How to improve indoor air quality

If you have a cough, shortness of breath, or a chronic headache, check the air in your home right away.

Mold, radon, pet dander, smoke, and carbon monoxide can have negative health effects.

“We spend a lot of time at home, so indoor air is just as important as outdoor air,” said Albert Rizzo, a lung researcher and medical director of the American Lung Association.

Colorless and odorless radon gas is the second most common cause of lung cancer, after smoking. If left unchecked, carbon monoxide can be deadly. Volatile organic compounds released from building materials and household appliances can aggravate respiratory diseases. Various other granules lead to shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing. They even cause heart problems, says pulmonologist Jonathan Parsons from Ohio University Wexner Medical Center.

Indoor air can be polluted for many reasons. Photo: iotacommunications

So do you need to hire an expert to test the air in your home? According to Pardon, this is not necessarily necessary.

“Poor air quality is real, but most causes are easy to see like pets, wood-burning stoves, mold on the walls,” the expert said.

The best way to check indoor air is to monitor yourself through physical expression. “I often recommend that homeowners keep a diary. Do you feel tired in the kitchen but okay in the office?” said Jay Stake, president of the American Indoor Air Quality Association. “That helps you solve the problem faster and more economically than calling in an expert.”

The good news is that there are safe, inexpensive ways to improve indoor air quality.

Bender suggests you turn on the exhaust fan in the shower or leave it running for 20 minutes after using the toilet to reduce humidity and prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. When cooking, turn on the hood to remove odors and particulate matter.

Indoor humidity should be maintained at 30-50%. If possible, homeowners should buy an air purifier, a carbon monoxide detector and check for radon levels.

Also, when you find mold in your home, get it fixed before it becomes a bigger problem.

“Sometimes all you need to do is visually check for signs of mold, then wipe it off,” says Stake. If the mold forms a large patch or is on the back of a wall, you need to seek professional help.

Thu Nguyet (Follow Washington Post)


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