Improve Indoor Air Quality in Your Home
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.
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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:
. Water heaters
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.
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.
The European Union has put new legislation in place to combat and radon affected houses and to increase awareness of the issues both locally and on a national level. Karl, CEO of Radonova states “Sweden is leading the way in measuring radon and the local government work actively on informing the public on the radon program”. The Swedish government will offer subsidies to encourage house owners and facilitate mitigation where necessary. The government in Denmark is also looking at ways to promote testing of radon across the country. Read more on how measuring devices are used on the danish market.
The Norwegian government launched at national strategy in 1 July 2009 to reduce radon exposure in homes throughout the country. The purpose was to inform the public about the health implications of radon and to promote measuring of radon in new-build and existing houses.
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.