How to Handle Indoor Air Quality Problems?
When you have an indoor air quality issue, there are certain effects on your health. This can be seen especially if you relocate to a new home, change the furniture, remodel, or your residence is treated with pesticides. Asking for the help of your physician or your local health department is the right approach if you experience any of the symptoms that are usually attributed to air pollution in homes. Another thing that you can do is to talk to an occupational medicine expert or an allergist. These specialists may be able to provide the right answers.
No matter if you have found answers from experts or not, you can check yourself for possible indoor air pollution sources. Finding the source of the problem is an important step in determining the level of air quality in the home, but you cannot jump to any conclusion yet. It is good to know how many possible sources of air pollution exist and what types they are.
Find Air Pollution Indicators
In the search for more indoor air pollution indicators, you can also consider your lifestyle and your regular activities. Many times the source of pollution is human activity. In the end, you should check for ventilation issues. There are some obvious indicators of poor ventilation in your home, such as stuffy air, air that smells, condensation on walls and windows, moldy areas, dirty central heating equipment and dirty air cooling equipment. You have to compare the air from outside with the air in your home. Step outside for a while, then get back in the home and try to detect any difference by smelling the air.
Measure the Levels of Radon Indoors
Radon is a gas that has no smell or color, but it is radioactive, and this makes it a pollutant. Measuring radon levels is recommended by the federal government. Homeowners can measure the radon levels in their homes, and there are cheap devices that allow you to do this. You can use help from the EPA to find out about the risks attributed to radon pollution and the levels of pollution that require you to take action. Various mitigation techniques can be used effectively to decrease radon levels indoors.
There are also other pollutants to be concerned about. The levels of these pollutants can be measured too. Measurements are necessary in cases in which you experience certain health effects, there are indicators of poor ventilation or you have detected sources of pollution that can be the reason for poor air quality. Because making measurements of different pollutants is not cheap, it can be better to ask for the help of experts or health departments that specialize in air quality for residential buildings.
Weatherize the Home
To decrease the amount of energy that you use for cooling or heating, you need to weatherize your home. This is another measure recommended by the federal government. During the weatherization process, homeowners must make sure that pollution from indoor sources is reduced to a minimum. You should also be able to notice any indicators of improper ventilation. Weatherizing must not be performed until these issues have been fixed.
The weatherization process does not normally imply adding new pollutants, but there are some cases in which pollutants can be added (for example, caulking). The installation of storm windows, caulking, blow-in wall insulation and weather stripping are great ways to prevent outside air from entering your home. As a consequence of weatherization, the concentrations of indoor air pollutants can become higher.