Indoor Air Quality Risks

Every day as we go about our lives there are certain risk factors that we are all exposed to. These factors pose risks to every aspect of our lives. Eating unhealthy food poses a risk to your physical health. Spending more money than you make poses a risk to your finances. Risk factors exist that threaten our physical, mental and emotional health, our finances, our families, our possessions, even our way of life.

Most people take steps to minimize risk in their lives. Risk management is defined by Wikipedia as “the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks…followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events or to maximize the realization of opportunities.” We purchase insurance policies to minimize the financial risks associated with automobile accidents, medical emergencies and liability associated with accidents that occur on our property.

Some risks are unavoidable. You have no control over other drivers on the road when you get behind the wheel of your car. You cannot change your family’s medical history or your predisposal to genetic diseases. Nothing can be done to reduce the risk of a thunderstorm during an outdoor wedding in the summer.

But what about health risks that we can do something about?

You Can Improve the Majority of Air You Breathe

According to the EPA, 90% or more of the air you breathe is indoor air, and concentrations of some pollutants may be 2 to 5 times higher indoors compared to outdoors . As discussed in a previous post, you may not be able to improve all the air you breathe, but you can improve a significant amount. The good news is that you can minimize, or even eliminate, health risks due to indoor air pollution!

Steps to Take Toward Improving Indoor Air Quality

  • Thoroughly clean your home. Move the refrigerator, the furniture, and clean the areas that routinely get skipped. Clean baseboards, windows, and under rugs.
  • Replace the air filter(s) on your HVAC system. Spend a little more money to buy a filter that removes small particles like dust, dander, mold spores, and pollen. For most homes, you should select a filter with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Rating Value) of 8 to 11.
  • Have your ductwork cleaned by a reputable company.
  • Avoid storing toxic pesticides, cleaners, or paints inside your home.
  • Don’t smoke or allow others to smoke inside your home.
  • Install a complete vapor barrier in your crawl space to reduce excess moisture and inhibit mold growth.
  • Ensure that your attic is properly ventilated to prevent mold growth.
  • Consider having an environmental assessment performed in your home to identify potential indoor air contaminants.

If you want one-on-one help improving indoor air quality, give us a call at (706) 310-0097! We’re here to ensure the good health of your home.