For hay fever sufferers out there, this time of year can be a double-edged sword
The lovely weather is a massive plus, the constant nose blowing and runny eyes are far less welcome. Yet it's not only pollen that could be responsible - in fact, the Environmental Protection Agency has warned that indoor air could be up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air.
Whether it's mould or faulty ventilation, there are many factors around the home that could be responsible for making you feel run down. We've spoken to Rex Nye, owner of NYEs Building Supplies, who explains what you can do to tackle some of the horrors that could be lurking in your home...
1. Let there be dust
Did you know your property produces as much as 18kg of dust each year? This is pretty crazy, especially when you consider it's the equivalent of an average sized fully packed suitcase.
The unenviable task of keeping on top of dust and dirt is considered to be one of the main issues here but lurking amongst them are the even more significant problems - hello, dust mites and toxic chemicals. These can result in health issues, including respiratory problems - air vents are a particularly big culprit, as this is where you normally find a big build-up of dust occurs. Therefore, make sure your air vents get a routine once over with a vacuum cleaner at least every couple of months to ensure the air stays fresh.
2. Going for mould
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the majority of childhood asthma cases (around 300 million) are caused from exposure to mould and damp indoors. A prolonged exposure can lead to a reduced lung function or even exacerbate the symptoms of existing allergies.
Mould normally forms in areas which are either poorly ventilated or damp - it isn't always obvious, but there are other signs to look out for, including:
- Water stains
- Mould odour
- Recurring condensation
- Peeling paper and wallpaper
- Standing water
To get around this, make sure you ventilate your home and keep it adequately heated. You also want to give it appropriate ventilation in damper rooms, including the bathrooms and the kitchen.
If you think mould is an issue within your home, look for professional help - this will ensure you can deal with it properly.
3. Value your ventilation
Is your property poorly ventilated? Well, this could be contributing to dangerous levels of radon gas or even carbon monoxide (CO2). This is a serious issue that can lead to severe illness or even death. As a result, it's important to keep your home ventilated and keep your appliances well maintained and regularly serviced.
Even then, if you have good ventilation but don't clean the air vents and grilles, you're still likely to see dust and dirt build up.
Get around this and keep your home looking healthy by keeping on top of the more essential tasks. This is especially important during the warmer months when the pollen count is high, or if you have household pets. Even spending a couple of hours a week keeping on top of the dust and dirt will help you prevent the symptoms of sick building syndrome.