The indoor air quality in your St. Louis or Metro East area home is essential to keeping you and your family healthy. The team at Greenmark Home Performance is here to help create a healthy home for you and your loved ones.
What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?
There are many reasons your home's indoor air quality may be suffering. However, the most common air pollutants include:
Mold, bacteria, pollen, pet dander, and viruses are all biological contaminants. Problems here can lead to asthma attacks, allergic reactions, and other medical problems. To help alleviate symptoms, bedding can be washed, animals can be kept out of areas where people spend the most time or sleep, and thorough cleaning of all surfaces should be done to prevent dangerous mold growth.
Secondhand Tobacco Smoke
Tobacco smoke contains over 200 poisons, including formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. It also contains 60 different chemicals which are linked to cancer. In the U.S. every year, tobacco smoke is known to cause around 3,000 deaths in non-smokers and nearly 50,000 heart disease deaths. It proves to be especially problematic for the young, including children and infants who often will suffer from recurring pneumonia, respiratory tract infections, and ear infections.
Fuel burning stoves, furnaces, fireplaces, and water heaters can all be combustion appliances. The most dangerous type of combustion pollutant is carbon monoxide since it can't be seen, tasted, smelled, or really even noticed at all until it starts to cause serious health problems, including fatigue, headaches, confusion, nausea, dizziness, and eventually even death.
Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas which is able to get into a home through cracks and crevices in the foundation. It is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smoking individuals in the U.S. To reduce the levels of radon in a home, testing and remediation work will need to be done.
Asbestos is a non-flammable mineral which can produce very tiny fibers. When breathed in over a long period of time, the fibers can actually scar lung tissue. Many asbestos products in a home include flooring materials, insulation, and heating equipment. An air-tight seal of the home's building envelope is needed and removal of dangerous materials will be required for this pollutant.
Formaldehyde is a common chemical that is found in adhesive or bonding materials, such as in carpets, upholstery, and particle board. When it is released into the air, it can cause coughing, eye and throat irritation, and even cancer. To reduce your risk of these problems, minimize your use of products containing the chemical.
Indoor Air Quality Testing
The first step towards a healthy home is to have your indoor air quality (IAQ) tested. This can be done during a home energy audit or separately. However we frequently recommend you have the rest of your home's energy efficiency and comfort evaluated with an energy audit since this will uncover the root causes of IAQ issues as well. Comprehensive indoor air quality testing involves testing your home's air for the various common pollutants and then determining the best strategies for improving your home's health.
IAQ Solutions from Greenmark Home Performance
A healthy home starts with the right solutions for managing indoor air quality. To prevent most outdoor pollutants and excess moisture from making their way in, air sealing and insulation is the answer. Duct sealing will be necessary if a duct leakage test indicates an issue. Finally, a new heating and cooling system might be required to resolve a problem with carbon monoxide and crawl space encapsulation may be required to stop moisture and mold concerns.
At Greenmark Home Performance, we'll uncover the cause of your home's indoor air quality problems and help you get a healthy home with complete home solutions. With appropriate ventilation and comprehensive home upgrades, you'll not only enjoy improved indoor air quality, but also greater comfort and energy efficiency.