Being a homeowner means you have a constant running list of home maintenance projects that need to be tended to. From changing the air filters and replacing batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to inspecting the fireplace and servicing the water heater, there’s always something. And just when you think you might have everything completed, here’s one more thing to add to the list: check your home’s indoor air quality.
Outdoor Air Pollution Versus Indoor Air Pollution
Most people are familiar with outdoor air pollution. Big cities across the nation provide daily information in media outlets. Some metropolitan areas, such as the San Francisco Bay Area, have instituted “Spare the Air” days when the air quality is so bad, and they encourage people to carpool or take public transportation. There are even phone applications that track outdoor air pollution. But did you know that the air quality in your home can be five times more polluted than the air outside? If not, you’re not alone.
Possible Signs of Poor Home Air Quality
Symptoms will vary between individuals, but here are a few possible signals that might indicate you have poor air quality in your home.
- Sneezing and coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Asthma, allergies and other respiratory problems worsen
- Eye, nose and throat irritations
- Fatigue and dizziness
If you experience any of these symptoms for an extended period of time you’ll want to consult your primary care provider.
Air Quality Testing
There are a couple of different ways you can get the air quality in your home tested. You can purchase testing kits and conduct an assessment yourself. You’ll need to be mindful that testing kits may not test for everything. Most kits may only test for mold. You can also hire a professional to conduct testing for you, those should be able to test for many different components, including volatile organic compounds, or VOC. Those can be either human-made or they can be chemical compounds – some of which occur naturally. There are a few different professional voc testing portland oregon options, but you’ll want to make sure they’re certified before scheduling services.
Change Your Air Filters Regularly
Another way you can help manage the air quality in your home is to change your air filters on a regular basis. Some experts recommend changing your home’s air filters every thirty days, especially if they’re not high quality. Others say filters can last up to six months, but it depends on your individual situation. Homeowners who have pets will generally need to change their filters more often.
Your lungs are your body’s natural filters, but they can only do so much if they’re constantly taking in polluted air. If you think you are experiencing symptoms of inhaling low-quality air talk to your physician and get your home’s air tested as soon as possible.