Americans spend upwards of 90% of their day indoors, and probably 0% of that time is spent worrying about the quality of the air we are breathing. And that’s why people like our building specialists exist, so we can do the worrying for you! Indoor air quality is a growing point of concern as houses become tighter and more energy efficient because there are less opportunities for airborne pollutants to escape and for fresh air to enter the home. Asthma and severe allergies are also growing in number, making healthy indoor air quality a top priority for many homeowners.
Common Indoor Air Pollutants
There are several common airborne contaminants found in most NC homes, some naturally occurring and some manmade. The following are common indoor air quality hazards that we always check for when looking through a home:
- Mold: Mold spores are naturally occurring and are present in every home. It is only when they find the perfect spot with the perfect amount of moisture present that the spores begin to grow and cause concern to your health and your home. Some molds produce mycotoxins which are poisonous causing health problems including infections and allergic reactions.
- Lead: Energy Reduction Specialists of NC is a certified Lead Renovation Firm in North Carolina. Homes built prior to 1978 may contain lead-based paint where windows and doors are the primary sources of lead exposure. If you are concerned about the presence of lead in your home or are looking to renovate a home with lead we can help you determine a plan that is safe for you, your family, and your home.
- Asbestos: Throughout the 20th century asbestos was considered the “magic mineral” and the term was commonly used interchangeably with insulation. It wasn’t until the 1970s and 1980s that the dangers of asbestos became well known to the public and was used as a common building material until 1980. If your home was built before then you could have asbestos insulation in your attic, asbestos flooring, or asbestos tape on your ductwork. Our building specialists can identify asbestos materials and determine the best solution for keeping your home healthy.
- Carbon Monoxide: This colorless, odorless gas is an extreme health risk if high levels are present in a home, and on average 430 people in the US die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a product of combustion, so if you have a gas furnace, water heater, appliance, or gas logs there is an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in your home. Gas-burning appliances should have proper ventilation installed and every home with gas is required to have CO detectors. During our home inspections, our specialists test your appliances to ensure your home and family are safe.
- Radon: Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is present in soil, which is why it is usually found in high concentrations in basements and crawlspaces of home. This colorless, odorless gas is a carcinogen and according to the American Cancer Society is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US! If you are worried about radon levels in your home, Energy Reduction Specialists can identify if your home is at risk and provide solutions for remediation.