10 Things You Didn’t Know Were Ruining Your Indoor Air Quality
It’s natural to consider your home as a safe space but can you say the same thing about the air? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air quality can be up to 10 times worse than what’s outside depending on what you have in the house. If you’re wondering what could be making your air so terrible, you might be surprised by the 10 culprits that are listed below.
1. Rugs And Carpets
New carpeting and rugs tend to contain chemical adhesives that can cause allergic reactions. It’s best to request carpeting that is low on volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Even then, you should ask for it to be unrolled a few days beforehand so it can ventilate. You can also take the added precaution of staying out of the house while the carpet is being installed and keeping the windows open the whole time.
2. Wood Stoves
If you don’t vent and maintain your wood stove well, it can fill your home with harmful substances like nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and particulates. While you might not notice the smell, studies show that people with wood stoves can show more symptoms of respiratory issues than those who don’t have them.
3. Gas Ranges And Space Heaters
Without the proper ventilation, gas ranges and space heaters can cause the accumulation of nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide. Nitrogen oxide is a respiratory irritant while carbon monoxide can cause nausea, headaches, fatigue, and may even be fatal. It’s best to make sure that ranges are installed properly and that there’s a vent that directs the fumes outside. The flames should also be adjusted so that the tips are always blue.
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4. Non-Stick Pans
If your non-stick cookware was made from Teflon, you may be running the risk of releasing harmful chemicals into the air. Studies show that it’s ill-advised to heat Teflon-coated pans above 500 degrees and there should be a way to remove the fumes if you do. The better route is to use stainless steel or cast iron pans.
5. Cleaning Products
Chlorine and ammonia are common ingredients in many cleaning products. Unfortunately, they can irritate the respiratory system. This is especially true for people who have asthma. While working in a well-ventilated area is helpful, it might be better to use cleaners without irritating ingredients.
6. Unventilated Bathrooms
Mold is likely to grow wherever it’s damp so the condensation in your bathroom can encourage that. While you may not always see the nooks and crannies where mold grows, you’ll definitely notice the effects on your respiratory system. It helps to ventilate the bathroom well and clean your bathroom regularly.
7. Cracks In The Foundation
This may surprise you but cracks in the foundation, walls, or around the pipes can let in a hazardous gas that’s known as radon. Radon is a by-product of the uranium that’s found in soil, rocks, and water. Since you can’t smell this gas, it’s a good idea to get a testing kit or hire an inspector who can give you some guidance.
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8. Craft Supplies
Usually, craft projects are treated like indoor activities but that might not be the best thing for