Feeling stuck inside this winter? So is the air inside your home.
Recent research has found that air inside homes can be more polluted than the air in the largest, most industrialized cities.Indoor air pollution is caused by a lack of ventilation and can lead to more frequent colds, respiratory problems, and other ailments and diseases. Here are tips to keep your home and your family healthy:
- Keep the house clean. House dust mites, pollens, animal dander, and other pollutants can be reduced through regular cleaning. Install and use fans vented to the outdoors in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
- Ventilate the attic and crawl spaces to prevent moisture buildup. Keeping humidity levels in these areas below 50% can prevent water condensation on building materials, which can breed bacteria and mold. High levels of mold can be incredibly dangerous to your family's long-term health.
- Clean humidifiers regularly and refill with fresh water daily. Humidifiers can become breeding grounds for biological contaminants that can cause illnesses. Evaporation trays in air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators should be cleaned frequently to prevent contaminants from building up.
- Thoroughly clean and dry water-damaged carpets or consider removing or replacing them. Wet carpets can harbor mold and bacteria. It is very difficult to completely rid them of contaminants once they've grown.
- Minimize pollutants in basements. Clean and disinfect the basement floor drain regularly. Operate a dehumidifier in the basement if needed to keep relative humidity levels between 30%-50%.
- Be careful when you clean. When you spray cleaners, pollutants are released into the air. Make sure to spray cleaners into a towel if not in a properly ventilated area. Also, never mix chemical products, especially chlorine bleach, with an ammonia cleaner. Follow instructions for use of all home chemicals - including hobby materials such as solder, spray paint, and paint stripper.
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