They are invisible to the eye, yet indoor allergens can cause big trouble for your family. Children are particularly susceptible to allergens, and continued exposure to dust mites, mold, and even household cleaning products can harm children who suffer from allergies and asthma. There are simple steps you can take to fortify your home against indoor air pollution and make breathing a little easier for you and your family.
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Dust Mite Drama
Dust mites love to live in soft, warm places, and they love cloth and fibers found in bedding, upholstery, and carpet. They also multiply in warm environments. The dander and droppings of these microscopic creatures rank as among the most sensitive allergens affecting many people, particularly children. Exposure to dust mites can cause many uncomfortable symptoms, including sneezing, shortness of breath, nausea, and headaches. To lessen their effect, you can start by investing in dust-mite repellent mattress and pillow covers, make sure to change and launder bedding regularly, and clean your child’s stuffed animals often.
Mold is in the Air
Poorly ventilated spaces and overly humid, hot environments breed mold. Head these problems off with a proactive call to your local HVAC technician. A free consultation and air quality evaluation can target problem areas in bathroom showers or in the kitchen, where a hood vent over the oven can help wick away vapors and food residues generated while cooking. The experienced technicians can also change out the air filters and clean your ducts, preventing dusty air and mold spores from being further transmitted throughout the house.
Cleaning Product Pollutants
It may surprise you that household cleaning products pose a threat to your indoor air quality. The compounds found in your go-to cleaning products might be toxic if they linger in the air or on surfaces, particularly floors or carpets where kids crawl and play. In particular, ammonia or chlorine based cleaners can trigger asthmatic reactions. Look into alternative natural cleaning remedies, such as baking soda and hot water applied with microfiber cloths. Many over-the-counter “green” cleaners also boast of low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) levels, which indicates they send fewer toxic fumes. Go ahead and dust and vacuum often as well, just make sure to not do it around sensitive kids, because the act of cleaning can often stir up dust and wreak even more havoc on your little ones’ sinuses.
Very Poor Ventilation
Poorly maintained HVAC units actually cause more harm than good because they distribute toxic contaminants throughout the house. Poor ventilation compounds this problem, redistributing the toxins from one problem area to another. That’s why it is vital to regularly clean and service your HVAC system and change your filters regularly. A well maintained or new HVAC unit and ductwork is one of the most important investments you can make to transform the air quality of your home.
A little investment and mindful changes to your habits take a small amount of time and money, but your effort and the expenditure will boost your children’s vitality, thanks to their safer home environment and air quality.