Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, January 22, 2021

Protecting air quality in your home

The ongoing pandemic has placed renewed focus on the quality of the air around us. If you’re spending more time at home, keeping the air in your living space fresh and free of pollutants is critical.

Common indoor pollutants are generated from sources that release gases or particles into the air such as mold, radon and carbon monoxide. Poor indoor air quality from these types of pollutants can lead to health problems, but regular home maintenance, such as cleaning and controlling moisture, can help protect and improve your indoor air quality.

Tackle dust mites regularly

These bugs are too tiny to be visible and every home has them. You’ll find dust mites in pillows, carpet, upholstered furniture, stuffed toys and fabric.

Dust mites are mostly made up of skin cells, dirt, pollen, mold spores and animal dander. These unwelcome critters can trigger asthma in individuals with allergies to dust mites.

Vacuuming, dusting and washing bedding regularly can help contain dust mites. Dust proof or allergen-blocking covers are available at home goods stores for pillows, mattresses and bed covers.

Test your home for radon

While you can’t see or smell radon, this type of radioactive gas could be present in your home and harmful to your health. Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks in your foundation.

Your home can trap radon inside. At home radon testing kits are available at home improvement stores.

You can contact the National Radon Safety Board to find a professional radon mitigation specialist if you have issues with radon in your home.

Carbon monoxide detector

Another odorless and colorless substance that can cause health problems – or even death – is carbon monoxide. This toxic gas is found in fumes produced by items in your home such as furnaces, stoves or gas ranges that build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces.

Always make sure any gas-powered tools like generators or space heaters are used in a well-ventilated space. The most common ways to prevent carbon monoxide exposure is to avoid heating your home with a gas range and running your car in your garage.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends a carbon monoxide detector in every home to prevent poisoning.

Control moisture, prevent mold

Molds are microscopic organisms found everywhere indoors and out. Most molds are harmless, but some can cause infections, allergy symptoms and produce toxins.

Mold can get in your home through open doors, windows, vents and heating and air conditioning systems.

The key to mold control is moisture control. If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem or hire a professional contractor with experience cleaning up mold.

Need a professional to help you protect the air you breathe? Visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at HBAGC.net.