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Is Your Home A Health Risk?

Home is where health starts. Environmental risks are a primary cause of irritation, discomfort, and serious health issues. If you’re not careful, your home can be a cause of some serious health issues, especially when it comes to your home heating and cooling systems. Use the following guidelines to check if your home is at risk, but as always: when in doubt, call in a professional.

Watch Out for Mold

mold risksMold is a part of our everyday lives. Almost all of us has a bit of mold on the ceiling of our shower, a little on some food we left in the fridge too long. But if you’re not careful, you could have some in your vents, and that’s a serious health risk.

Mild mold buildup can be irritating, but more serious cases that occur in your vent or water systems can be a huge health risk, especially to seniors and children. Common symptoms of mold-induced irritation include:

  • Fits of excessive sneezing.
  • Frequent sinus congestion, especially after waking up.
  • Constant eye irritation that is relieved by going outdoors.
  • A dry hacking cough with no known source.
  • Allergic reactions not associated with other common causes.
  • In serious cases, mycotoxins can cause neurological symptoms.

If you experience any discomfort at home associated with these symptoms, you should visit a doctor first before determining if mold in your home may be the cause.

Carbon Monoxide – The Silent Killer

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a real risk for any home that using combustion-based heating (oil or gas furnaces). And while in many apartments, these systems required a carbon monoxide detector, many private homes have broken or outdated detectors.

We cannot stress enough that carbon monoxide poisoning is a very serious matter. If you use combustion heaters, you need to invest in a carbon monoxide detector, and you need to check it periodically.

Carbon monoxide is often associated with lethal outcomes, however that’s not always the case. Many minute carbon monoxide leaks aren’t deadly, but they can be just as hazardous. Even minor exposure to this colorless, odorless gas can cause light-headedness, vertigo, mental confusion, and effects we commonly associate with the flu.

Don’t wait for these symptoms to affect you: please invest in a carbon monoxide detector for the sake of your health and your family’s health.

Bacterial Deposits from Left Over Water

legionellaIf you have an air conditioner unit, when was the last time you checked the drainage? We hope it was fairly recently, as water deposits can be a breeding ground for a host of bacterias and pathogens that can make you sick.

The problem is far more common with personal stand-up air conditioners than central air units, however any air conditioner can be a breeding ground for bacteria such as Legionella, which can cause pneumonia-like symptoms in children and the elderly. This bacteria thrives in moist and warm surroundings, such as those found in your air conditioner reservoir.

Make a point of having your central air checked for water and moisture buildup, as well as emptying any water reservoirs that you use for any purpose. Periodic draining each season is the best way to avoid having bacterial growth accumulate in your air conditioners.

Stay Healthy and Stay Comfortable

Above all, we encourage you to always be on the lookout for health risks that your HVAC units could pose to you and your family. A healthy home is a comfortable home. By reducing health risks in your home, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll have all the comfort and security your home requires.