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6 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Home’s Air Quality

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Did you know that the air in your home can be up to ten times more polluted than the air outside? Household air pollution can have a variety of side effects ranging from allergic reactions to lung cancer, so it is important to keep your contaminant levels in check.

Here are six things you can do to improve the indoor air quality in your home:

Invest in a HEPA air filter.

If you want to clean up the air in your home, purchasing an air filter is a good place to start. Don’t buy just any filter though – HEPA products are tested and proven to remove at least 99.97% of the particles in the air.

Ditch the commercial cleaning products.

You may think those store-bought products are cleaning your home, but they are actually just filling it with harmful chemicals. Natural ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and salt do just as good of a job for half of the price and no negative health effects.

Implement a strict no-shoes policy.

Wearing shoes around the house doesn’t just track in dirt, it also tracks in pollen, pesticides, and all other sorts of pollutants. Place welcome mats outside of all your entrances and make family and guests take off their shoes at the door.

Add more plants around the home.

Houseplants aren’t just for looks; NASA actually determined that they can help improve your air quality. Certain plants – such as aloe vera, english ivy, and peace lilies – can remove harmful particles from the air and act as a natural filter!

Keep the moisture to a minimum.

Excess moisture almost always leads to mold growth, which can not only make you sick, but also compromise the structural integrity of your home. Keep your moisture levels in check by using a dehumidifier in problem areas and running your exhaust fan for 15 minutes after a hot shower.

Have your air ducts cleaned every 3-5 years.

Over time, the air ducts in your home accumulate allergens such as dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold. Once these particles are in your ducts, they can use them as a transportation system to spread throughout your entire home.

Professional equipment is necessary to adequately clean air ducts, so it is a job best left to the experts. Residents of Pueblo County, Colorado can depend on Patterson Plumbing for a professional duct cleaning at an affordable price. Contact us online or give us a call at (719) 544-4922 to schedule your appointment today.

These Houseplants Can Naturally Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

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Science says that you should have more plants in your home. Not only do they make a good decoration, they can actually have health benefits too.

According to NASA (yes, that NASA), certain houseplants can naturally remove harmful toxins from the air in your home. During the 1980s, NASA conducted a study to see if houseplants could provide cleaner air for their space stations.

They concluded that some plants could indeed act as a natural air filter. Certain plants are better at this than others, however. Here is a list of the top ten plants for improving indoor air quality:

  1. Aloe Vera

  2. Peace Lily

  3. Spider Plant

  4. English Ivy

  5. Boston Fern

  6. Heart Leaf Philodendron

  7. Eucalyptus

  8. African Violets

  9. Chinese Evergreen

  10. Chrysanthemum

Unfortunately, it is not unheard of for the air inside of our homes to be ten times more polluted than the air outside. In extreme cases such as these, houseplants may not be enough to solve the problem. If you are concerned about the air quality in your home, take action!

If you live in Pueblo County, Colorado or the surrounding area, the air quality experts at Patterson Plumbing & Heating can help you clean up the air in your home. Visit our website for more information or give us a call at (719) 544-4922 to learn about our services.

How the Air in Your Home is Making You Sick

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Many of us think of our homes as a sanctuary – a safe haven from germs and air pollution. Unfortunately, that may not be the case. Read below to discover how the air in your home could actually be making you sick.

What is indoor air pollution?

Indoor air pollution is just what it sounds like. While most people think of smoggy cities when they hear the word “pollution”, the fact is that the air in our homes and offices is polluted too. In fact, the EPA states that indoor air is often 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside.

What are the health effects of indoor air pollution?

Indoor air pollution is nothing to sneeze at – no pun intended. Exposure to indoor air pollution has many negative impacts on your health, both in the short and long term. Short term effects include allergic-like reactions such as coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, headaches, and dizziness.

Long term effects are much more severe. The World Health Organization has linked indoor air pollution to serious diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

What causes indoor air pollution?

Indoor air pollution can come from many sources, including everyday items we think are completely safe. Some household products known to emit harmful toxins include: carpeting and furniture; paint; cleaning products; candles; heating equipment such as stoves and furnaces; and most ironically, air fresheners.

What can I do to improve the air quality in my home?

There are many steps you can take to promote better air quality in your home. Start by changing the air filters on your HVAC system every month. Switching to homemade cleaning products, such as vinegar and baking soda, and regularly mopping and vacuuming your floors are good habits as well. Always use paints and strippers labeled as “low VOC”, and keep your windows open when the weather permits to promote better air flow.

Another little-known place that pollutants are known to hide is inside of your air ducts. Allergens such as animal dander, dust, mold, and pollen can all be found here in high quantities. Your air ducts act as a transportation system for these particles, circulating them throughout your entire home. For this reason, experts recommend cleaning your air ducts every 3-5 years.

Proper air duct cleaning requires specialized knowledge and equipment, so it is best to leave this job to a professional service. Homeowners in Pueblo County, Colorado can count on Patterson for a thorough duct cleaning at a reasonable rate. Contact us online to schedule your service or give us a call at (719) 544-4922.

Surprising Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

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Indoor air pollution is a problem in most of our homes – about 96% of them to be exact according to the EPA. One of the biggest reasons for indoor air pollution is the lack of awareness about it. Americans don’t know that it is an issue, and don’t understand that everyday products can cause it.

Here are a few of the most surprising sources of indoor air pollution.

  • Cleaning Products. Those store-bought cleaning products under your sink are full of harmful chemicals – even the ones labeled “all natural”. Replace these commercial cleaners with real natural ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, lemon, and salt.

  • Carpets. Even if you vacuum regularly, your carpet could be harboring all kinds of pollutants. Common ones include dust mites and pet dander, but pesticides can also be tracked into your home if you wear your shoes indoors. New carpets are just as dangerous; many of them emit formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical used during the manufacturing process.

  • Air Fresheners. Air fresheners may have the most misleading name out of any consumer product in the world. They don’t freshen your air at all, they just mask it with chemicals and toxins. If you are looking for a quick, powerful way to eliminate toilet odors, just light a match.

  • Paints. Lead paint has been outlawed for decades, but it’s still present in older homes across the country. As this paint begins to chip and peel, lead particles are released into the air where they can be inhaled. Even newer paints emit toxins as they dry – next time you buy paint, make sure it is low-VOC.

  • HVAC Ducts. Did you know that the average three-bedroom home generates more than 40 pounds of dust every year? Much of this dust accumulates in your air ducts, where it can circulate through your whole house and trigger allergic reactions. Other pollutants known to hide in air ducts include mold, pet dander, cigarette smoke, and rodent droppings.

When was the last time you looked at the air ducts in your home? Experts recommended having them professionally cleaned every 3-5 years. If you live in Pueblo County, Colorado, look no further than Patterson Plumbing & Heating for your duct cleaning needs. Contact us online or give us a call at (719) 544-4922 to get started.