802: Understanding Air Quality and Mold Testing In Your Home With Ryan Blaser

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Understanding Air Quality and Mold Testing In Your Home With Ryan Blaser
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802: Understanding Air Quality and Mold Testing In Your Home With Ryan Blaser

Today, I’m back with Ryan Blaser from Test My Home to talk all things air quality, mold testing, and even water quality in this wide-ranging episode. Ryan is the founder of Test My Home, an environmental company that helps people optimize their home environment for better health. He has an extensive educational background in everything from electrical engineering, environmental toxicology, and electromagnetic radiation, even in areas like mold remediation, construction, and nuclear waste cleanup.

Ryan’s journey into the realm of environmental health was a personal one as well, when he faced health challenges due to mold exposure and lead inhalation. He navigated through fatigue, weight loss, and brain fog, and when conventional medical approaches didn’t work, he took matters into his own hands by addressing these issues and is now healing and getting better.

In this episode, Ryan gives some very practical tips on ways to improve your home air and water quality. We also talk about mold, including what to look for and ways you can avoid getting it in your home.

I learned a lot from Ryan and I hope you do too!

Episode Highlights With Ryan Blaser

  • Why indoor air can be more contaminated than outdoor air
  • The most common problems with indoor air quality
  • How to test the air quality in your home
  • CO2 levels in the home and what to do about it
  • What to know about mold in the home and how to test for it
  • Why mold is the biggest unknown health problem we are dealing with
  • 70% of homes have a mold problem they don’t know about it
  • What to know about chemicals and water contaminants 
  • Reasons to have air filters in your home even if you don’t have mold or a big issue
  • How keeping the home really clean is helpful for avoiding big problems like mold

Resources We Mention

More From Wellness Mama

Read Transcript

Child: Welcome to my Mommy’s podcast.

Hello, and welcome to the Wellness Mama podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com. And today I’m back with Ryan Blaser from Test My Home to talk all things air quality, mold testing, and even water quality in this wide-ranging episode. And if you joined us for our first episode, you know that Ryan Blaser is the founder of Test My Home, which is an environmental company that helps people optimize their home environment for better health. And he has extensive educational background in everything from electrical engineering, environmental toxicology, electromagnetic radiation, even in areas like mold remediation, construction, and nuclear waste cleanup. But his journey into the realm of environmental health was actually a personal one as well, when he was facing health challenges due to mold exposure and lead inhalation. And he navigated through fatigue, weight loss, brain fog, and when conventional medical approaches proved unsuccessful, took matters into his own hands by addressing these issues himself and now healing and getting better. And he now has a strong passion for sharing this information with the world. He gives some very practical tips on ways to improve your home air and water quality in this episode, as well as what to do if you do have a bigger identified issue. So let’s learn from Ryan Blaser. Ryan, welcome back.

Ryan: Yeah, thanks for having me back.

Katie: Well, in our first episode, which I will link to in the show notes, we got to go deep on EMFs and lighting. And you gave us some awesome, easy, actionable tips that we can start with to minimize our exposure to the harmful side of EMFs and artificial lighting. And in this one, I’m really excited to switch gears and go deep on another topic that you know a tremendous amount about, which is understanding the air quality in our home and things like mold testing. And we might even get into water quality. I know I’ve read that indoor air can be and often is more polluted than outdoor air. And I feel like this is a whole topic to unpack in and of itself. So to start broad, can you walk us through if that statistic is true that indoor air is often worse than outdoor air? And if so, what are some of the reasons?

Ryan: Yeah. So if you think about it, the outside air comes into our home and that’s what makes up the inside air. So the inside air already starts with whatever’s in the air outside. And then we typically add to that. So we have chemicals that we’re potentially using in our home, there’s fragrances, there’s cleaning supplies, there’s personal care products. All these things are off-gassing and they’re building up in the home. Then we have potential for biologicals, we have dead skin cells, we have potential for mold, mold spores, mycotoxins, bacteria, and then the off-gassing that occurs from our home, especially if we’re living in a newer home, the paints, the glues, the binders, and then us breathing out CO2. We breathe in oxygen, we breathe out CO2, that can start to build up in the home and potentially a small gas leak somewhere. I mean, we could go on and on. There’s so many things that could potentially start to build up and add in the home and it creates this toxic soup.

