Keep it Well-Ventilated
How Air Quality Can Affect Your Health
On average, most people will spend 90% of their time indoors. They are often exposed to unhealthy chemicals from household products, furnaces, and other devices. Chemicals from household products can have many health effects. In a home that is poorly ventilated (where the air does not circulate properly), poor air quality can:
• Make allergy or asthma symptoms worse
• Make your eyes red, and make your nose and throat burn
• Make you feel tired and give you headaches
• Allow mold to grow because of too much moisture
How to Know if You Have a Problem
You might have poor ventilation or air quality in your home if:
- You see or smell mold, fumes, smoke, or strong or unpleasant smells
- Surfaces are very dusty
- Heating and air conditioner filters and vents are dirty or clogged with dust
- Clothes dryer is not vented outside
- Exhaust fans in bathrooms or kitchen are missing, not working or not vented to outside
How to Fix the Problem
- Do not allow smoking in the home.
- Open windows whenever possible.
- In bathrooms and kitchens, use exhaust fans that are vented outside.
- Do not use aerosol sprays, scented candles, and air fresheners.
- Choose household products – like safer paints, adhesives, and wood items – that do not give off dangerous gases.
- Clean heating and air conditioner vents and replace filters regularly.
- Vent all appliances that burn fuel to the outside.
- Have qualified professionals check the furnace, hot water heater, gas appliances, and fireplace or woodstove checked every year.
- Test for radon, a natural gas that causes lung cancer each year. If needed, install systems to reduce radon.
- Consider indoor air quality if you make your home more energy efficient.
For more information:
CT Department of Public Health - Asthma
CT Department of Public Health - Indoor Air Quality
CT Department of Public Health - Tobacco Use Prevention & Control Program
CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection - Household Alternatives for Reducing Toxic Products in the Home
CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection - Pesticide Management Program
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home