A tight home may be easier to cool or heat, but it’s possible that you’re breathing unhealthy air because less air is getting exchanged between inside and outside. In addition, the products you bring home may throw off gases that aren’t healthy, in either the short or long term. Many people don’t know that these five common products can contribute to poor air quality indoors:
- Candles or oil-burning lanterns. Any candle or oil-burning lamp that creates soot is a potential problem inside your home. Unless they’re made from soy or beeswax, candles can leave behind soot, a byproduct of poor combustion, and create carbon monoxide (CO), in the same way that gas, oil, coal or wood-burning heaters or stoves can. The soot is a fine particle and can enter your lungs, where it can go deep into your tissue. You can also bring in CO when you park your car or lawnmower in an attached garage, even if you leave the connecting door to your home closed.
- Radon. Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that is second only to smoking as a cause for lung cancer. You can get inexpensive test kits to check your indoor air for this gas and take steps to stop the infiltration of radon into your home.
- Mold. Sometimes you can’t smell mold, especially if it’s growing under a wet carpet or damp drywall. Mold can be toxic, and like radon, test kits are available.
- Household cleaning chemicals. Sometimes the cleaners you use in your home are hazardous to your indoor air, and pets or small children can pick up the residues that common cleaning products leave behind. Making your own is easy with vinegar, baking soda, borax and other less toxic products.
- Air pollution. Because the San Joaquin Valley is surrounded by mountains, winter inversions and summer ozone levels build. Keeping your windows closed during air quality alerts helps you breathe cleaner air.
If you’re concerned about your indoor air quality, let Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning help you find solutions. We’ve been providing HVAC and indoor air quality services for the San Joaquin Valley for nearly 40 years.