The air you breathe in your home might be hazardous to your health. In fact, the air inside your home might be more polluted than the air in most polluted cities. This may be especially true in the winter months when windows are tightly shut.

You might not know it, but if you are having breathing problems, a stuffy nose or aches and pains, it might not be a touch of a cold like you think, it could be you are suffering from indoor air pollution.

Once the culprit has been identified, your indoor pollution can be greatly reduced or even entirely eliminated. And it is something worth looking into as indoor pollution has been linked to skin rashes, sore throats, eye irritation, memory lapse and dizziness. The long-term effects of indoor air pollution include an increased risk of cancer.

Total Care Heating & Air, your AC service in Corona, offers this list of common causes of indoor air pollution.

Smoke

Not only is second-hand smoke a source of indoor air pollution, but smoke from fireplaces, cooking fires and stoves are guilty as well. To prevent this type of indoor pollution, eliminate all indoor smoking and keep your home well-ventilated to help prevent the build-up of smoke from indoor fires. Make sure you keep chimneys clean and well-maintained.

Asbestos

If you live in an older home, one built in the 1970s and earlier, there is a chance of asbestos being present. If you have popcorn ceilings, asbestos could be a concern. Asbestos needs to be handled by a trained professional.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that results from the burning of fossil fuels. It can be emitted from cigarettes, automobiles and defective heating devices including furnaces. This is an acutely toxic gas and exposure can cause nausea, unconsciousness and even death.

Because you can neither see nor smell carbon monoxide, it is critical that you have detectors in your home. It is also highly recommended that you have your furnace cleaned and inspected on a regular basis.

Biological Sources

This is a broad category and the health effects are wide-ranging. Pollution caused by biological sources can irritate eyes, nose and throat, cause breathing problems, cause fevers and you can get a number of diseases from them.

Unfortunately, there is no way to totally eliminate the biological sources that cause pollution in your home, you can only hope to contain them.

Biological sources that can lead to pollution include mold and mildew, pets and insects. One way to reduce mold is by ensuring you have exhaust fans and ventilators. By making sure you vacuum and dust regularly, you keep dust mites to a minimum.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

VOCs are toxic gases that are emitted from certain liquids and solids. These can be found in a very long list of household products including cleaning products, paints, varnishes, glues, building materials and paint removers. VOCs have both short-term and long-term effects. Some problems you might encounter when exposed to VOCs include headaches, nausea, dizziness and even cancer.

Radon

Radon is a highly radioactive gas that can get into your home through the ground. What makes radon so dangerous is that it is odorless, colorless and tasteless. Basically, you have to have your home tested to discover if you have it. In addition, it produces no immediate symptoms, which means you won’t even know if you are inhaling it.

Radon has been linked to lung cancer and causes as many as 30,000 deaths a year. Fortunately, radon testing is inexpensive and easy to do.

Nitrogen Dioxide

Nitrogen dioxide comes from many of the same sources as carbon monoxide and it also carries many of the same health risks. Fortunately, nitrogen dioxide has a sharp and easily detectable odor and it is reddish-brown in color.

Respirable Particles

Respirable particles are, simply put, small bits of matter floating around the air that can be easily inhaled. In addition to tobacco smoke, kerosene heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves are causes of respirable particles. Like other indoor pollutants, these particles can cause irritations in the eyes, nose and throat and other ailments.

As you can see, there are numerous sources of indoor air pollution. Call Total Care Heating & Air for a furnace check-up today.