Combating Poor Air Quality

Poor air quality can have numerous impacts on the health and comfort of your family. The levels of humidity as well as the temperature should be controlled in your home. The air that you breathe in needs to be free of smoke, harmful chemicals, mold spores and other irritants. Poor air quality can often cause many symptoms, cold and flu like, such as a sore throat, stuffy nose, headaches, burning eyes and sleepiness. Many people who have respiratory diseases or asthma may find that they suffer more than others.

One of the most dangerous issues that homeowners face is carbon monoxide. This is usually due to faulty home heating systems and this causes roughly two hundred deaths a year in the US. This can also come from using a portable generator in a way not indicated in the manual. If you cannot vent the exhaust properly, you should not be using it. CO2 emissions come into the home a variety of ways, and generally this is not harmful until a device is malfunctioning, is used improperly, or not working the way that it should.

There are many things you can do to prevent carbon monoxide from becoming problematic in your home.

• Never allow smoking in the home

• Be sure to have working and up to date carbon monoxide detectors, usually located near the bedrooms. There are three types: Electrolytic Sensor Detectors – These are very sensitive to CO, and is generally the most efficient, though can be pricey. Colorimetric Sensor Detectors – These measure the CO in the air over time and usually take 48 hours to reset. MOS Detectors (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Sensor) – This type of detector detects a number of different gases, not just CO. Another type is a combination fire/CO detector, and these work well for detecting not only gases, but work as smoke alarms, as well.

• Make sure that all of your gas appliances have been inspected, as well as your chimney, at least once a year. During the winter months, replace furnace filters every month and make sure that the furnace, gas dryers, and water heaters all vent to the outside of the home.

• Make sure that fireplaces and wood stoves are also properly vented to the outside of the home, and only burn clean wood that has not been treated.

• Do not allow your car or any other gas engine idle in the garage.

• Never, ever use a charcoal grill inside or in any enclosed spaces.

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