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Flooding & Water Damage Health Healthy Home Indoor Air Quality & Radon Mold Mold Testing VOCs

The Silent Threat: Why Your HVAC System Could Be Harboring Mold (And What to Do About It!)

The Silent Threat: Why Your HVAC System Could Be Harboring Mold (And What to Do About It!)

Your HVAC system is crucial for maintaining indoor comfort, but it can also be a hidden source of mold, posing serious health risks to you and your family. Understanding how mold develops in HVAC systems and knowing the steps to prevent and address it can help you maintain a healthy indoor environment.

How Mold Develops in HVAC Systems

Mold thrives in moist environments, and HVAC systems provide the perfect conditions for mold growth, especially during summer months when air conditioning units create condensation. Key areas where mold commonly develops include:

Drip Pans and Condensation Pans:

Ductwork: Condensation within ducts can lead to mold growth, which can then be spread throughout your home or office via the airflow.

Signs of Mold in Your HVAC System

Detecting mold early can prevent significant health issues and costly repairs. Here are common signs that your HVAC system may be harboring mold:

Musty Odors: A persistent musty smell when the HVAC system is running is a clear indicator of mold.

Allergic Reactions: Increased allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes, when indoors may be linked to mold spores.

Visible Mold: Mold growth around vents, drip pans, or inside ductwork.

Health Issues: Unexplained headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue that subside when you leave the premises.

What to Do If You Find Mold

If you suspect or find mold in your HVAC system, taking immediate action is crucial:

Clean the System: Engage a professional to thoroughly clean and disinfect your HVAC system. Regular maintenance, including changing filters and cleaning ducts, can prevent mold from returning.

Improve Ventilation: Ensure that your HVAC system is properly ventilated and that condensation pans drain correctly to avoid moisture buildup.

Preventing Mold in Your HVAC System

Preventive measures are key to keeping your HVAC system mold-free:

Regular Maintenance: Schedule regular inspections and maintenance for your HVAC system to catch and address issues early.

Use a Dehumidifier: In humid climates, a dehumidifier can reduce the overall moisture level in your home, making it less conducive to mold growth.

Proper Ventilation: Ensure your home or office is well-ventilated to prevent moisture accumulation.

Monitor and Clean: Regularly check and clean drip pans, replace filters, and inspect ductwork for any signs of mold or moisture.

Don’t wait for mold to compromise your indoor air quality and health. Make sure your HVAC system remains a safe and clean environment by scheduling a professional inspection with RTK Environmental today. Our experts are equipped to handle mold issues and provide you with comprehensive solutions to keep your home or office mold-free. Visit our website to learn more about our services and to book your appointment.

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Environment Employee safety Health Indoor Air Quality & Radon Mold Mold Testing

Promoting Workplace Safety: The Impact of VOCs and Mold on Employees

June is National Safety Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about safety in the workplace and ensuring that employees are protected from potential hazards. One often-overlooked aspect of workplace safety is the quality of the indoor environment, particularly concerning Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and mold. Inside air may be 25-100 times more polluted than outside air.  These elements can significantly impact employee health and productivity, making it crucial for businesses to address these issues proactively.

Understanding VOCs and Mold

VOCs:

Volatile Organic Compounds are organic chemicals that can easily become vapors or gases. They are released from various sources, including office equipment, furniture, carpeting, cleaning products, paints, adhesives, and more. Many are known carcinogens. Exposure to high levels of VOCs can lead to various health issues, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Respiratory problems
  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Nausea

Mold:

Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in damp and humid environments. It can grow on various surfaces, such as walls, ceilings, and carpets, particularly in areas with poor ventilation. Mold exposure can cause:

  • Allergic reactions (sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash)
  • Sinus congestion
  • Respiratory issues
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Severe health problems for those with compromised immune systems

The Impact on Employees

The presence of VOCs and mold in the workplace can lead to significant health concerns, affecting employees’ well-being and productivity. Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can cause symptoms that mimic common illnesses, leading to increased absenteeism and reduced efficiency. Employees working in environments with high levels of VOCs or mold may experience frequent sick days, decreased motivation, and lower job satisfaction.

Furthermore, a workplace that does not address these environmental hazards may face higher healthcare costs and potential legal liabilities. It is in the best interest of employers to maintain a healthy working environment to ensure employee safety and optimal performance.

