3 things that diminish your home’s indoor air quality

by | May 7, 2023 | Home and Living

A healthy home is more than a cozy vibe or clean floors. Even though you can’t see it, the quality of indoor air can make a big difference to your health and comfort at home – especially since Canadians are said to spend 90 per cent of our time inside.

Here are three potential indoor air quality issues and what you can do about them:

  1. Radon
    Radon occurs from the breakdown of radioactive minerals deep in the ground. As it disperses in the air, it’s not a problem outside the home. But inside buildings it can accumulate to high levels that will damage your lungs over a long period of time. In fact, it’s one of the leading causes of lung cancer in non-smokers. Get a test kit or hire a professional to test the radon levels in your home and take action if they are too high.
  2. Volatile organic compounds
    These chemicals can cause headaches, breathing problems, eye irritation and other issues. Stovetop cooking, paint fumes and some composite wood products like flooring or furniture may expose you to VOCs. Aerosol or plug-in air fresheners may use VOCs to mask odours, and wood- or gas-burning appliances can create them without proper venting. Reduce exposure by improving ventilation whenever possible, especially when cooking, painting, using chemical products and so on. Be sure to opt for low-VOC products for your home whenever possible too.
  3. Dust
    Dust can occur in any area of the home and can irritate your eyes, nose and throat as well as trigger allergic reactions and worsen health conditions like asthma. To prevent the buildup of dust or dander from humans and pets, clean hard surfaces with a wet cloth or mop regularly. A dry cloth will only spread it around. Also vacuum carpets, curtains and other soft furnishings frequently. Make sure to clean your vacuum filter according to instructions to get the best performance.

While the mechanical ventilation in your home is a key part of healthy indoor air quality, the first line of defence is to minimize the contamination at the sources above.

More information on how to create a healthy indoor environment is available from Health Canada canada.ca/healthy-home

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