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June 13, 2016

Indoor Air Quality – What To Look For When Buying A House

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Healthy HomesIndoor Air Quality – What to Look For When Buying A House

With the summer season upon us, the housing market seems to be in full bloom. Investing in real estate is a huge decision, and while there are many things to consider, one commonly neglected item that should always be considered is the indoor air quality within the potential home.  Below are a few tips explaining why indoor air quality is so important in protecting your investment.

 

  1. Indoor Air Pollutants Are Everywhere – All The Time

Studies indicate that the air in homes is two to three times more unhygienic then the air outside.   Pets, carpet fibres, aerosols and other culprits can be placing a burden on your indoor air quality.

  1. The Biggest Air Quality Culprit

The  most common upset to indoor air quality in a home is mold.  Mold spores can create numerous health issues and typically pollute the air when an environment is poorly ventilated and damp.  Mold can even travel through the building envelope and HVAC system.

  1. Symptoms

The most common symptom of poor indoor air quality is sneezing, coughing, headache, allergies and sinus congestion.  These symptoms if absent when away from home are a sure sign of indoor air quality problems.  So how well you feel within the home you are looking to purchase is going to very much depend on the indoor air quality within the space.

  1. The link between HVAC and Air Quality

It is important to have your HVAC system checked and maintained regularly.  HVAC systems improves ventilation and keeps air moving throughout the home.  However, without clean filters, drain pan and cooling coils a mold problem could develop.  If a home you are looking to purchase hasn’t had their HVAC system maintained regularly, this may be very costly, not only resulting in replacing all of part of the system, but also to resolve any indoor air quality problems that have developed as a result.

  1. Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is rarely considered when thinking about indoor air quality, but is on of the most common culprits of bad indoor air.  Good ventialtion, detectors and air cleaners are key to a healthy indoor air environment.  Does the home you are looking to purchase have detectors?  How is the ventilation?

  1. Humidity

Too much humidity can cause mold and bacteria.  Whereas, not enough humidity can cause  dry cracked skin and even mess with home electronics and computers.  A humidity level between 30% and 60% is ideal for a healthy indoor air environment.  What is the relative humidity level within the home you are looking to buy?

  1. Maintenance

In order to maintain good air quality, it is important to keep a clean home.  Vacuuming and cleaning carpets regularly can prevent the buildup of dust and possible mold accumulation.  If your home does not have humidity controls, it is a good idea to use a dehumidifier in damp areas to prevent the buildup of mold or mildew.  If a home you are looking to purchase has not been properly maintained, this could lead to health issues for you and your family.

Having clean indoor air is not only beneficial for your health, but also for the sale or aquisition of a new home, after all, with an investment of that magnitude, you want to be sure you are living in a safe, happy, and healthy environment?

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