Updated: Mar 2, 2019
Poor indoor air quality is one of the major sources of poor health and illness in the USA as most people spend 90% of their time indoors and homes have less natural ventilation since they are now being built more tightly with better insulation.
Here are some toxins you might find in the air in your home:
Carbon monoxide: Small amounts can cause headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea, fatigue. Do you have windows open when a motor is running outside? Is your garage attached to the home? Make sure the door is air tight and up to code for a door that separates a residential dwelling and a garage. High doses of carbon monoxide are fatal.
Microbial growth: This includes mold and fungal spores. Mold in abundance is hazardous and will grow where there is not enough ventilation or too much moisture. A musty smell often accompanies mold in air that is moist and stagnant. Mold can cause severe allergic reactions and sinus and respiratory infections. Severe infestation of toxic mold can cause infertility. If you smell or suspect mold in your home, it is best to call a professional as soon as possible as mold will grow rapidly in the right conditions. If you've had a water leak in an area that is not well ventilated, mold will likely grow there.
Allergens and particulates: Fecal matter from dust mites is the #1 allergen (a dry house makes it harder for the dust mites to live). Other allergens include fecal matter, pet dander, smoke, insect debris and pollen. They will travel through the air ducts and spread easily throughout the home. Cleaning and filtering indoor air is crucial for home health. There are many options nowadays for highly efficient home air filters. Keeping pet dander in controlled areas that are regularly cleaned is highly advisable. Smoking is best done outdoors as it can affect non-smokers as well physically, mentally and emotionally. Make sure you have a professional pest inspector check out your home if you have a pest problem. Make sure to close the windows during high pollen season and regularly dust to prevent pollen build up. Some symptoms of these toxins include nose and throat irritation, congestion, sneezing, coughing and asthma flare ups.
Infectious illness: Humans and pets often bring airborne illnesses such as colds, flu, bacteria, germs and viruses into the home. Once inside these get sucked into the air distribution system and circulated around the home. Open windows and use an air filter when you suspect illness in your home's air.
Toxic compounds: Building materials, furniture, carpets, paints, cleaning chemicals can all cause allergic reactions and illness from toxification. Researching all natural alternatives for these substances is vital to home health. Furthermore, exterior toxins such as pesticides, herbicides and natural gases can migrate into the house from the soil and cause illness as well. Improved ventilation and filtration is vitally important, especially since childhood asthma has increased 600% in the last 30 years due to all of the interior and exterior toxins in our environment.
Call Hawkeye Home Inspections to find out more about scheduling air quality testing: 978-897-7130. We'd love to educate you about your home's air quality!