Now, to make it even one step worse is that the majority of homes built in America now do not have fresh air ventilation systems. They’re closed boxes, they’re closed systems. So now we’re bringing in this air from outside, which probably has some pollution in it. And then we’re adding all of these things to it. And we’re not filtering the air, we’re not bringing in the fresh air to flush it out. And that’s where we get into this problem with indoor air quality.

Katie: Gotcha. And yeah, I’ve been researching actually for building saunas for a wellness space. And I got deep into the whole like ventilation side of this and was shocked at all these things we apparently are not doing very well in the U.S. when it comes to taking into account our air quality in our home. And that seems like I would guess for most people, like a pretty daunting task if our whole HVAC system is not actually set up correctly for air quality. So where do we even start with understanding what the air quality is in our home and, and improving it?

Ryan: You know, there’s some good meters that you can buy. There’s like an AirThings Wave Plus, a Wave Plus that you can buy for a couple hundred dollars and you can put it in your home. And it’s going to monitor chemical load, which is VOC. It’s going to monitor CO2 level. It’s going to monitor radon and particulate levels. And so those are kind of the main categories of how we quantify what’s going on with the air. And so simply by monitor, I mean, we monitor temperature, humidity. We go in our cars. Our cars are monitored. We can see the gas, the temperature. But we don’t really monitor too much the environment of our home. And so it’s important just to get some of this equipment, put it in our home, and do some monitoring, just kind of see where we’re at.

Katie: And you touched on an interesting one that people may not have considered. You mentioned CO2. And this is top of mind for me because I recently met someone, Mike Feldstein, who’s done apparently a lot of research on this. And he had a CO2 meter with him at an event I was at. And at one point during the event, he started opening windows and doors because the CO2 level had gotten really high in the room. And he noticed everybody was yawning. And I didn’t even know about this whole area before that.

But he explained, you know, at certain levels of CO2, it becomes harder to think. Chess grandmasters have a harder time actually making chess moves. So this is actually a really big, important thing to know about. And I don’t feel like I had ever even considered that. He also explained that most air filters, for instance, don’t improve the CO2 levels. They’re going to help with particulate and all that, but they don’t actually improve the CO2 levels. So can you talk more about CO2, maybe what common levels are in the home and how we can improve that? Is that just opening windows or are there other things we can do?

Ryan: Yeah, no, I love Mike, and he’s the owner of a company called Jasper, and they create a really, really good air filtration system, a standalone unit. But that’s one side of it. So there’s two parts to air quality. One is getting the fresh air in, and it’s cycling out the old air, the stale air, and bringing in the fresh air, which is going to take care of the CO2 problem. But the second part of it is filtering out the particulates that are in the air, and you can do that by air filtration. But, yeah, when I had the aha moment with CO2 is when I’d go on long road trips with the family. It seemed like 30 minutes into it, everybody’s asleep, and then I’m starting to get tired. I brought my meter with me one time. CO2 levels should be around 400 to 600 parts per million. It had already got up to 3,000 in the car simply because we have five people, and they’re breathing into a closed space. And now everybody starts to get drowsy because you’re getting less oxygen into your brain. So it’s really important to make sure that our homes are breathing and getting fresh air into our house.

Now that makes it a little bit tougher in places like where you live in Florida where it’s really humid outside. And so the last thing we want to do is bring in this humid air, which could potentially now feed a mold problem. So it’s a little bit tricky. There’s some systems we have to set up using dehumidifiers. There’s a system called an ERV, which is a fresh air ventilation system, energy recovery ventilator. And then we can manage, bringing the proper amount of fresh air in, exhausting the stale air, but then cleaning the air with air filtration on the inside. And this is something we learned a lot about during the whole time with COVID when everyone was locked up inside. Then we started to see a lot of symptoms. Our phones started ringing off the hook. People like, hey, I’m staying in my house with my family. We’re not feeling good. We’re feeling drowsy. And first thing I ask them is, are you getting fresh air in your home? What are you doing? Are you cracking the windows? Do you have a system? No, we don’t. Well, now you got six people in your home, nonstop, 24-7 breathing in and breathing out CO2. Of course, you’re going to have a situation where it’s going to be a health issue.