Steps to Improve Indoor Air Quality

To protect employees and enhance workplace safety during National Safety Month and beyond, businesses should consider implementing the following measures:

Regular Testing and Monitoring:

Conduct regular indoor air quality tests to detect the presence of VOCs and mold.

Use professional services like RTK Environmental to perform thorough assessments and provide actionable recommendations. RTK Environmental’s analysis covers almost 100 of the most common VOCs and tens of thousands of types of molds. To ensure reliable results, RTK sends all samples to independent laboratories accredited by the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

Ventilation:

Ensure proper ventilation in all areas of the workplace to reduce the concentration of VOCs and help to prevent mold growth. Utilize air purifiers with HEPA/charcoal filters to improve air quality. The HEPA filters will eliminate almost all particulates and charcoal filters will help to dramatically reduce most VOCs. Both can be used in free standing units or integrated in the HVAC system.

Source Control:  Identify, eliminate or minimize sources of VOCs.

  • Personal care products are one of the biggest contributors of VOCs in the workplace. Avoid their use as much as possible and keep them in sealed containers when not in use.
  • Avoid the use of hazardous cleaning products and opt instead to use readily available organic cleaning products.
  • Prohibit the use of any spray products including hair spray, furniture polish, window cleaners and air fresheners.
  • In a new office use low or no VOC paint and don’t buy engineered wood products made with particle board, etc. Opt for solid wood and natural fibers. Avoid synthetic carpet and install natural fiber carpeting instead.
  • Keep the temperature and humidity as low as possible and open windows and doors, as possible, to allow fresh air to enter.

Moisture Control:

Address any water leaks or condensation issues promptly to help prevent mold growth.  Use dehumidifiers in areas prone to high humidity to keep levels at 50% or below.

Employee Education:

Educate employees about the importance of indoor air quality and how they can contribute to a healthier work environment.  Encourage them to report any signs of mold or poor air quality.

National Safety Month is an ideal time for businesses to assess their workplace safety protocols and ensure they are taking the necessary steps to protect employees from the harmful effects of VOCs and mold. By prioritizing indoor air quality, companies can create a healthier, more productive work environment, ultimately benefiting employees and the organization.

For more information on testing and improving indoor air quality, consider consulting experts like RTK Environmental, who can assess current conditions and provide the expertise and solutions needed to maintain a safe workplace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Environment Healthy Home Indoor Air Quality & Radon Mold Mold Testing VOCs

From “Sneeze City” to “Breathe Easy Boulevard”: Your Guide to Conquering IAQ and Mold Issues by World Asthma Day

May 2 marks World Asthma Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about asthma, a chronic respiratory condition affecting millions worldwide. This day emphasizes the importance of understanding and mitigating factors that exacerbate asthma symptoms, such as poor indoor air quality (IAQ), mold and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Here’s our best advice to transform “Sneeze City” into “Breathe Easy Boulevard.”

Understanding the connection between Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and asthma
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is defined by the condition of air within and in surrounding buildings, particularly concerning the health and comfort of building occupants. Poor IAQ can emerge from factors such as insufficient ventilation, contamination by mold, VOCs, and various particulate matter.

What are Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs?
VOCs are gases emitted from certain man-made materials that can have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Sources of VOCs in homes include paints, varnishes, cleaning supplies, and building materials. VOCs can be very dangerous to your health and can be toxic, so finding the source of VOC pollution is critical.

Beware the Mold Menace
Mold is more than just an unsightly annoyance; it can pose serious health risks, especially to individuals with asthma and other respiratory conditions. Molds reproduce by creating spores that float through the air, that when inhaled, can trigger wheezing, sneezing, and asthma attacks. Addressing mold issues is not just about cleaning up visible growth; it’s about ensuring these spores – and VOC emissions – are not circulating throughout your indoor environment.

