Owning a home comes with lots of responsibility. And one of the most important responsibilities includes keeping the air quality inside of your home safe. While there are a handful of issues that can arise when it comes to air quality, there are measures you can take to prevent these issues first.
There is no simple way to tell that radon is in your home. Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the general population, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Both the Surgeon General and EPA recommend testing for the radioactive gas and reducing radon in homes that have high levels.
Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that is produced when uranium in rock, soil, or water breaks down. In most cases, the air pressure in your home is lower than the pressure in the soil around your foundation. This difference causes your house to act like a vacuum that draws in radon through cracks, foundation, and any other openings. If you are ready to test your home for radon contact your state radon office. The office can put you in touch with qualified radon testers or provide information on how to find the special equipment and test kits required to test for radon.
Preventing Carbon Monoxide
Some of the most common symptoms of exposure to carbon monoxide include dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, chest pain, confusion, and vomiting. Symptoms are regularly described as flu-like. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 U.S. residents perish from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning annually.
There are a number of things you can do to keep your home carbon monoxide-free. Consider installing a carbon monoxide detector — Lowe’s has a handy video online to show you how. It is also a smart idea to have your water heater, heating system, and any other oil, gas, or coal-burning appliances looked at annually by a qualified technician.
If you have a chimney, it should be checked once a year, too. Warning signs like an odor coming from your gas-powered refrigerator could mean that the appliance is leaking carbon monoxide. Furthermore, make sure that your gas appliances are vented properly, and never use a gas range or oven for indoor heating, never burn charcoal in your home, never use a camp stove inside of the house, and never use a generator inside of your home, garage, or basement unless it is within 20 feet of a window, door or vent. Learn more about in-home air quality best practices and more tips for creating a healthier home by visiting Amway’s blog.
While there is no way to eliminate all mold spores and mold from your home, the best way to control mold is to control the moisture. Mold is often the result of a leak. To prevent mold growth, fix the source of the water problem. Additionally, reducing the indoor humidity, between 30 percent and 60 percent, can decrease mold. You can apply this in your own home by properly ventilating bathrooms, using dehumidifiers and air conditioners, increasing overall ventilation, and using exhaust fans when cleaning, dishwashing, and cooking. Some of the potential health issues associated with mold include asthma, allergic reactions, and other respiratory problems.
Whether it’s mold, carbon monoxide, or radon gas, these issues can be detrimental to the indoor air quality of your home. Breathe easy—with a little forethought and recurring maintenance you can ensure that your home is a safe place to be.