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Do You Have Unhealthy Air in Your Home This Winter?

Do You Have Unhealthy Air in Your Home This Winter?

With the arrival of winter, most of us keep our homes airtight — windows down, doors shut, and little or no ventilation. As a result, airborne pollutants multiply, creating unhealthy air. Breathing that air over a period of months can result in some serious health issues.

Here’s a brief summary of pollutants that may be lurking in your home and causing unhealthy air.

Types of Pollutants That Cause Unhealthy Air in Your Home

  • Dust. Enters the home when you open doors or you bring it in on clothing. Can also come through minute cracks in the walls. Add insulation such as caulk around windows and doors. Vacuum regularly.
  • Volatile organic compounds. These gases cause chronic coughing, respiratory infections, fatigue, unintended weight loss, and swelling of legs and feet. The gases are given off by pressed-wood products, solvents, paint, household cleaning products, dry cleaning, and others. Air out products whenever possible. Remove chemicals and store in the garage or keep lids on tightly.
  • Pollen. Pollen drifts inside the door or comes in on your clothing or on pets. Brush pets before letting them back in, and change your clothing, putting the used items in an airtight bag and then washing clothes in hot water.
  • Mold. Mold grows in moist places, typically where there are plumbing or ceiling leaks. It also comes from moisture buildup around range hoods and in bathrooms. Fix plumbing or ceiling leaks; add exhaust ventilation to the outdoors.
  • Tobacco smoke. It’s obvious where this comes from. Stop smoking. Use carbon-activated air cleaners. 
  • Dust mites. Moist conditions can encourage the proliferation of dust mites in bedding or on carpets. Vacuum frequently.

Symptoms of Polluted Residential Air

The following symptoms are common in polluted air:

  • Aggravation of asthma
  • Coughs and stuffed-up noses
  • COPD symptoms, including chronic coughing, respiratory infections, fatigue, unintended weight loss, and swelling of legs and feet
  • Lung cancer, caused by exposure to cigarette smoking, VOCs and radon, which is a gas that comes through the floor
  • Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, stroke, and heart attack

Contact Powers Heating and Air about the best types of ventilation or air-purifying equipment to install in your home to deal with unhealthy air.

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