Though factors like exercise, lifestyle, and age certainly play a huge role in our bodies' natural immunities, your environment can also help or hurt your chances of getting sick. If your home contains one or more of these elements, you may be at risk for ailments that could have been avoided!
One of the most well-known culprits in house-borne illness is mold. Generally associated with upper and lower respiratory symptoms, some estimate that up to 30% of American houses may have a mold problem. The best way to find out if your home contains toxic mold is, of course, to have it tested. According to ServiceMagic.com (a nationwide resource matching homeowners to contractors in their area), mold testing averages less than $500 and mold removal generally runs about $2,500.
On a similar note, indoor air quality in this country has taken some serious hits in recent years. Probably the biggest factor in this trend is the fact that many remodels and new constructions are far more air-tight than older homes. While this is great for heating and cooling costs, when extra insulation is not supplemented with better ventilation the air-borne particles that would seep out of an older home can become trapped indoors and reduce air quality. ServiceMagic puts the average cost of installing an attic or whole house fan at $706.
January has been designated National Radon Action Month, and both the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General have recommended that "all homes be tested." Aptly dubbed "the silent killer," tasteless, colorless, odorless radon gas can be extremely harmful (or even deadly) in high concentrations. The only sure-fire way to tell if your home has a radon problem is to have it tested. You can test your home yourself with a kit or hire a professional to do it for you.
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In the past decade, many of us have become far more concerned about what's in the water (and for good reason). Though buying bottled water is certainly one option, installing a water filtration system on your sink is an alternative that many homeowners find makes sense. The average cost of installing a water treatment and purification system in your home is about $1,860, but when you consider that this can reduce all of your bottled water costs, reduce the waste that bottling water produces, and can be used in all of your food preparation, too, it's easy to see how so many homeowners justify the price!
While the occasional unwanted visitor is probably not a problem, when insects or rodents appear en masse, it can pose a health hazard (remember the plague?). When used correctly, traps, sprays, and other pest control products you can buy at your local supermarket or hardware store can often stop a pest problem in its tracks. However, if your own efforts can't seem to get the job done, the cost of hiring a professional can make your home a more pleasant (as well as safer) place to live!