
  • Gas leaks
  • Carbon monoxide from natural gas that escapes into your home
  • Mold and mildew

The effects of poor air quality can wreak havoc on the human body. However, you can take steps to reduce this problem.

Reducing Allergens And Pollutants In Your Home

In order to protect your family’s health from toxic air pollutants, make sure you take the following steps:

  • Clean your home regularly, which is especially important if you or a family member has allergies. For cleaning supplies, make sure you have all-purpose cleaners, an anti-allergen spray, and products that are safe for sensitive skin. Your cleaning schedule should include often-ignored spots like the baseboards and molding, dust removal, and laundering clothes.
  • Install a whole-house air cleaner to remove pollen, dander, mold, smoke, and dust mites from the air in your home. The average cost of installing a whole-house air cleaner ranges from $1,000-$5,000.
  • Clean out your air ducts regularly. You should also clean your vents and window screens. Don’t forget to air out your home after sickness and inclement weather.
  • Set a regular bath time for your dog and keep him off the couch. Smaller pets including hamsters and gerbils also have dander so be sure to keep their cages clean, too. Invest in a vacuum that effectively removes pet hair from the home.
  • Don’t forget to clean the curtains and other fabrics in your home such as tablecloths, cushion covers and bedspreads regularly as they can trap allergens.

Controlling Moisture In Your Home

In addition to dust, indoor humidity can be a problem that contributes to mold and dust mites, especially if your home’s humidity level is more than 50 percent. Lowe's suggests you do the following to control moisture:

  • Keep devices such as bathroom exhaust fans and kitchen exhaust hoods clean.
  • Insulate cold-water pipes.
  • Utilize your heating and cooling systems.

Improving the air quality in your home is possible, but it requires a bit of diligence. Use this guide to keep your family free from allergens and pollutants and minimize their risk of disease.

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