My husband often complains of headaches that come out of nowhere. Being the attentive and compassionate wife that I am, I tease him and say, “Maybe we have sick house syndrome”. But in all reality, this is a serious problem for many.
Indoor air quality is something we take for granted. If we lack good ventilation, we continue to breathe in the same stale air that contains air-pollutants from off-gas fumes, mold, mildew, dust, animal dander and other pesky minute particles that fl
oat in the air. As a result, some people can develop allergies. For example paint fumes in a non-ventilated room can cause dizziness, headaches, a runny nose and/or eye irritations. In severe cases, one could end up with respiratory issues, tremors, shaky hands, irritability, memory loss, or slurred speech.
How can this be avoided?
- If your climate allows, open windows to allow fresh air to enter into your interior space. But remember, this would not make sense during the high pollen allergy season or if you live in a smoggy area. This would defeat the purpose.
- Install exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom.
- Install a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration system. A true HEPA filter removes 99.97% of allergens, dust, and microscopic particles from the air.
- Use non-toxic materials in your house like low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints. VOCs are chemicals found in solvents, paints and dry-cleaning fluid. Breathing in low levels of VOCs over a period of time may still cause health related issues.
- Get rid of that new home smell, the off gassing from paints, carpets and adhesives, by opening windows (if possible) to get fresh air in, and/or use fans to extract the fumes out.
There’s nothing like wide open windows that allow a cross breeze of fresh air to flow through out your space, or better still you might be lucky and have an HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) system that blows in fresh air.