If you're like most modern homeowners, you're already aware that indoor air pollution can be a big problem in new and recent construction. After all, today's building methods and materials are designed, in part, to produce an energy efficient home, and this means using materials that offer superior insulation as well as doors and windows with state-of-the-art sealing technology. Although these features will help keep your home warm during chilly winter temperatures and cool in the middle of summer heat waves as well as save you significant sums of money on utility costs, they may also contribute to indoor air pollution by trapping too much air in the home interior. Fortunately, there are simple strategies designed to help you breathe easier inside your house. Here's what you can do:
Use HEPA Filters on Your Furnace and Air Conditioners
Traditional HVAC filters are designed to keep hair and other large particles from entering the furnace and causing damage to the blower, but they don't do anything about the small particulates such as dust mites, mold spores, pollen, and pet dander that can be circulated throughout the home via heating or air conditioning units. Using a HEPA filter ensures that even the tiniest particulates are caught.
Reduce Indoor Chemical Usage
Household cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals are a prime culprit when it comes to indoor air pollution. Natural products often contain less toxins than their standard counterparts, but be sure to read labels carefully instead of making assumptions based on how a product is advertised. You can also opt to use baking soda, white vinegar, and lemon juice for household cleaning. Not only will you drastically reduce your use of chemicals in your indoor living environment, you'll save a lot of money on cleaning products.
Get Your Crawl Space Encapsulated
Crawl spaces are dirty, humid environments that an adversely affect the quality of air of your home. Atmospheric moisture is able to easily seep upwards through cement and wood, leading to indoor humidity levels that can be both uncomfortably and unhealthy. Humid conditions lead to infestations of mold and mildew, and mold spores in particular can have adverse health effects, particularly in the very young, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. Crawl spaces also have abundant amounts of dust and provide habitat for insects, so crawl space encapsulation helps keep these out of your indoor home environment as well.