The air in your home can have a major impact on the health of you and your family. With over 25 million people in the U.S. struggling with asthma and respiratory issues, good air quality is essential to having a healthy and happy place to live. When you think about air pollution, things like smoke from manufacturing or exhaust from cars may come to mind. But when it comes to your home’s indoor air quality there are several less commonly known pollutants that can have a major impact on your family’s health.
Mold & Mildew
Because heat rises, your home loses heat out the top and draws air in from the lower portions of the home much like a chimney works. This means that up to 50% of the air in your home comes from the crawlspace. Since crawlspaces are dark and damp, they often have significant amounts of fungal growth along with other unpleasant substances like rodent feces. If not addressed, mold spores and musty odors can seep up into your home, through tiny cracks and fissures in the floor.
The effects of mold may vary based on extent and type of mold and your family’s sensitivity—from mild sinus irritation to serious asthma attacks and other severe symptoms. One of the first steps to take towards good air quality is making sure your crawlspace and other areas in your home are dry and free from fungal growth and other contaminants. The professional Energeyes team can eliminate this problem with crawlspace encapsulation, vapor barriers, mold remediation, improved drainage, sump pumps or dehumidifiers.
Carbon Monoxide & Natural Gas
If your home has any gas appliances, there is potential for air contamination. This can either come from carbon monoxide produced by gas combustion or from a natural gas leak itself. If a gas appliance is improperly vented, carbon monoxide can be drawn into the home.
Carbon monoxide is a odorless gas that can lead to headaches and, in high concentrations, death. Common appliances that can contribute to this risk are gas fireplaces or heaters, gas hot water heaters, stoves, and gas furnaces. All of these appliances also have the potential for a gas leak which can be very dangerous. As an important part of our home energy audit, Energeyes will test these appliances to ensure that they are vented and functioning properly to ensure safe indoor air quality.
Radon is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas that is emitted from soil. This gas causes lung cancer if the levels of the gas are high enough in your home. To protect your home from this, a radon test can be conducted to determine the level of radon gas coming from the soil beneath your home.
If it is high, a radon mitigation system can be installed to redirect the gas so that it doesn’t seep into the home. If radon levels are known to be high in your area, it is important to get your home tested for radon as part of your home’s overall air quality.
Rodent & Bat Feces
Whether in your crawlspace or your attic, rodent and bat droppings can harbor disease-causing bacteria and viruses. The more droppings, the greater the risk of poor indoor air quality.
In our area, bat droppings are particularly dangerous because they harbor a fungus that can cause a lung infection called histoplasmosis when these spores are inhaled. These contaminants can be spread from your attic throughout your home through leaky ductwork or small leaks between your attic and living areas. Once rodents or bats have been removed, Energeyes can take several steps to prevent these contaminants from affecting your family’s health, including:
Removing insulation that has been contaminated by droppings
Properly cleaning the area
Air sealing the attic area
Duct sealing to prevent the spread of contaminants.
Following these steps can make a major impact on your air quality and help make your home smell fresh and clean.