Key Steps to Enhance IAQ and Manage Mold

  • Identify the Problem: The first step in solving any IAQ problem is identifying the sources of pollutants, which might include mold growth and VOCs from household products or construction materials. These can often be hidden in walls, behind ceiling tiles, or in other out-of-sight areas.
  • Get Professional Testing: Engage a professional from a reputable company like RTK Environmental to test your indoor environment. This will provide a clear picture of your air quality and the presence of any mold, VOCs or other allergens.
  • Address Humidity Levels: Mold thrives in moist environments. Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners to maintain humidity levels between 30-50% to help prevent mold growth. Simultaneously, consider reducing sources of VOCs by choosing low-emission products for your home.
  • Improve ventilation in your home. Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens and ensure that ventilation systems are directing air outside of your home to minimize the recirculation of pollutants, including VOCs.
  • Schedule Regular Cleaning and Maintenance: Dust and vacuum your home regularly using vacuums equipped with HEPA filters to capture fine particles and prevent them from being redistributed around your home. Also, consider using natural cleaning products that emit fewer VOCs.
  • Begin Mold Remediation: If mold is discovered, it’s important to follow proper remediation protocols to ensure the mold – and any VOCs from damp building materials – are removed effectively and safely. RTK Environmental stresses the importance of professional remediation followed by post-remediation clearance testing to ensure that all mold and VOCs have been removed.

You can take definitive steps towards improving your indoor air quality and managing mold and VOCs. Not only will this make your home healthier, but it will also provide relief to asthma sufferers and others affected by poor air quality. Remember, controlling your environment is a crucial step in controlling asthma and allergies. Let’s move from Sneeze City to Breathe Easy Boulevard together!

For more detailed information and professional guidance, contact RTK Environmental at rtkenvironmental.com specialists in environmental testing and consulting, who can provide further insights and services to ensure your indoor environment is safe and healthy.

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Health Environment Healthy Home Indoor Air Quality & Radon Mold Mold Testing VOCs

Indoor Air Quality: How What You Breathe Can Impact Your Health and Comfort

Indoor Air Quality: How What You Breathe Can Impact Your Health and Comfort

During the winter months, coughs and runny noses are pretty typical. Often, these ailments stem from invisible enemies within our homes and offices – poor indoor air quality (IAQ). Surprisingly, more than 80% of IAQ problems are due to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or mold, which can be harmful to your health, causing symptoms from headaches and fatigue to sneezing and runny nose.

IAQ is the measure of the air quality within and around buildings, especially in relation to the health and comfort of its occupants. Controlling indoor pollutants like mold and VOCs is crucial. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outside air, making it a pressing concern during the winter when we spend most of our time indoors.

The Impact of Mold and VOCS

Mold and VOCs are prevalent sources of indoor air pollution. Mold can trigger respiratory issues and allergies, while VOCs—found in everyday items like paint, furniture, personal care and cleaning products and air fresheners—can lead to severe health conditions. Short-term exposure to these pollutants can cause symptoms like eye irritation and dizziness, while long-term exposure may lead to chronic diseases or cancer.

How can you reduce your exposure to Mold & VOCs

  • Test for Mold and VOCs: It’s essential to identify the presence of these pollutants in your home. Professional IAQ assessments can reveal hidden mold and analyze over 70 common VOCs, offering a clear picture of your indoor air quality.
  • Choose Low-VOC Products: Opt for safer cleaning and personal care products that don’t emit harmful chemicals.
  • Control Moisture: Keep indoor humidity levels between 30-50% to prevent mold growth. Fix leaks and address condensation issues promptly.
  • Improve Ventilation: Regularly open windows to allow fresh air in and reduce VOC concentrations, especially on days when outdoor pollution levels are low.
  • Be Mindful During Renovations: Postpone activities like painting or installing new carpets to warmer months when you can ventilate your space more effectively.
  • Use Air Purifiers: Air purifiers with carbon and HEPA filters can reduce the levels of particulate matter, including mold spores and VOCs.
  • Maintain Your HVAC System: Ensure that your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are regularly serviced to filter and circulate air efficiently.

Indoor Air Quality Testing

Maintaining good IAQ is not a seasonal concern but a year-round commitment. By emphasizing the importance of regular testing and recognizing the considerable effects of mold and VOCs, you are taking an important step in IAQ management. This proactive approach is key to enhancing the health and comfort of your living or working spaces. Enlisting the expertise of independent professionals such as RTK can be instrumental. They offer comprehensive mold and VOC evaluations that identify specific issues, leading you toward a healthier and more comfortable indoor environment.

