3 Reasons to Focus on Indoor Air Quality During Your Next Home Remodeling Project
Indoor air pollution can be just as bad for your health as outdoor air pollution, and that is especially true if you are remodeling your home.
In fact, if the filters, vents, and ducts that are part of your HVAC system don’t work properly during a home reno, you can find yourself breathing a toxic stew containing various microbes, particulates, and chemicals that can cause major respiratory problems.
Sometimes, toxins are noticeable, as is the case with paint, glue, and varnish, which have strong offensive odors. However, it is quite easy to breathe in dust, mold spores and bacteria that the result of tearing apart walls and floors without being aware of it.
During a renovation, it is best to focus on improving your home air quality by making a temporary plan to live in the parts of your home that are not being renovated.
Be Aware of the Health Effects of Particulate Matter
Focusing on the air quality in your home during renovations can help spare you the negative effects of breathing in particulate matter.
Better known as dust, this matter can be released into the air as floors and walls are ripped up. Sometimes particulates in the form of small glass fibers are released into the air if the renovators expose old pink fiberglass insulation.
Particulate matter can cause lung irritation and changes in blood chemistry that can lead to the kind of blood clots that can cause heart attacks. Repeatedly breathing in dust can also cause bronchitis and increase the likelihood of contracting pneumonia.
You can prevent yourself, your family and your pets from breathing in particulate matter by making sure that your HVAC system is turned completely off during the renovations and that you are not running any ceiling fans. The idea is to let the dust settle on its own so it can be swept away. You can also ask your renovators to mist down crumbling walls so that the dust becomes heavy and less inclined to float through the air.
Be Aware of the Health Effects of Off-Gassing and Toxic Fumes
Toxic fumes exude from glued down new carpets, floor and paint stripper and varnish. Most paint is also quite toxic and paint remover can cause respiratory symptoms, impaired thinking, dizziness, vomiting, and seizures.
Off-gassing happens when a new item, such as a roll of new carpet, is unwrapped from the factory and emits fumes that are the result of its manufacture. It can take days or even weeks for the fumes to vanish. Your best course of action is to seal the area where the work or new carpet is and open all of the windows wide so the scent can dissipate by itself.
Changing Your Air Filters Frequently Deals With Both Dust and Fumes
If you were going to do just one thing to help deal with the dust and fumes from ongoing renovations, it would be changing your air filters frequently.
This is because, for months after the renovation, your HVAC system will still be working hard to clear the air of any remaining particles or toxins.
Bloomington, MA residents should know that the cleaner your air filters are, the more efficiently your HVAC will run and the more money you will save. Inspect filters every three weeks to see how dirty they are and if need be, have them replaced.
You should do this in addition to your regular HVAC inspection that occurs twice a year. Remember that your best three reasons for doing this are to protect your family’s health, reduce the cost of your energy bills and have the peace of mind that comes with knowing for certain that your air is safe to breathe.