4 Ways to Rid Your Home of Serious Health Hazards This Summer
When you’re out and about having some fun this summer, don’t overlook some serious health hazards that could be lurking in your home or yard. The hot summer months are a great time for outdoor enjoyment, but they can also be a time when your pool becomes a daily chore and your air conditioner could be spreading dust and pollen through dirty ducts. Make sure your home is a healthy one this summer by following these four tips.
1. Keep your pool clean.
Pools are a great way to cool down and have fun in the summer, but if you don’t take proper care of them, they can get dirty very fast. Make sure you are maintaining the proper chemical balance in your pool by testing each day, and invest in a high-quality filtration system as well; filters can help remove a lot of things from your pool that could compromise its safety.
The cost of a filter will run between $150 and $700 depending on the type of system you’re using.
- Check your filter daily to clean it out and make sure that nothing clogs it up.
- Have your pool tested at least once weekly for bacteria levels, and do not use the pool until it has been treated at the beginning of the season.
- Make sure that filters, pumps, and heaters have covers that are whole and unbroken to avoid injury.
- Consider hiring a pool service to maintain your pool each week. Pool services will make sure your chemical balance is right, and will help maintain your filter as well.
- If having equipment installed, ask if regular maintenance is a service the company provides; you may be able to get a discount on future service by having a package deal.
2. Test for hazardous material.
How sure are you about the air quality in your home? Depending on the location of your home and its age, you could have some hidden dangers lurking in the air, your floor, your ceiling, and your pipes. If you’ve never had your home tested for asbestos, formaldehyde and radon, now is a good time to do so, so you can take steps to correct any issues before they begin to affect your health.
The average cost of a hazardous material test is around $299.
- If you suspect asbestos, radon or any other hazardous material in your home, do not disturb the area, as this could send the material airborne where it could affect your health.
- Never move or disturb an area with suspected hazardous materials on your own; always hire a professional.
- Make sure that your home is retested after removal of any hazardous material to ensure it was all removed, and that none has become airborne or settled on other surfaces.
- Have plans to move out of your home until after the abatement has been done.
- Hire a company that specializes in these materials, not a general inspection company, as they may miss certain areas to be tested.
- Ask about abatement services at the time of the test so you can be prepared to take the next steps if necessary.
3. Remove asbestos ceilings.
If your home was built or remodeled prior to the 1979s, you could have asbestos in your ceilings. The once popular “popcorn ceiling” sometimes contained asbestos fibers in the mix. Over time, the ceiling could develop cracks, allowing those asbestos fibers to become airborne, which can seriously impact your health. Having the old ceiling removed is the only way to deal with the issue and ensure that your family will be free of asbestos related health problems.
The average cost of removing an asbestos ceiling is around $6.36 a square foot.
- While a popcorn ceiling is technically easy to remove, never attempt to remove one on your own if you suspect asbestos. Doing so could release the fibers into the air of your home where they can cause serious health problems.
- Make plans to move out during the abatement process to ensure that your home is clean before you reenter.
- Have your home retested before you return to make sure no asbestos remains or has become airborne.
- Hire a specialized asbestos abatement team who can help contain the asbestos as they remove it for optimum safety.
- Find a team that can perform both the testing and the abatement as one package to help save money.
4. Install ductless air-conditioning.
You rely on your air conditioning a lot during the hot summer months. But how often are you dealing with your ducts, filters, and other related areas? Chances are, your ductwork is filled with dust, debris, pollen, and other contaminates that could be circulating through your home. If you or your family suffer from allergies or other respiratory problems, switching to ductless air conditioning can make a big difference.
The average cost of a ductless air conditioner is around $1416.
- Make sure the unit is completely supported from below on both sides if installed high up on a wall to prevent it falling out and harming someone standing below.
- Be sure to change the filter on your unit at least every three months, or more if recommended by the manufacturer, to keep it running well and filtering out particles properly.
- Have old ducts cleaned out before closing them off to prevent potentially hazardous materials form remaining in your home.
- Hire a company to service or install your ductless unit before the peak heat days of summer, when installation costs will be lower.
- Make sure to get a unit that is properly sized to your home; units that are too large for your home will cost more to run, and will break down more frequently due to strain. Too small units may not provide you with enough cool air.
Stay Healthy This Summer
While you’re enjoying the great weather this summer, make sure that you also take the time to ensure your health and safety. Follow these tips to stay healthy at home, and enjoy more of the season. To find out more about what things cost, visit the Cost Guides.