asthma + respiratory illness
We spend 90% of our time indoors, which can be a scary prospect when you consider pollution inside your home is typically 2-5x worse than the air outdoors. This “indoor air quality” can cause or contribute to asthma, headaches, dry eyes, nose and throat issues, nasal congestion, nausea and fatigue. 40% of asthma episodes are caused by triggers in the home which can include dust mites, pollen, mold, carbon monoxide, excessive carbon dioxide, and other chemical fumes. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency ranks indoor air quality as one of the top five environmental risks to public health.
Here are five signs that your home might be making you sick:
1. You and your family sneeze a lot – and not just when you’re exposed to pollen outside. Mold and mildew in your home might be to blame.
2. You can’t seem to kick that musty smell. A fragrant spray won’t fix your indoor air smell or quality.
3. The basement or crawlspace is damp and you’ve got water stains on the paint in the bathrooms.
4. Two words: stink bugs. They might cause more annoyance than physical illness, but leaky and inefficient homes leave plenty of avenues for pests.
5. You need to run a dehumidifier in the summer and possibly a humidifier during the winter.
What to Do
Healthy Homes Solutions
A healthy home is: dry, clean, safe, properly ventilated, pest-free, contaminant-free, and well maintained. Because all the elements of a home interact, home energy upgrades often improve indoor air quality and upgrades can be designed to produce a healthier home.
Recent studies have shown that home energy upgrades can reduce a family’s healthcare costs. Read more.
· Sealing leaky ducts and installing a properly sized and efficient HVAC system will ventilate your home properly to help prevent triggers for asthma and allergies like mold and dust mites.
· When you seal your home up tightly, you also eliminate entry points for dust, pollen, insects, rodents and other pests.
· A home energy evaluation can help you identify health and safety issues in the home and prioritize the fixes that will lead to a healthier, more comfortable and affordable home. Learn about LEAP’s Healthy and Efficient Home Evaluation.