Spring is a fun time of the year! However, for over 50 million people in the US, it also means it’s time to fend off nasal allergies. These allergies can also make life harder for those suffering from asthma. May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and we would like to share tips to protect your home and health from poor air quality so you can enjoy spring with peace of mind!
Health Risks of Poor Air Quality
Pollutants like pollen, dust, and mold spores can be 2 to 5 times higher inside your home than outside. If not addressed, this can result in an environment that exacerbates asthma and seasonal allergies. Severe allergic reactions and asthma attacks can be life threatening.
It is important to understand signs of poor air quality such as irritation of eyes, nose, throat, and skin, shortness of breath, sneezing, dizziness, and more. Presence of radon gas and asbestos particles also contribute to poor air quality and can cause serious health issues particularly for people with asthma and allergies. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to identify risks and proactively mitigate issues.
What You Can Do to Breathe Easier Inside Your Home
Here are a few easy ways to help reduce health issues from asthma and allergies inside your home this spring.
- Take an extra shower at night. A short shower right before bed can help wash away pollen and other allergy-inducing particles that have settled on your skin, hair, and eyelashes. This can also help you sleep easier and wake up feeling refreshed!
- Keep track of allergy or asthma flares. Anytime you notice an asthma or allergy related issue, make a note of when and where it happened. Also include a description of symptoms. This will help you identify and avoid risks. It will also create a record you can share with your doctor for additional health advice.
- Wash bedding and blankets regularly. This will help remove dander and particle buildup and prevent nighttime symptoms.
- Keep pets out of bedrooms and off furniture. Pets shed, and even if you are not allergic to pets specifically, fur and dander can worsen pre-existing breathing issues. Keeping your bed and couch pet-free can help reduce exposure to fur and dander.
- Dust and vacuum regularly. Reduce dust mites with regular cleaning.
- Wipe up water quickly. Standing moisture can result in mold growth in your home. Clean up water quickly to reduce risk of breathing in dangerous mold spores.
- Wash or change air filter regularly. Check your air filter manual for proper maintenance to improve efficiency and air quality.
How Professionals Can Help Check Air Quality
People with pre-existing conditions, older adults, and young children are at highest risk of developing air quality related health issues. Even if you do not suffer from asthma or seasonal allergies, poor indoor air quality can still negatively impact your health.
Here is what you need to know about professional home inspection services to check air quality and protect your home.
- Mold Test. Mold growth in your home may not always be visible to the naked eye. A trained professional can check your home for risk factors that could contribute to mold growth, and provide mold air sampling.
- Asbestos Test. Asbestos is a tiny invisible fiber that was commonly used in building materials prior to the 1980s. When products that contain asbestos are damaged, asbestos is released into the air. This can cause serious respiratory issues. If you suspect asbestos, it’s important to work with a professional who can take proper safety measures while collecting samples for testing.
- Radon Test. Radon is a radioactive gas and #1 cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. It has been found in all 50 states, and is only detectable through testing. A certified inspector can help identify high radon levels, which can then be mitigated.
- Air Quality Test. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from everyday products like cleaners, degreasers, and solvents, can also impact air quality. Contact a professional to get your home tested for air quality, learn more about the indoor health of your home, and get recommendations for improving air quality.
If your home air quality has not been checked recently, a full-service home inspection company can help with air quality testing, mold testing, radon testing, asbestos testing and more. Contact your local WIN Home Inspector at wini.com. We are here to help with professional inspection services, and recommendations for next steps.