Homes today are often sealed well to conserve energy. While having a well-sealed Port Arthur, Texas, home can help you better manage your home's cooling and heating bills, indoor air pollutants can accumulate when the air exchange is low. Discover the following four strategies to reduce your exposure to common air pollutants and improve your home's indoor air quality.
Deal With Dust Mites
Dust itself does not cause allergies and asthma. Rather, the microscopic creatures called mites that live in dust — and the residues they leave behind in their droppings and shedding skin — are most often the culprits. Exposure to dust mites can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation in addition to problems with asthma, especially in children.
Mites thrive in places with high humidity and places where animal or human dander exists, such as bed linens, mattresses, pillows, and carpeting. To minimize dust mites, place mattresses and pillows inside washable zippered protective covers. Change and launder bed linens weekly. Wash pillow shams and duvet covers monthly.
To prevent dust mites from breeding, keep your home humidity levels below 50 percent. Keep your pets bathed and groomed regularly. Vacuum carpeting weekly with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter. Mop wood floors regularly, since dry mopping or sweeping with a broom can make allergens airborne.
Manage Problems With Mold
Mold is a common name for fungus that can disintegrate organic material. Mold spreads in damp environments, but it can also grow on almost any household surface, including drywall, paint, carpet, and household dirt. Water damage, excessive humidity, condensation, and leaky plumbing can all promote mold growth in the home.
Besides being unattractive, mold is destructive and can create problems for people with allergies and asthma. Certain molds, such as black molds, can produce toxins that can result in severe reactions in people with allergies and can cause dangerous situations for infants and people with respiratory ailments.
Preventing mold growth requires vigilance. Wipe surfaces regularly with mild dishwashing liquid to remove dirt and oils that can attract mold. Clean and disinfect basement floor drains and use a dehumidifier in the basement to maintain humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent. Keep air conditioning system and humidifier components, such as drip pans and drain lines, clean and unobstructed.
If you experience issues with mold that you cannot remedy yourself, contact a mold remediation specialist for professional assistance.
Put the Damper on Pollen
Pollen is a fine, powderlike substance produced by flowering plants. On average, a grain of pollen is smaller than the width of a human hair. Many types of trees, grasses, and low-growing weeds are easily carried by wind currents and trigger allergic reactions and asthma in people with pollen sensitivities.
Although high pollen counts can cause many types of reactions, the most common health concern is allergic rhinitis, also called "hay fever."
During high periods of pollen season, keep windows closed. Dust and vacuum your home regularly. Use an air filter, and regularly change that filter, in your home's heating and cooling system, that's capable of capturing fine pollen articles.
Activate Defenses Against Animal Dander
Tiny flakes of hair, skin, or feathers of domestic animals such as birds, cats, and dogs can trigger asthma symptoms and cause eye, nose, and throat irritation.
To combat problems with animal dander, keep pets off upholstered furniture and keep them groomed regularly. Dust and vacuum your home each week using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Use an electrostatic mop on surfaces such as wood or other hard flooring surfaces. These cleaning tools are more effective than vacuums since they won't blow around pet hair. To clean upholstery, use a vacuum upholstery tool.
Reducing indoor air pollution and improving your home's indoor air quality begins with awareness. Take time to care for your home's living spaces and equipment, including your home's HVAC system. With the help of our Thermacon Service Company's home heating and cooling professionals, you can work to reduce common indoor air pollutants. Contact us today at 866-797-1535 to schedule an HVAC system maintenance check and servicing.
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