Feeling under the Weather? Your Home Could Be the Culprit

©Khongkit Wiriyachan via 123rf.com

Have you ever felt horrible while in your home, but when you walk out the door you suddenly feel a bit better? While most people regard their home as a safe haven on the daily basis, if you’re not careful, your home could cause more harm than good. Indoor pollution, though a fairly new concept for many homeowners, is very real and potentially very harmful to your health. Especially for those with allergies or asthma, various chemicals, particles, debris and germs can fill the indoor air in your home, making it a danger zone for occupants.

How can this be? You clean your home on the weekly basis, so what could be causing you to fall ill? Check out these hidden areas in the home that may be altering your health for the worse.

1.  Heating and Cooling System

One of the main culprits (especially for allergy and asthma sufferers) is the heating and cooling system in your home. As your heating and cooling systems are responsible for transferring hot or cold air throughout your home, they often need to be cleaned. Dust, mold, and debris can easily be pushed around the home through the vents and air ducts, which can diminish the overall air quality, making it hard to breathe. If it’s been a while since you’ve had your heating and/or cooling systems serviced, it would be a great idea to have a professional HVAC contractor properly clean and service the unit for clean air you can breathe.

2.  Indoor Leaks

To the untrained eye it may seem as though your plumbing system is in working order. However, what you do not see could very well be the source of an indoor leak. Such leaks can create a comfortable environment for mold and mildew to grow. This can be problematic with air quality and result in difficulty breathing. The best solution is to properly check areas of your home to ensure there are no visible leaks. If you find leaks or signs of leaks, hire a plumber to rectify the problem.

3.  Furniture

Your furniture could be a huge culprit in affecting indoor air quality and your overall health. Furniture pieces that are porous are the most likely to cause an issue. These include pillows, couches, mattresses, and more. Dust mites (and bed bugs) love nesting in areas like this and can wreak havoc on your health (and even bite you). To remedy this situation change out porous furniture frequently, wash and dry furniture covers and linens periodically, and inspect for signs of dust mites or bed bugs.

4.  The Basement

Even if you’re not frequently using your basement, there could still be some underlying issues that are causing everyone in your household to get sick. If your broiler ducts or basement plumbing has insulation that was installed prior to 1980, you could be living with asbestos in the house. If you notice signs of asbestos in your home, it is imperative that you hire a professional to properly remove, dispose of and install new insulation to prevent possible exposure. You might also consider contacting a mesothelioma attorney, who can help you understand why asbestos can have serious impacts to your health.

5.  Cleaning Products

Check the products you use to clean your home. Some cleaning products can cause difficulty breathing, eye irritation, headaches, and more. This exposure and risk is heightened if you’re not using the proper safety gear when cleaning (i.e. face mask, gloves, etc.). Using natural cleaning products or even making products on your own is the most effective solution to toxic cleaning products.

Pay attention to these potential indoor air pollution risks and address the problem immediately if you find one. This will help you improve the overall air quality in your home and protect the health of everyone in your household.

Ashley Andrews is a San Diego-based freelance writer who blogs on a wide range of green living, business, health and technology topics.

See also:
Healthy Home Walk Through
The Inside Story About Indoor Air Quality