Where do you live? In the heart of the city? Out in the suburbs. In an area with lots of land all around you?
Scientific studies show that outside has only a small role in impacting how healthy your air is. Indoor air pollution is often more heavily polluted than outside air, and can affect people in different ways. Symptoms change rapidly, from fatigue, irritated eyes, coughing, skin rashes, even an increase in respiratory conditions.
To protect your family, do these few things.
1. Adjust your windows
When was the last time you opened your windows? The Front Range has the benefit of having beautiful weather all year through. On nice afternoons, open up your windows and allow a cross breeze to flow through. Be sure to keep them closed on high pollution days, and if you have seasonal allergies when pollen counts are high.
2. Vent appliances
Make sure oven, ranges, indoor grills, clothes dryers and other appliance are properly vented. Run the exhaust fan on high when cooking, especially when working with gas appliances.
3. Vent bathrooms
Be sure your bathrooms are properly vented and use fans when bathing or showering. Run vent fans to reduce moisture and eliminate all bathroom smells.
4. Prevent mold
Even though Colorado is a dry climate, there is still plenty of room for mold to grow throughout your home. Keep indoor humidity below 50 percent, and clean and disinfect all potential problem areas regularly.
5. Avoid scented cleaners and products
Don’t use air fresheners, scented candles, incense and other masking products. Air fresheners actually pollute indoor air with carcinogens. Natural is always better.
6. Air dry-cleaned clothes
Newly dry-cleaned clothes have a chemical smell when the plastic bag is removed. Be sure to remove and air out before bringing into your home.
7. Vacuum often
When vacuuming, use a microfiltration bag of HEPA filter to help trap dust, dander, dust mites and pollen.
8. Clean the chimney
Avoid using woodstoves, kerosene heaters or traditional fireplaces if at all possible. If you do use wood fires on occasion, be sure the chimney is cleaned and checked annually.
9. Clean your furnace
Your furnace should be cleaned and inspected on an annual basis to ensure it is running as efficiently as possible.
10. Install carbon monoxide detectors
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that sickens thousands of Americans each year. Be sure they are installed outside all bedrooms.
11. Prevent CO poisoning
In addition to having a carbon monoxide detector in your home, be careful around high emissions activities. If you cook with charcoal, keep it far from windows and doors that will allow vapors to travel inside. Never run your car in a garage.
12. Get rid of radon
Radon is invisible, odorless radioactive gas found naturally in soil and water. It can seep into a house through cracks in the foundation, as well as through construction joints. You should test your home and install a radon ventilation system when needed.
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