Katie: Yeah, like I said, this is top of mind for me realizing there are seven people who live in my house. We homeschool. There’s a lot of us there during the day. And so this is something I’m looking at kind of researching and figuring out how to address in my home. And you also mentioned VOCs. And I’ve talked about this before in the context of things like cleaning supplies that we keep in our home. And for women especially, all the personal care products that we’re exposed to and scents and all that, that can actually have a really noticeable effect on indoor air quality. But can you talk more about VOCs and common exposure sources? Because I’m guessing a lot of people have heard of this maybe in the context of paint but haven’t considered it in other areas.

Ryan: Yeah, so I’m talking about VOCs, which is volatile organic compounds. So VOCs off gas from anything that’s a chemical base. And one thing that I know you mentioned, females use more personal care products. I’ve noticed in going into homes and doing testing, it seems to always be the mom or the female in the home that’s affected before the males are. And my conclusion to that or my hypothesis is that because females use a lot more personal care products than males do. So they’re exposing themselves from early teenage years on. They’re putting these chemicals on their body.

Now, you’re very aware of and you have the product, the companies that are using these non-toxic products. But a lot of people are not using the non-toxic products. And so they’re putting them on their skin, which absorbs right through their body, through the skin. They’re breathing it in. And so that’s probably one of their biggest exposures is the personal care products that they’re using. But also the cleaning products, the pesticides, the off-gassing from paint and furniture. There’s a whole so many things in the home that can off-gas and make this chemical soup. One thing to keep in mind is some of these chemicals out of the 80,000 that are out there maybe a thousand on humans, none of these have been tested in combination with each other. And so when you start mixing some of these chemicals, there can be a lot of unintended consequences, it can be very harmful. So, you know, these chemicals combined together can have a pretty negative effect. And so think about bleach mixed with ammonia is going to make chloramine gas. So how many people have bleach and Windex, which has ammonia underneath their kitchen counter. So those can mix together. We can breathe that in and it can be very, very deadly.

Katie: Okay. And you also mentioned mold. And this is one I’m a little nervous to even talk about because I live in Florida. So it’s more likely to have mold than not have mold where I live. But I know this is also a problem in a lot of homes. And I’m hoping that like the EMFs we talked about in our past episode and things like our CO2 levels, there are things we can do to improve if we do have mold in our home. So can you walk us through how to know if we have mold? And then if someone does have mold, what do we do about it besides moving out and burning our house down?

Ryan: Yeah, you know, mold, I believe, is one of the true pandemic of our time. It’s probably the biggest underestimated health problem that we’re dealing with right now is because I would say about 70% of homes right now have a mold problem. And it comes back to, they’re not getting ventilated properly. We’re building these closed boxes. And now anytime moisture gets in, cause see food for mold is going to be the paper or the drywall, the wood of the home. And then the only other thing we need is water. So mold is an organism just like we are, it needs food and water. And so we give it that in a dark, damp place, like in the wall cavity or behind the shower or under the sink, we’re going to start having some mold growth.

So if you had any kind of water situation in your home, like a roof leak or a leak through a window or a toilet overflowing, or you got a five-year-old that turns the bathtub into his playground every night, you know, water gets everywhere. These are all signs that you potentially have a mold problem. But also if you’re not feeling well in your home, you’re getting respiratory type symptoms that’s an indication that you’re getting mold spores that you’re breathing them in. But worse is more of the neurologic issues. And that’s going to come from the mycotoxins that have come on off of the mold.

So mold will put off mycotoxins to kind of defend its territory. And it’s not trying to kill us. It’s just trying to defend its territory against other mold species so that it can claim its area. Now, those can be extremely harmful for us. And that can be more of the neurological issues, gut issues, autoimmune issues. I mean, the list goes on and on. It basically is weakening our system so that whatever the weakest link is in our body, that’s where we’re going to start to show symptoms.

