It's been nearly three years since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set off shock waves across the country with its finding that pollutant levels found in most American homes are two to five times worse – and sometimes 100 times worse – than those levels found outdoors.
Put another way, when you add up all the threats to your home's indoor air quality, they could be more dangerous than breathing emissions from cars and gas-powered devices as well as pollutants that flow from retail and commercial buildings.
Considering that most Americans spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors, the EPA has continued its crusade to educate homeowners about how to remain vigilant about their home's air quality. First Quality Roofing & Insulation eagerly shares this mission, knowing that in Las Vegas, home maintenance reminders are valued by proactive homeowners.
Why indoor air matters
Like most people, you probably take the air you breathe for granted – not even giving it a thought as you go about a busy day. But this silent but significant influence can:
- Save your life – or cost you your life since the EPA says the three most toxic indoor pollutants are carbon monoxide, radon and secondhand smoke.
- Affect your respiratory health, either mitigating or agitating allergy and asthma symptoms.
- Affect the frequency, intensity and longevity of colds and viruses and symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and ear, nose and throat irritation.
- Influence the quality of your sleep and, because of its wide-reaching benefits, your general health and well being.
Heed these vital Las Vegas home maintenance reminders
You can improve your home's indoor air quality when you identify the contaminants and make a commitment to confront them:
- Confront the risk of carbon monoxide equipping your home with a carbon monoxide detector, preferably near the furnace. All gas furnaces emit small amounts of carbon monoxide, but this gas can stream in deadly amounts from a malfunctioning furnace.
- Confront the risk of radon by hiring a licensed professional to test your home for radon.
- Confront the risk of second-hand smoke by making your home a smoke-free zone (or at least sending smokers outdoors to light up).
- Confront the risk of volatile organic compounds from aerosol sprays and household cleaning products by eliminating them from your cleaning repertoire.
- Confront the risk of airborne particles by checking your air conditioner of furnace filter every 30 days – and replacing it when it's stuffed with dirt – and scheduling regular tuneups with a licensed technician.
- Confront the risk of outdoor allergens and dirt by requesting people to remove their dirty shoes at the door.
- Confront the risk of mold in bathrooms by turning on the exhaust fan while you shower or bathe in hot water and leaving it on for 15 minutes afterward. Spraying tubs and showers with a 50-50 mixture of vinegar and water once a week can help keep mold at bay between heavy cleanings.
- Confront the risk of dust mites by washing blankets, sheets and pillowcases in hot water at least twice a month.
- Confront the risk of insects and rodents – including the ones you don't see but still spread germs – by keeping your counters and floors free of food crumbs and particles.
- Confront the risk of pet dander by vacuuming or sweeping up fur from your four-legged pets. Vacuum area rugs regularly or take them outdoors and shake loose the embedded dust and dirt.
- Confront the risk of fumes from gas-powered tools by operating them outdoors and far away from your home's open doors and windows.
Find other Las Vegas home maintenance reminders in a helpful checklist offered by First Quality Roofing & Insulation. You can even import the information on a calendar to keep you on your toes – while breathing the highest quality air possible.
Learn the indoor plants that NASA has found to help filter the air in your home from many toxins, such as formaldehyde and ammonia with our blog post, “Improve Your Indoor Air Quality With Houseplants”.