Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Is the smell in your home driving away visitors and potential buyers?

A smelly house will be difficult to sell
and indicates an IAQ problem.
There is a reason why the air “freshener” market has been soaring in recent years – no one wants a smelly house full of irritating odors.

However, commercial air freshening products can add to the indoor air pollution because they often contain harmful chemicals that simply mask odors and won’t eliminate them. Better solutions exist (see below).

Whether you want to invite guests over or sell your house at a high price, the odors inside a home will play a big role in making people comfortable or suspicious of underlying problems.

Strong pet odors irritate many people, stale tobacco smoke is difficult to eradicate, and a musty odor can point to a mold problem.

Of course, poor indoor air quality can also affect you and the other inhabitants. If you have frequent headaches or breathing problems, the odor could be the cause. Pervasive odors, especially from mold, can quickly morph from merely bothersome to dangerous.

Here are a few tips to prevent your home from being the smelly house on the block:

Investigate and find the source of the odors

Often when we live in a space, we can get used to the smells surrounding us. To check things out, if you're away from home more than six hours, take a good long sniff when you walk in.

If you detect an unpleasant smell, don't excuse it away because the house "has been closed up." Odor is a sign that something is wrong. If you don't trust your own nose, ask your most candid friend. If your house is for sale, ask your realtor to give an honest opinion.

Common sources of odor include cooking, water, pets and smoking. Pet odors spark concern that once a smell is present, it can never be eradicated. Keeping litter boxes scrupulously clean is a good first step.

Concrete or wood floors that have been saturated with pet urine may require professional treatment, including removing soiled carpet and padding.

Check for water damage

Musty smells often come from water. Check sink and bath drains for odors at the drain traps. Leaking sewer or water pipes may also be a source. A plumber can help correct the problem.

Air conditioning condensation can leak, generating smelly mold. There could be a roof or siding leak, where water is infiltrating, triggering mold growth. Air ducts can trap dust and mold, making the air smelly. If you need help isolating an odor, call a home inspector.

Eliminate the odors the right way

Never try to spray a smell away. If your home has a smell, it has a problem, and fixing the problem is better than perfuming it.

Overuse of home scents can be as off-putting as pet odor – and it can be dangerous to your health and well-being. Work to create a fresh-smelling home vs. one that's heavy and overly perfumed.

Good maintenance and fixing any problems around the house is a must. Good ventilation, regular filter checks in the HVAC systems, thorough cleaning with natural cleaning products, opening windows regularly and using an indoor air purifier with activated carbon and HEPA filtration will also keep the indoor air at its best.

When it comes to indoor air cleaners, don't waste your money. Only a serious air cleaner with activated carbon will remove irritating odors, chemicals and mold mycotoxins, while the HEPA will trap particles and pathogens.

AllerAir specializes in portable, versatile air purifiers with carbon + HEPA + UV (optional) that remove the widest range of pollutants and provide the most value in the business.

Featured air cleaners from AllerAir Industries:
Contact AllerAir today to find the right air cleaner for your indoor air concern.

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