We all worry about the pollution and air quality we face outdoors, but have you ever considered that indoor air quality may be an equally big concern? Did you know that indoor air quality can be from two to five times worse that outdoor air quality? Or that the EPA has ranked indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental concerns we face? How about that 50% of illnesses are either caused or aggravated by poor indoor air quality? These numbers are especially disturbing considering that most of us spend around ninety percent of our time indoors between home, school and work. Pollution comes from many sources- cigarette smoke, gas combustion, insulation, paint, pesticides, mold, and even cleaning products.
Dust bunnies are far from innocent, unsightly annoyances. They are home to all the chemical pollutants and germs from lawns, streets, and anywhere else you venture that you track into your home. In addition to the chemicals, the dust in your home contains other pet dander and allergens. When you move around your home, you move all of it—dust and chemicals alike — into the air you breathe.
What Can You Do?
Instead of simply sweeping or dusting, vacuum and/or mop your surfaces—remember, dust gathers on more than just your floors. To combat the dust on your floors specifically, placemats at all entrances to your home. They’ll reduce the amount of dirt, pesticides, and other pollutants being tracked into your home.
During the summer, the humidity can be inescapable. What you may not realize is that humidity is a factor all year long. Maintaining a healthy level of humidity is critical for maintaining a healthy level of indoor air quality—dust mites and mold thrive in moist conditions. When you keep your home’s humidity level between 30 and 50 percent, you greatly reduce the risk of mites, molds, and other allergens sharing your home.
Firstly, you can make sure that there are no significant leaks in any of your homes plumbing, or in your ceilings, walls, or floors. In addition to ensuring your home is leak-free, another way to combat humidity is, of course, with a dehumidifier. This can help you control your home’s humidity level and protect your family from the dangers of mold and allergens. For more information on dehumidifiers, click here.
Chemical pollutants don’t just come from pesticides and factories. Many things you use every day—e.g. perfume, hairspray, candles, gas stoves, bleach—can cause poor air quality, especially when used in enclosed spaces. Cigarette smoke is another major source of indoor air pollution, as cigarettes contain over 4000 chemicals. Even secondhand smoke can cause serious respiratory and internal health problems in children and adults alike.
It’s important to keep fresh air in the house, no matter how cool it is outside. Most HVAC systems do not automatically bring fresh air in, so remember to crack a window or invest in filtration systems. Try to never use any chemical household products in spaces without ventilation. For instance, if you’re cleaning the bathroom, if you can’t open a window, at least turn on the fan. It’s also a good idea to keep your home a smoke-free zone, to avoid all of the chemical pollutants cigarette smoke (first and second hand) produce altogether.
In addition to fresh air, an air purifier can vastly improve your home’s air quality by absorbing many of the airborne allergens, chemicals, and dust mites. For more information on air filtration systems, click here.
Sometimes you can’t avoid air pollutants—such as those that come from your HVAC system, dryer, fridge, or any other large appliance. Fortunately, most of these have elaborate venting systems that absorb most, if not all of the potential air pollutants. Unfortunately, these systems are not without fault. Any vent, after a while, produces up more junk than its ability to catch. This is true for both ducts and filters. Dirty ducts and vents provide a breeding ground for a variety of microbial growth such as mold and bacteria.
Once again, a vacuum is your friend. You can use a vacuum to suck up a lot of the dirt, debris, and dust that builds in and around your appliances before it blows out into the air. Also, remember to change all filters regularly. You can also schedule to have your ducts cleaned. This doesn’t need to be done very often, but if you haven’t had it done since you’ve been in your home, it’s a good idea to check into it.
Please note that this Scottsdale Real Estate Blog is for informational purposes and not intended to take the place of a licensed Scottsdale Real Estate Agent. The Szabo Group offers first-class real estate services to clients in the Scottsdale Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area in the buying and selling of Luxury homes in Arizona. Award-winning Realtors and Re/MAX top producers and best real estate agent for Luxury Homes in Scottsdale, The Szabo group delivers experience, knowledge, dedication and proven results. Contact Joe Szabo at 480.688.2020, [email protected] or visit www.scottsdalerealestateteam.com to find out more about Scottsdale Homes for Sale and Estates for Sale in Scottsdale and to search the Scottsdale MLS for Scottsdale Home Listings.