Studies show that the air inside the average home is more polluted and unhealthy than outdoor city air. There are many contributing factors to poor indoor air quality in your Tallahassee, FL home. The solutions for creating a healthier home environment include source control, removal and ventilation.

Moisture and Mold

High humidity and moisture accumulation in the home can be a result of one or many sources. Our bodies give off moisture through evaporation and breathing. Cooking, bathing and cleaning activities create moisture too. In fact, with the average annual relative humidity about 25 percent above the maximum ideal humidity, indoor moisture and mold can potentially be a problem for all Tallahassee, FL area homeowners.

Moisture and mold can also damage home structures, such as drywall, timber and wallpaper. Personal possessions and clothing aren’t exempt from mold damage, either. Without an effective strategy in place, mold can become an expensive and unhealthy problem.

The solution to controlling moisture and mold are source control, removal and ventilation:

  • Source control: Keep areas susceptible to mold dry. Wipe shower walls and tiles after bathing. Use kitchen fans when cooking. Make sure the dryer and kitchen venting exhaust outside the home. Fix all water leaks in the home.
  • Removal: A whole-home dehumidifier is effective for controlling indoor moisture. It attaches to the ductwork and works automatically based on your humidity settings.
  • Ventilation: Daily fresh-air ventilation is important for health and moisture control. A heat-recovery ventilator (HRV) is a whole-home ventilation system that exchanges heat energy for less energy consumption. You may use an HRV in any weather to promote a healthier home environment.

Radon

Radon is a radioactive gas that can’t be detected by sight, smell or taste. The U.S. Surgeon General’s Office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have estimated that 20,000 lung cancer deaths may be due to exposure to radon. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer. Smokers are at even higher risk of lung cancer if their homes contain radon. Some studies indicate children may be more sensitive to radon due to higher respiratory rate and rapidly-dividing cells.

Those are frightening statistics. However, there are practical solutions. The first step is to have your home tested for radon. This may be performed by your HVAC technician, or you may purchase a radon home test kit at your home-improvement store.

If dangerous levels of radon are detected in your home, the best options to protect you and your loved ones are installing a fan system to remove radon or a vapor barrier in the crawlspace or basement to block radon from entering your home.

Pesticides

Pesticides are commonly used in many homes if not nearly all. Pesticide treatments may be part of a professional maintenance plan or occasional use of store bought cans of pesticide sprays. It’s very important to know what kind of chemicals you or someone else is spraying in your home. Pesticides are known to cause poisonings in humans and pets, and may cause chronic conditions, such as cancer, low birth weight and prematurity. If you use pesticides in your home, secure and store them in an outside shed or storage container for a healthier home environment.

Insects need water and a food source. Fix all water leaks in the home and keep surfaces dry. Clean up food spills, crumbs and messes immediately. Use traps and pesticides wisely and only when absolutely necessary.

Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors

It can be a matter of life and death to have functioning carbon monoxide (CO) detectors and smoke alarms in your home. If your CO and smoke detectors operate on batteries, change the batteries twice a year on the first day of fall and spring. Schedule professional preventive maintenance with your HVAC technician each fall to ensure your furnace is operating efficiently and safely. CO and smoke detectors should be installed on each floor and bedroom of the home. Test all detectors each month.

Tobacco Smoke

Tobacco smoke is a nuisance for many people. Tobacco smoke and secondhand smoke have been shown to cause or exacerbate asthma, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and lung cancer. Smoking also poses a risk of home fires. Consider banning smoking inside the home. Create a smoking area outside that is protected from the elements. Don’t let visitors smoke in your home either.

Learn more about creating a healthier home environment from the experts at Central Heating Consultants; contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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