February is American Heart Month, which means experts will be handing out plenty of advice on how to eat and exercise so you can keep your heart in good shape. But there’s one area of impact on your heart you may not hear a lot about — how indoor air quality, or IAQ, affects your heart, as well as other aspects of your all-around health.

IAQ Effects on Your Health

Airborne particulates build up in your home, even if you can’t always see them. Here are just a few of the major ones that are likely to be present in the typical residence:

  • Dust
  • Dust mites and other insect particles
  • Mold, mildew and fungus
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Your home may also be harboring smoke, radon, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide in greater than normal volumes. The effects on your health from these substances can range from mild irritation to serious diseases such as COPD or heart disease.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to minimize exposure and give your body its best chance for avoiding complications.

Control Airborne Particulates

Do the following to keep airborne particulates under control:

  • Vacuum carpet, drapes and upholstery to control dust, dust mites, pollen and pet dander.
  • Wash linens in hot water to get rid of dust mites.
  • Control humidity and mold by fixing leaks and running a dehumidifier.
  • Brush pets frequently outdoors to control pet dander.
  • Keep windows closed to keep out pollen; use a good quality air filter in the HVAC system to control this and other airborne particulates.
  • Air out chemical-laden products and dry cleaning before bringing them indoors to control VOCs.
  • Ban smoking in your home and limit the use of candles.
  • Use an air quality monitor to detect damaging levels of CO, CO2 or radon.

To learn more about IAQ effects on your home and health, contact Jackson and Sons of eastern North Carolina.