It was was a report destined to grab headlines, and it didn’t disappoint: issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the fall of 2013, it effectively rattled homeowners nationwide by declaring that indoor air pollutants can be two to five times higher – and sometimes 100 times higher – than outdoor air pollutants.
How could this be, especially when you consider the amount of pollution that streams from vehicles and factories alone? Indoor air quality is under assault, so to speak, from a wider variety of sources – and can do everything from make you sneeze and cough to trigger serious upper respiratory infections.
For more than a year, Charlie’s Tropic Heating & Air Conditioning has been on a mission, of sorts, to help our customers take steps to improve the their indoor air quality. And we won’t end the mission until we’re convinced that our customers understand which indoor air pollutants are most common and how to conquer them. There’s no doubt that you will breathe cleaner and healthier indoor air once you do:
• Conquer the threat posed by carbon monoxide by placing a CO detector near your furnace and properly ventilating your fireplace. Every furnace emits faint traces of CO, but one with a cracked heat exchanger will escalate the threat and will be picked up by a detector.
• Conquer the threat posed by second-hand smoke by insisting that smokers light up outdoors.
• Conquer the threat posed by gas-powered tools by running them outdoors and far away from the doors and windows located close to your home.
• Conquer the threat posed by all those outdoor pollutants, including allergens, pollen and dirt, by requesting that people remove their shoes at your door so that they don’t track those pollutants through your home.
• Conquer the threat posed by mold growth in your bathrooms by turning on exhaust fans during baths and showers, as well as for 10 minutes after the water is turned off. Spraying your tubs and showers with a vinegar and water solution once a week, whether or not you see an outgrowth of mold, will keep it at bay. Place a dehumidifier in rooms that feel damp, such as your basement.
• Conquer the threat posed by dust mites by washing your pillowcases, sheets and blankets in hot water once a week. Dust your bedrooms – and other rooms in your home – from the top down once a week, then follow up with a thorough vacuuming.
• Conquer the threat posed by insects and rodents, which can carry germs and disease, by keeping your floors and counters clear of food and crumbs.
• Conquer the threat posed by pet dander by cleaning up after their favorite resting places at least once a week.
• Conquer the threat posed by commercial household cleaners by turning to safe, natural products, baking soda and vinegar chief among them.
• Conquer the threat posed by aerosol sprays by eliminating or at least minimizing your use of them.
Who could blame if you’re surprised by the scope of indoor air pollutants? It may be easy to take them for granted, but it’s also easy to eradicate them. Call Charlie’s Tropic Heating & Air Conditioning if face a particular threat you’re uncertain about how to handle. Together, we won’t grab headlines, but we will land on a solution.