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Your Home May Be Polluted

Posted by Sherry Rioux on October 30, 2013

indoor air pollution

Gosh it is pretty outside.  Blue Mountain turns to green in the summer and white in the winter but right now, the mountain is aflame with reds, yellows and vibrant oranges.  My neighbour’s Maple tree here in Collingwood has turned a bright Crimson despite the deceptively warm temperatures.

While the weather and beauty of this time of year draw us outside for hikes, fall fairs and paddling, it’s also a time year that people start to migrate into the warmth of their homes.  Soon people are trading hikes for gyms, paddling for rowing machines and Farmer’s markets for indoor shopping. Few people are likely to think too much about indoor air quality but, it is worth the effort to consider.

After a home energy audit, John and I spent one afternoon plus $67.00 on caulking and foam to air seal our home.  The result was an astounding drop in our heating costs that year.  I have heard this time and again from other people who have done the same thing.  Have you?  If not, go do it!

Our homes are filled with nasties like mould spores, off-gassing, smoke, fireplace residue and solvents among other things.  After we close the windows and seal up the air leaks, it becomes more important than ever to ensure our homes provide a safe and healthy environment including air quality.

Here are some tips from Health Canada for reducing indoor air pollutants

  • Don’t permit smoking in your home;
  • Ensure that fuel-burning appliances are well maintained and inspected yearly;
  • Ensure adequate ventilation, especially in rooms with excess water vapour-like bathrooms;
  • Monitor and control humidity levels;
  • Ensure leaks and cracks in walls, floors, roofs and basements are fixed;
  • Immediately clean any mould found growing in your home;
  • Keep your home clean: dust and vacuum regularly;
  • Don’t idle your car or run other fuel-burning engines in an attached garage;
  • Keep the door between your garage and home closed;
  • Do not store paints, solvents or varnishes inside your home; and
  • Ensure furnishings made from particle-board or medium density fibre-board are coated or sealed.

It’s also a good time to change and/or clean your furnace and HRV filters, and, check that your Carbon Monoxide detectors, smoke alarms and fire extinguishers are in good working order.

So take one of these nice fall days and make sure you seal your air leaks and at the same time, take steps to ensure you are providing a healthy and comfortable home for the occupants.

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