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With so many people now optimizing their living spaces for energy efficiency, the risk for indoor air pollution in homes can actually increase, say experts, as pollutants can get trapped indoors as a result.
Clean air inside your home is vital. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to air pollutants can cause health problems, including respiratory disease, heart disease and cancer.
Here are steps you can take to protect your family from these risks:
Many sources of air pollution are preventable. Start by ensuring no one smokes inside, as secondhand smoke contains nicotine, toxic chemicals and carcinogenic agents.
Take care of water leaks immediately to prevent mold and mildew from forming around your home. Also, take steps to reduce indoor humidity. The EPA and the Department of Energy are offering tips on how to do so at www.EnergyStar.gov.
If your home was built between 1930 and 1950, it was likely insulated with asbestos. Make sure these materials are in good condition, as damaged asbestos could release harmful fibers into your home. Hire a professional to seal, cover or remove damaged material.
Emissions from gas stoves can worsen asthma. If anyone in your household suffers from asthma, consider replacing your gas stove with an electric one.
Choose safe household cleaners that don’t contain harsh chemicals. Organic and non-toxic products can do the same job as traditional products, without irritating your eyes, nose and throat.
No matter how many steps you take to prevent indoor air pollution, your home is subject to inevitable sources of pollutants. Proper mechanical ventilation is your best defense.
“Continuous ventilation at a low speed not only takes minimal wattage to run, but it also significantly improves the indoor air quality of your entire home by exhausting hidden pollution, such as allergens, mildew, mold and more,” says Anita So, marketing manager at Panasonic Eco Solutions North America.
Although most consumers are aware of the need for ventilation in areas prone to high-humidity like bathrooms, an entire air-tight home can benefit from eliminating mold, mildew, moisture, volatile organic compounds and other invisible vapors.
First, check to see if your ventilation fans are working properly. If the bathroom mirror steams up after a hot shower or bath, it is time to replace or install a ventilation fan. For example, Panasonic’s ENERGY STAR rated WhisperGreen fan offers ventilation with a low speed setting for continuous whole-home ventilation and a high speed setting for increased moisture levels produced by showers or baths. WhisperGreen fans are extremely quiet, energy efficient and feature exclusive technology, ensuring powerful performance.
Not only will a combination of intermittent and continuous ventilation keep your family safer from allergens and toxic gases, but it can also save you money by preventing structural damage, ruined fixtures, peeling wallpaper and blistering paint.
For more information about optimizing your indoor air quality, visit www.panasonic.com/ventfans.
Sometimes hidden dangers are the most menacing. But you can breathe more easily by preventing and removing pollutants in your home.
Courtesy of State Point Media
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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