Here’s an easy one: you’re driving down the street with your window open when a noisy truck or motorcycle streaming smoke and fumes pulls up next to you. So what do you do? You close your window, of course.
Now here’s a tough one: As you pull up to your home, landscapers next door are polluting the air with mowers and blowers. So what do you do? Hurry indoors, where you can finally breathe pure, healthy air, of course.
Well, not exactly.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continues to remind us that indoor levels of air pollutants might be two to five times higher – and sometimes 100 times higher – than outdoor levels of air pollutants. And agency studies consistently rank indoor air pollution – including secondhand smoke, radon, biological pollutants and organic compounds – as among the top five threats to public health.
Healthy air breeds healthy people
The EPA stops short of declaring a public health emergency – but just short. Since Charlie’s Tropic Heating & Air Conditioning is vested in the health and well-being of our customers, let us help you protect and improve the quality of indoor air. You will notice the difference in:
• A reduced risk of contracting a respiratory disease
• Fewer colds and viruses
• Cold and viruses that are less intense and shorter in duration
• More manageable allergy and asthma symptoms
• Better sleep, which affects your overall health in myriad ways
Healthy air is important for adults but even more so for children, who ingest more air in relation to their body weight. Like adults, they are most susceptible to three influences:
• Gases or particles that contaminate the air – the primary reason why indoor air can suffer
• High temperatures and humidity levels, which can exacerbate these influences
• Inadequate ventilation
Begin breathing easier
Taking a proactive stance against indoor air pollutants requires multiple steps. You can begin today when you:
• Make your home a smoke-free zone. Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 harmful substances, the EPA says.
• Reduce or eliminate the use of spray cans and purchase cleaning products with natural ingredients.
• Test your home for radon with a kit you can purchase at your local home improvement store. Many short-term tests take only two or three days. If you register a high reading – and about 1 in 15 homes in the United States do – call Charlie’s so that we can refer you to a qualified radon inspector.
• Install a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home. Reduce other CO emissions by ensuring that your stove and dryer are properly vented to the outdoors, the flue is open when you use your fireplace and not letting your car idle in the garage.
• Prevent mold buildup by controlling moisture. Clean up water leaks or spills quickly and keep indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent. You can easily measure humidity levels yourself with a hygrometer, an inexpensive instrument sold at many hardware stores.
• Open the windows in your home, when you can, to diffuse indoor air pollutants and let fresh outdoor air in.
• Check the filter on your air conditioner or furnace every month. Hold it up to a bright light and replace the filter if you cannot see through it.
If you suspect your indoor air quality is being compromised by a source outside of your control, call Charlie’s. We’ll find the culprit and fix it so that you and your family can breathe better indoor air – and make your home a healthy exception to the state of affairs in all American homes.