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Indoor Air Quality Test - Control Your Allergies

Posted in Air Quality, on April 08, 2016

I often question this to myself, “aren’t people with allergies benefactors to the human race?” Think about it this way: while most of us keep on dwelling in our homes with unsafe surroundings and polluted air, these people can actually detect allergens. About 20% of all human beings develop allergies, and they should be considered as heroes of the world today, as they often end up making living spaces cleaner and safer for everyone else. While most of us consider the air to be clean inside our homes, the truth however is to the contrary. Having said so, it is of dire importance that we find corrective measures and remedies to clean the indoor air quality of our homes, for everyone’s sake. For instance, allergens are persistently present inside our houses and we must know what causes them. An indoor air quality test is usually the first step. Here is a list of some of the few that are commonly found in every dwelling through air quality testing:

  • House Dust
  • Mold Spores
  • Pollens
  • Fabrics
  • Dust Mites
  • Cockroaches

Removing Allergens inside the House through our indoor air quality test recommendations.

Considering this large quantity of indoor allergens, it is imperative that we intervene and remove them from our homes, with immediate effect. An indoor air quality test can show you how. Here are some tips to ensure that your indoor air quality meets safety levels for most people, even those who have allergies. Specific areas of your living quarters are more susceptible to accumulating allergens with time, here are some of the few things you can do to make them allergy proof:

  • Bedrooms: Make sure that you enclose the box springs, mattresses, and pillows in dust- mite proof covers. Consistently wash the sheet and cover at least once a week with hot water at 1300F (540C). Use synthetic materials in bedding instead of wool or feathers. Make sure dust collecting items such as knickknacks and table ornaments are kept cleaned or removed completely.
  • Living room: Though natural gas fireplaces are fine but wood burning fire-place and stoves cause smoke and gases that can actually worsen respiratory allergies. For furniture consider replacing upholstered sofas and chair with metallic, plastic, leather, or wooden counterparts. Use curtains that are washable and made synthetic fiber or plain cotton. Replace carpeting with linoleum, washable rugs, or hardwood flooring. If this isn’t an option then always chose low-pile carpeting instead of high-pile. Periodically shampoo wall-to-wall carpets, and wash the floor mats and rugs every week.
  • Kitchen: Install vents with exhaust fans to reduce fumes and moisture from cooking. Wash the dishes daily and scrub the faucets and sink to remove any food leftovers and mold. Use detergent and water to clean the countertops and cabinets. Use sealed containers to store food and pet food. Use a can with insect proof lid to place garbage; empty trash daily. Keep the kitchen floor free from food crumbs to give yourself a chance in reducing rodents and cockroaches.
  • Bathrooms: Install an exhaust fan to reduce moisture in the air while taking baths. Make use of tiles, vinyl, wooden or linoleum flooring and washable rugs if you want to. Make your bathroom walls covered with mold-resistant enamel paint. Scrub the shower, faucets and tubs with bleach. Make sure that plumbing fixtures are mold free and that leaks are repaired consistently.

Making Use of Air Filter Technology

The American Lung Association and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) strongly recommend the use of air filtration for people suffering from allergies and asthma. Here are five basic types of air filters that help in reducing allergens in the air inside your homes:

  • Mechanical Filters: The best known is the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. To qualify as a true HEPA filter, a device must be able to capture 90% of all particles entering it that can be as small as 0.3 microns or more in diameter.
  • Electronic Filters: They use electronic charges to attract and deposit allergens. The most efficient are the electrostatic precipitators with an internal fan.
  • Hybrid Filters: They are a cross between both mechanical and electronic filters.
  • Gas Phase Filters: Help in removing odors and non-particulate pollutants such as cooking gas, gasses emitted from paint and building materials. Unfortunately, they aren’t deemed effective in removing allergens on their own.
  • Ozone Generators: Devices that potentially generate the ozone layer. They are unapproved by EPA and American Lung Association as ozone can be harmful in stronger concentrations and there is no current data available to state their efficiency in removing

When opting for an air filter, one must make sure that CADR (clean air delivery rate) for the device is higher and faster, as per the advice of Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. There are different CADRs for dust, pollen, and tobacco smoke.

General Precautions

  • Hot and humid houses breeds dust mites and molds. It’s best that you keep temperatures between 680F (200C) to 720F (220C). Humidity levels should be kept as low as 50%.
  • Rooms with air conditioners and cooling systems should be cleaned at least once a month.
  • Don’t allow smoking inside the house’s vicinity.
  • Make sure that your pets are bathed at least once a week and kept out of your bedrooms.
  • Consider using green cleaners under the EPA’s Safer Choice Labels.

Book an Indoor Air Quality Test today.

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