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Healthy Home Environment Health Mold senior Senior Living

Home Hunting: What Every Senior Should Look For

Home Hunting: What Every Senior Should Look For

Entering your golden years signifies a pivotal chapter where comfort, safety, and accessibility in your living space become paramount. The quest for a forever home that caters to the evolving needs of senior living can be both exciting and challenging. This comprehensive guide aims to simplify this journey by highlighting eight critical features aging homebuyers should prioritize. These considerations promise to transform a house into a nurturing haven, offering both functionality and peace of mind.

Emphasizing Single-Level Living

The allure of a single-story home is undeniable for aging individuals. Stairs can become a significant hindrance as mobility changes, so a one-level layout is a smart choice. It offers ease of movement, reduces the risk of falls, and enhances the overall comfort of daily living. Furthermore, this design facilitates the installation of mobility aids, if necessary, making it a future-proof investment for your senior years.

Securing Peace with a Home Warranty

A robust home warranty can be a game-changer, offering protection against unforeseen repair costs. This investment covers crucial home systems like heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing, alongside appliance repairs. The assurance of financial coverage for potential breakdowns can provide significant relief, allowing you to enjoy your retirement without the worry of unexpected repair expenses. For more insights, continue reading about how a home warranty can safeguard your peace of mind.

Prioritizing a Healthy Environment

Environmental testing is a crucial step in ensuring your new home is safe and free from hazards like mold, asbestos, and lead.  When it comes to mold, seniors are more susceptible to its effects because they often have weaker immune systems, poorer lung function, and take medications for other health problems that can make them more vulnerable.  Identifying and addressing these hazards is not just about immediate safety, but also about long-term health. Taking proactive measures to test and remediate any environmental hazards reflects a commitment to a healthy, worry-free living environment in your later years. Looking for expert mold testing or indoor air quality services? Schedule an appointment with RTK Environmental and ensure your home is safe and healthy.

Proximity to Quality Senior Care

Location matters, especially when it involves easy access to reputable senior care facilities. In the event of health changes, having quality care options nearby is invaluable. Conduct thorough online research to understand facility offerings, pricing, and reviews from other families. This proactive approach ensures that you are well-prepared and informed, making your home choice not just about comfort, but also about practical access to essential health services.

Accessibility with Wide Doorways

Wide doorways are more than a design choice; they are a nod to future-proofing your home. Ensuring doorways can accommodate mobility aids such as wheelchairs and walkers is crucial. This feature enhances accessibility and ensures that your home remains a comfortable and functional space, regardless of mobility changes that might occur with age.

Illuminating with Ample Lighting

Good lighting is essential, particularly as vision changes with age. A well-lit home, combining natural and artificial light sources, minimizes the risk of accidents and improves overall well-being. This feature is not just about brightness; it’s about creating a warm, inviting atmosphere that is both safe and visually appealing.

Embracing Low-Maintenance Exteriors

As one ages, home maintenance can become a daunting task. Opting for a home with low-maintenance exteriors like durable siding and simple landscaping can significantly reduce the burden. This choice allows more time to enjoy retirement activities rather than worrying about extensive home upkeep.

Ensuring Access with Wheelchair Ramps

If mobility is or becomes a concern, planning for wheelchair ramps is essential. These modifications ensure that your home remains accessible and welcoming, regardless of mobility levels. It’s about creating an inclusive environment that adapts to your needs over time.

Choosing a home for your golden years is a decision that extends beyond aesthetic appeal. It’s about creating a space that embodies comfort, safety, and convenience. By focusing on strategies like purchasing a home warranty and making senior-friendly updates, you’re not just buying a house; you’re investing in a home that will support and enhance your quality of life as you age. This guide is your compass to finding a haven that meets your needs today and anticipates those of tomorrow, allowing you to age gracefully and with dignity.

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Healthy Home Lead Mold Mold Testing VOCs

Essential Tips to Sidestep Holiday Hazards

 

‘Tis the season to be jolly but ignoring household hazards could just be sheer folly. So, we’ve compiled some valuable tips to keep you and yours healthy during the holiday season.

