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Improve Indoor Air Quality in Your Home

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It may not be possible to avoid exposure to noxious emissions outdoors or in a place of business. In your home, however, indoor air quality can be improved by focusing on three major tips. These include:
1. Regular maintenance of all home and HVAC equipment
2. Seek out areas that are sources of mold and bacteria
3. Remove potential sources that reduce air quality

1. Regular Maintenance of HVAC Equipment

In today’s homes, HVAC equipment like furnaces, air conditioning systems, water heaters and inlets to the home that provide fuel should be inspected at least four times a year. By keeping a check on carbon monoxide, radon and smoke and heat detectors, these pieces of equipment represent a source that ensure safe indoor air quality levels. Inspection, maintenance and detection equipment should be considered for new and older homes.

Radon testing should be performed before radon detectors are professionally installed and regulated. Ask your radon professional for a guide to radon levels and how to know when it has exceeded the safety range.

According to the U.S. EPA, two studies performed by European and North American sources, radon is a health risk that can cause lung cancer, especially when radon accumulates inside homes.
Ref: https://www.epa.gov/radon/health-risk-radon#iowa

 


Radon emits radiation from several sources such as radios, remote controlled equipment, microwaves and TVs. Although radon is naturally occurring in the environment, in excessive levels or confined areas, this is a gaseous material that spreads to water and air.

In a report by the U.S. CDC (Center for Disease Control), there are several additional sources of radon. These include:
. Heaters
. Stoves
. Fireplaces
. Water heaters
. Furnaces

The CDC reports that all homes should be tested, regardless of geographic location and residences have been found to have increased levels of radon zones.
Ref: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/csem.asp?csem=8&po=5

Change all heating and cooling equipment filters frequently to reduce dust and airborne contaminants that may enter the interior of a home through ducting systems.

2. Seek Out Areas That Cause Organic and Inorganic Mold and Bacteria

For this tip, a regular inspection of the interior of homes is important. Mold and bacteria can build up around or near damp areas near the foundation in basements or in attic insulation.

Take the time to do an inspection at least twice a year. Also be aware that leaks in piping systems may cause bacteria to grow around the opening of the leak in pipes.

 

3. Removal of Potential Sources That Reduce Air Quality

 

When you study potential sources that reduce air quality in your home, some sources can be removed or replaced as a measure of prevention. For example, in older homes, it may be a good idea to remove less efficient heating and cooling equipment and replace them with higher efficiency energy models approved by the National Fire Protection Agency and UL (Underwriters Laboratories) who rate equipment for safety.
Ref: http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/top-causes-of-fire/heating/heating-safety-tips
Ref: https://www.ul.com/aboutul/

 

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Remember, the more you know about indoor air quality in your home, the easier it is to implement these three tips for a healthier, safer lifestyle.

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