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5 Common Causes of an Unhealthy Home Environment and How to Make It Healthier

Most people spend 50 percent or more of each day inside their homes. Your home is supposed to be a healthy, safe haven for you and your family. Unfortunately, many homes aren’t the safe, healthy environment they should be. How can you create a healthier home environment for your family? Here are five common causes of an unhealthy home and how you can change things for the better.

Smoking and Secondhand Smoke

Tobacco smoking and secondhand smoke have been directly linked with asthma, respiratory problems, lung cancer and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Tobacco use is also a leading cause of home fires, killing thousands of people every year.

Tobacco smoke can intermingle with the air in your home, leading to poor indoor air quality. The particulates in the smoke can settle on walls, furniture and flooring. It can even affect your heating and cooling system and make your home a health hazard.

The best solution for a healthier home environment is to ban all smoking from inside the house. That includes you, your family members, and any guests you have.


According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over 20,000 lung cancer deaths occur in the United States every year due to the effects of radon. In fact, radon is second only to tobacco smoking when it comes to lung cancer. This radioactive gas has no taste, smell or visual trace. It naturally seeps up from certain soils and can get trapped inside your home.

The first step is to test your home for radon. If you find that you have it, you can install a vapor barrier to prevent it from coming up through the ground into your home. You can also install special fan systems to remove it from the crawl space or basement.

Lack of Operational Smoke Alarms

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that over 2800 people died in structural fires in 2013, and an additional 14000 were injured. Many of these deaths and injuries could have been prevented if the structure had working smoke alarms. A smoke alarm is your best and first defense against home fires.

You need to have fire alarms installed on every floor of your home. You need one in each bedroom and hallway. Ideally, they should be hard-wired to your home’s electrical system and have long-life lithium backup batteries installed. Twice a year, test and replace batteries. It’s also a good idea to test the alarms every few months to make sure they’re in good working order.

Moisture and Mold

Moisture is a common problem in basements, crawl spaces, bathrooms, laundry rooms and under sinks. If moisture levels get too high, you may start seeing mold growing. People who are sensitive to mold and mold spores can have reactions like sneezing, runny nose, red eyes and skin rashes. The spores can also trigger asthma attacks. Mold growth can also affect infants, small children, the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, and those with chronic lung problems.

Prevention is key with mold. Find and fix any water leaks you have. Ventilate areas that accumulate moisture like the bathroom and kitchen. Keep an eye on the crawl space and basement for mold growth. If you find mold, clean it off with a mixture of water and bleach. Installing an air cleaner can also help capture mold spores. All this will help you create a healthier home environment.

Pesticide Use

Pests are a nuisance and can bring health issues all on their own. However, use or overuse of pesticides within the home is just as unhealthy. The problem is that the poison in pesticides doesn’t discriminate between humans, pets or pests. Pesticide exposure can cause quick problems like acute poisoning, nerve damage, skin irritation, headaches and nausea. Long-term exposure can cause cancer, low birth weights, premature births and birth defects.

Keep your pesticide use inside the home to the absolute minimum. Try to get rid of pests naturally by cutting off water, food and access. Lock pesticides up and keep them strictly away from children and pets.

Learn how the services provided by Thermacon Service Company can help you create a healthier home environment or contact us today at 866-797-1535 to schedule an appointment.

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