 

Live Christmas Trees Can Produce Mold

This is something you’ve probably never thought about. Yet, the festive charm of a live Christmas tree might mask its ability – potential – to aggravate asthma and allergies. That’s because somewhere, hidden in those fragrant green boughs, there may be mold spores and allergens. To keep this problem at bay, keep the tree indoors for a shorter period of time, wear protective clothing while handling it, and consider spraying it with water before bringing it inside and carrying it out for disposal. Be certain to keep it a good distance from the fireplace and keep it well watered to prevent it from drying out. Air purifiers can also help in reducing airborne allergens.

Artificial Trees Can Also Pose Problems

Though you won’t be plagued by needles shed by live trees, artificial Christmas trees can introduce another hazard: toxic lead dust because of how they are manufactured. The older those trees are, the greater the risk that they will release harmful lead dust, which can lead to lead poisoning. When shopping for an artificial tree, opt for those made in the USA and check for labels indicating they are made from safer materials like polyethylene plastic (PE).

Christmas Lights May Have a Lead Problem

It’s common for Christmas lights to contain trace amounts of lead, that are used in making wires more pliable. While this doesn’t mean you should forego the festive glow, it’s wise to wash your hands after handling the lights and to clean the surrounding areas in order to prevent the spread of any lead-containing dust.

Vintage Tableware: Beautiful but with an Ugly Fact

Grandma’s crystal and china might add elegance to your holiday table, but these older pieces often contain lead. Use them cautiously, especially around children and pregnant women. If you do use them don’t leave any food or liquid in them for any extended period of time, the lead will leach into the liquid or food and be absorbed into the blood stream when they are consumed.

Indoor Air Quality and Scented Products Can Pose Risks, Too

The delightful scents of holiday candles and air fresheners come with a downside: they may be releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These can cause health issues ranging from headaches to respiratory problems. Check labels and choose non-toxic scented candles made from natural ingredients; avoid paraffin wax and artificial fragrances.

Heavy Metals Contained in Menorahs

Vintage menorahs, especially those made of brass or ceramic glazed, may contain lead and cadmium. If you’re using a family heirloom, minimize the risk by cleaning it thoroughly each season and washing your hands after handling it.

Dirty Decoration Storage: A Mold Hotspot

Holiday decorations stored in damp conditions can become a breeding ground for mold. Check storage boxes for signs of moisture or mold before bringing them into your living areas. In case of mold, clean the items and consider having your storage areas inspected for water damage.

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Indoor Air Pollution and Its’ Sources

With the arrival of colder weather, when windows and doors remain shut, the risk of indoor air pollution increases. This pollution can come from burning candles, holiday cooking, and chemicals in household products. To counter this, ventilate your home regularly, use natural air fresheners, and choose green cleaning products.

Wood-Burning Fireplaces and Stoves: A Cozy but Polluting Tradition

Warmth and light emanating from wood-burning fireplaces and stoves may be enjoyable, but they also impact indoor air quality and contribute to various health issues. If wood burning is essential, use well-dried wood and consider installing a HEPA filter that will help to filter smaller particulate. Where possible, explore cleaner heating alternatives and create a cozy ambiance with a fireplace video and holiday music instead.

By taking these simple precautions, you can enjoy a festive and healthy holiday season. Remember, your health and safety are paramount. Stay informed, stay safe, and have a wonderful holiday!

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Healthy Home Indoor Air Quality & Radon Mold

Appliance Maintenance to Prevent Mold

Appliance Maintenance to Prevent Mold

Here’s what you should do and how often to prevent mold growth in your home.

Dehumidifiers, bathroom exhaust fans, and kitchen range hoods can vastly improve the air you breathe indoors, but they also have a downside: if not maintained properly, they can become little mold-producing factories.

Consumer Reports says that neglecting to thoroughly clean a bathroom fan or dehumidifier, for example, allows dirt to accumulate and this, plus a little moisture, creates the perfect environment in which mold can grow. Another place you are likely to find mold growth is in a front load washing machines.

mold dehumidifierCleaning dehumidifiers once a month is recommended.  Yet, according to the article, 60% of the dehumidifiers found in today’s households are not cleaned frequently enough and may be fostering mold growth. Bathroom exhaust fans are another source of mold but only 16% are cleaned every few months as recommended.

