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Indoor Air Quality Matters for Good Health

August 1, 2023


Indoor air quality is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy and comfortable home environment, but when you are away from home for an extended period of time, your indoor air quality can change significantly, and affect your health when you return. In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of good indoor air quality and how a Home Watch professional can help.

What are the Problems of Poor Indoor Air Quality?

We tend to think of air pollution as what occurs outside the home, however, the air we breathe indoors can also be polluted by biological contaminants, smoke, vapors, mold, chemicals, furnishings and cleaning products. The EPA estimates that Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, at home, school, work, places of worship or gyms, for example. It also reports that the concentration of indoor pollutants is increasing due to the types of chemicals found in home products, inadequate ventilation, hotter temperatures and higher humidity. Children, older adults, and those with preexisting conditions like asthma or allergies are most likely to suffer.

Poor indoor air quality can lead to a number of health problems, including headaches, allergies and respiratory issues. They can include:

  • Respiratory problems like coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Allergic reactions to indoor allergens, causing symptoms of sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes.
  • Headaches, dizziness or fatigue from indoor pollutants like VOCs.
  • Decreased concentration and productivity, making it difficult to focus and get work done.
  • Dementia risk, brain aging and cognitive decline
  • Cancer, especially lung cancer from long-term exposure

Some of the most common indoor air contaminants are:

  • Allergens that trigger the immune system, including mold, dust mites, pet dander, pollen, etc.
  • Asbestos, when disturbed
  • Carbon monoxide, an odorless and toxic gas
  • Fine particulate matter
  • Formaldehyde, found in some pressed wood furniture, cabinets, flooring, carpets, fabrics, glues, adhesives, paints and coatings
  • Lead, often found in paint, plumbing pipes, solders, ceramics, batteries and cosmetics
  • Mold
  • Pesticides
  • Radon, a colorless, odorless gas emitted by the decay of radioactive elements in the soil
  • Smoke from cigarettes, cigars, cookstoves and outdoor fires

How You Can Improve your Indoor Air Quality

There are simple things you can do to make your indoor air quality better:

  • Vacuum regularly to reduce dust
  • Use a microfiber or damp cloth for dusting
  • Reduce humidity to below 50% to avoid mildew and mold buildup
  • Repair leaks and drips to avoid standing water
  • Change appliance filters on a regular basis
  • Test the home for dangerous gases like radon; use specialized detectors
  • Don’t smoke indoors
  • Control pests by not leaving food out and covering trash receptacles
  • Use less toxic cleaning and hobby products
  • Don’t cover up odors with scented candles; figure out what is causing the odor

Let a Home Watch Professional Can Monitor Your Indoor Air Quality While You’re Away

Your Home Watch professional, like Golden Rule Home Watch & Concierge, can help to ensure that your indoor air quality remains at safe and comfortable levels while you are away, and prepare your home for when you return. Some of the things they can do to ensure your good health include:

  • Monitoring HVAC systems to ensure they are functioning properly and that filters are cleaned or replaced regularly
  • Preventing mold and mildew buildup by checking for leaks and repairing them, as well as monitoring damp areas like your kitchen and bathrooms on each home visit
  • Monitoring and improving indoor air quality, and eliminating uninviting stagnant air by doing such things as opening windows and running fans
  • Ensuring the home is clean

Golden Rule Home Watch & Concierge, Covering Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia homeowners trust Golden Rule Home Watch & Concierge with their homes and monitoring of their indoor air quality. You should too!

Contact Golden Rule at 855-928-2424 to learn more about their HomeWatch, CarWatch,  KeyWatch and Concierge services.