Home Health™ Report Card
It’s time for a Home Health™ Report Card. Don’t worry: there is no detention. But our Service Experts still want to evaluate your home’s air against many criteria. These folks are serious – they never smile – so here are some things they will examine. Please note: they fill out these report cards in permanent marker, which is impervious to all stain removers and magic potions. And, unless you know an expert forger who can produce another report card, your best bet is get high marks on the subjects contained below.
Why Does a Home Health Report Card Matter? What is Being Graded?
Too much humidity can promote mold and mildew; too little can lead to dry skin, sore throats and respiratory problems. And an imbalance on either side can keep you from feeling comfortable at normal temperature settings. Translation: humidity is a fickle friend, one we should never forsake or insult because the consequences could be awful.
Wet conditions in your home's crawlspace are a natural breeding ground for mold, a biological contaminant that can lead to severe respiratory problems, allergies, chronic fatigue and, in some cases, immune system disorders.
Poor airflow in the home can lead to lower heating and cooling system performance, increased energy consumption and possibly humidity imbalances - all of which add up to an uncomfortable home and higher utility bills. More importantly, poor airflow can make your home feel like one of those seedy airport motels – yikes – that has tiny bath towels and bad fluorescent lighting.
Without adequate filtration, expensive heating and cooling equipment can clog and malfunction, leading to decreased efficiency, higher utility costs and potentially expensive repairs. Poor filtration can also cause dust buildup in your home, making you and other family members more susceptible to colds, allergies and respiratory problems.
Ducts are the distribution system for your home's heated and cooled air. If ducts become clogged or damaged, or are not properly sealed or insulated, they can waste energy and draw pollutants into your home. When ducts are dirty, they can cause microbial growth, which can lead to severe respiratory problems.
- Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas that is odorless, colorless and extremely dangerous. It's produced in your home during the normal combustion process in furnaces, hot-water heaters and gas stoves. If not properly vented, it can cause severe headaches, nausea and even death.
- Fresh-Air Ventilation
Today's homes are sealed and insulated better than ever. While this conserves energy by reducing the amount of heat lost or gained, it prevents stale air and pollutants from escaping. Opening a window can help keep the air moving, but it can also lead to a buildup of pollutants like dirt, dust, pollen and bacteria.
- Volatile Organic Compounds
The plywood, paint and adhesives typically used in the construction and design of a home contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These compounds are also in carpeting, insulation, synthetic upholstery, pesticides, cleaning products and laminate flooring in your home, as well as gasoline, oil, antifreeze and other automotive materials in your garage. Depending on the level present in your home, VOCs can cause headaches, nausea and respiratory problems.