Failure to clean these appliances rigorously can also result in the growth of fungi and bacteria that cause lung inflammation.

kitchen fan moldHere are the recommended cleaning schedules for household appliances:

So, if you’re the culprit and neglected to clean household appliances regularly, check them carefully for mold. Mold can spread from these devices to other parts of your home, and that can be detrimental to your health – let alone your wallet.

Contact RTK to schedule a mold or indoor air quality test today!

Location of our Environmental Specialist Office in New York

Address

29 Bank St, Stamford,
CT 06901, United States

Find us here or view our environmental specialist online profile
Phone: 1 800-392-6468

Local Resources

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
EPA in New York
New York City Department of Environmental Protection

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Indoor Air Quality & Radon

Radon: The Silent Killer

Radon: The Silent Killer

Most of us have heard of radon, and if we have bought or sold a house recently, the terms of the sale probably depended on a radon test. But that does not mean we have any idea of what radon is or the harm it can cause. As January is National Radon Action Month, we wanted to share as much as we could about the silent killer.

What is Radon?

Radon is an invisible and odorless radioactive gas produced when uranium naturally decays in soil and water. The Environmental Protection Agency confirms that radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers. The EPA estimates that more than six million homes in the United States have a radon problem, and the toxic gas claims the lives of more than 21,000 Americans annually.

In fact, radon caused more American fatalities in 2018 than drunk driving, carbon monoxide poisoning, house fires and choking combined.

Both the EPA and the Surgeon General urge every homeowner to test their homes at least every two years for radon. Radon testing should be part of a thorough indoor air quality test. Paints, solvents, cleansers, disinfectants, air fresheners, pesticides, nicotine, glue, home furnishings and building materials — the list of chemicals in our homes goes on and on – poisons the air we breathe. Even low concentrations of these chemicals can irritate your eyes, nose and throat; cause headaches, loss of coordination and nausea; and can damage the liver, kidneys and the central nervous system.

Indoor air quality tests should check for radon, mold, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particles from furnaces and wood-burning fireplaces and stoves, and common allergens.

To schedule a test, call RTK Environmental Group at 800.392.6468, or click here.

 

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Flooding & Water Damage Indoor Air Quality & Radon Mold

Fall Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Winter

Fall Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Winter

With autumn in full swing, take advantage of the crisp days and sunshine to prepare your home for winter. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, complete these tasks and you won’t spend a fortune on home repairs this winter.


gutters mold
Clean your gutters.

It’s a hassle, but you should clean your gutters before the temperature drops to help prevent ice dams, which form when melted snow pools and refreezes at roof edges and eaves. This ridge of ice then prevents water caused by melting snow from draining from the roof. Since it has nowhere to go, the water can leak into your home and damage walls, ceilings, and insulation. Water damage will soon be followed by mold. No matter what the season, gutters filled with heavy leaves can pull away from your house and cause leaks that damage your home and lead to mold growth. Also be sure your downspouts are angled away from your home to prevent leaks in the basement.

Check your roof for leaks.

You certainly don’t want to start your winter with a leaky roof. Check your ceilings for water spots, mold, or stains. If you spot them, before you call in a roofer, have a mold inspector test your home for mold. That way you’ll know exactly what needs to be replaced so the mold doesn’t come back. You may have small stains or dark spots now, but once the heavy snow sets in, the problem could get much worse, and you could wind up with a full blown mold infestation. You should also check your attic for moisture, as mold can easily grow there if it is not properly ventilated.

Clean your HVAC units, fireplace, furnace, and wood-burning stove.

Indoor air quality suffers in the winter because your home is closed up most of the time. Toxic fumes, including carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), can be emitted from fireplace and wood burning stove smoke and may back up into the house, which can cause serious health issues. Mold and dust can also build up in HVAC units over the summer months, then spread throughout your home when the heat is turned on. To make sure your indoor air quality is at an acceptable level, schedule a test from an environmental inspector like RTK Environmental Group. They will test for VOCs, mold, particulate matter, and other chemicals. For additional tips on indoor air quality, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site.

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Mold

Christmas Trees Can Harbor Mold

Christmas Trees Can Harbor Mold

Ah, the scent of a piney Christmas tree, filling your home with love, light, good cheer – and mold spores! Yes, trees decay and release mold spores into the air. And right about now, when the tree has been in your home at least a week, is when the sneezing and wheezing begins.