4 Common Air Pollutants in the Home

It’s easy to assume that your home is the safest place to be but sadly, this isn’t always the case. In fact, the very air you’re breathing at home could be affecting your well-being. To find out what contaminants could be present and what you can do about them, take a look at these four common air pollutants found in the home:

Abstract, Dust, Background, Wallpaper, Particles, Space

1. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Found in paints, varnishes, aerosols, cleaning products and even some soft furnishings, volatile organic compounds can cause both short and long-term health issues. You may experience headaches, dizziness or itchy eyes when you’re exposed to a high level of VOCs, for example, while some can even be carcinogenic. 

2. Dust and Dirt

Sometimes referred to as ‘particulate matter’, these debris are small enough to be inhaled, which is why they can cause a range of health problems. Although you won’t be able to see them, breathing them in can irritate your nose, eyes and throat. For people with underlying respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), breathing in particulate matter can exacerbate their symptoms and worsen their condition. 

3. Mold

It’s not unusual for mold to be present in residential properties, and don’t assume your home is free from mold simply because you can’t see it. As well as lurking in undisturbed corners and behind furniture, mold can be present inside walls or underneath floorboards, which is why it’s so tricky to deal with. If left unresolved, however, it can cause wheezing, itchy eyes, a stuffy nose and/or a skin rash. Some people also report experiencing headaches and fatigue when they’re exposed to mold. 

4. Nitrogen Dioxide

Being exposed to relatively low levels of nitrogen dioxide can irritate the nose, throat, eyes and respiratory tract. However, ongoing exposure can lead to bronchitis, while high levels of exposure can cause a range of serious and life-threatening health problems. When nitrogen dioxide is present in the home, it’s usually because a gas-burning product isn’t being used or correctly. This can result in nitrogen dioxide and other harmful gases being released into the air. 

Improving the Air Quality in Your Home

Now that you’re aware of some of the harmful pollutants that you could be present in the air, you’ll want to know what you can do to get rid of them. Fortunately, using an air purifier or air conditioning system can help to remove contaminants from the air inside your home, providing they’re well-maintained. To learn more about when to change the filters on these products or what filters you need, just follow this link.

However, it’s also important to ensure all the gas-powered appliances in your home are installed correctly and in good working order, as this reduces the risk of them leaking dangerous gases. Similarly, you’ll want to install devices such as carbon monoxide alarms to warn you if life-threatening toxins are present. 

By keeping your home well-ventilated and using air purification systems to remove pollutants from the air, you can make sure your home is as safe as it feels.