Mention “air pollution” and most people think of industrial smokestacks spewing out black smoke. Surprisingly, that’s not the pollution most likely to make you sick. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers poor indoor air quality to be the nation’s fourth largest environmental threat. The American Lung Association offers these tips to help keep your indoor air quality at the highest levels possible.
Tips for keeping healthy indoor air quality
- Don’t let anyone smoke inside and make sure all fuel burning appliances, like stoves and water heaters, vent outdoors. Keep humidity levels below 50 percent and immediately repair and clean up any water leaks to prevent mold growth. Don’t rely on chemical-laden air fresheners to scent your home; if a room is stuffy and it’s warm enough, open a window.
- Keep pollution out of your home. Test your home for radon and have a radon detector installed. Use the least toxic cleaning and hobby products you can find and don’t store hazardous chemicals in your home. Use traps to catch pests like roaches; cover trash and put away food to avoid attracting them.
- Your home appreciates a breath of fresh air just as much as you do. Keep your home well aired by using exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens. If you don’t have fans, open windows to let out humid air. If you paint or use hobby supplies that have fumes, open a nearby window and use a fan to draw the fumes outside. Make sure there are carbon monoxide detectors near bedrooms.
- When you’re planning a remodeling job or new construction, keep the air around you in mind. Include an exhaust fan in the plans for a kitchen or bathroom. Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting, because it traps and holds pollen. Hardwood and tile floors can be mopped. If you decide to install carpet, choose one that doesn’t have formaldehyde and unroll it outside to air out, if possible, before installation. Run an exhaust fan after installation to remove any lingering fumes.
Professional Duct Cleaning
If you’ve noticed dust buildup on the vent grills in your home, unusual odors when the HVAC fan is running, or family members complaining of allergies or respiratory issues, call the professionals at ServiceMaster DAK. These are signs that your air ducts need to be cleaned and we have the equipment and training to clean your air ducts without damaging them or creating a mess in your home. The EPA says the average home accumulates about 40 pounds of dust per year. We’ll remove it from air ducts in homes in Lake Forest, Winnetka, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Glenview, Highland Park, Northbrook, and Wilmette, IL.