Katie: And how can we know if mold is an issue in our home? I mean, I guess a lot of people probably figure it out from having unexplained symptoms like you talked about. But are there ways to kind of definitively test and know if we have a mold issue going on?

Ryan: Yeah, so there’s a couple different ways to test. But really, what it comes down to is knowing the history of the home and has the home got wet? Has there water stains? Is there water damage? Is there leaking? Because that’s where we’re really going to find the mold. So when I’m coming in to do a mold test, I’m not really looking for mold. I’m looking for water damage. I’m looking for signs. I’m looking for bubbling of the paint. I’m looking for cracks in the drywall. I’m looking for potential spots where water could got in around the windows or the roof. That’s where we’re going to find the mold. Now, we use some testing to verify that. We can take swab samples and send it to the lab. We can do air samples in the house. And I know that’s a real common one for people. But the problem with air samples is a lot of times it can be false negative. Unless the mold is actually budding and sporing at the time and active in that room, we’re probably not going to pick it up with an air sample.

Now, on the other side of the spectrum, we have what’s called an ERMI. And that’s a dust analysis. So we take a Swiffer and we collect dust throughout the house. That’s a lot of times going to come, I don’t want to say false positive because there’s always going to be mold. But it tends to be on the high side and it kind of scares people like, oh, my gosh, I have mold in my house. What am I going to do? Yeah, everybody has mold in your home. The problem is, is that mold starting to grow and produce mycotoxins? But also, another thing to think about is mold problem also has to do with your sensitivity as a person. So 14-year-old boy that’s sports and active, he can probably take a lot more than my 80-year-old grandma suffers from dementia, trying to live. And so it’s really important to know how much can our body take? What’s the mold load of the house and what type of mold is it? And based off of those three categories, that’s going to determine if we really have a mold problem or not.

Katie: So it seems like a big category there is if you are aware of water damage, that’s something to address. Or if you have water leak and you know it happened, like dealing with that, cleaning it up correctly and making sure mold doesn’t start is a big part of that. What about people who want to be proactive? So, like I said, I live in an area that’s extremely prone to mold. And you mentioned even the HVAC in the house is not often set up correctly. Are there things we can proactively do to kind of hopefully guard against some of these problems?

Ryan: Yeah, in the area you live in Florida, it’s a good idea to, if you don’t have a fresh air ventilation system to install one, but put that in line with the dehumidifier. So the air gets pulled in from the outside, it goes through a dehumidifier. So we’re pumping dry, fresh air into your home. Also, you can run it through a filter system that makes sure there’s no particulates in it. And then we’re exhausting out through the bathrooms and the kitchen. So when you’re taking a bath or a nice hot shower, make sure that you’re using the exhaust fan to vent that moisture out.

If we get any kind of spills or leaks, we’re going to clean those up right away. I was just doing an inspection where they said, yeah, we had a big leak from the upstairs. Every time we take a shower, we notice it drip down through the light in the kitchen below. And I’m like, well, how long has that been going on? Oh, a year or so. Like, okay, well, these symptoms that you’re feeling, these respiratory issues are more than likely you have mold in your ceiling cavity there. So anytime we have water, it needs to get opened up. We need to dry the area out and we need to fix the leak. So that’s always the first thing. Reduce the source of the water, either fix the leak or install a dehumidifier. Because if we don’t have water, the mold can’t grow. It’s really that simple. So you don’t need a special chemical or special fogging. If you want to eliminate mold, don’t give it water. That’s really the bottom line.

Katie: And if someone does have an identified issue like that, is it in most cases, is it possible to remediate by like addressing the local area of the problem? Or does this become like a whole remodel of the entire house type situation?

Ryan: So it depends. And this is a good question because some people are like, oh, my gosh, I got some mold. I got to move out of my house. I got to burn my clothes. Not necessarily. Again, it comes back to how sick are you, what type of mold is it, and how bad is it? I had a client where they had a home here in Idaho and a summer home out in Hawaii. Well, when they left over the winter, they’ve kept their humidity up to like 80 or 90 percent because they liked high humidity. Well, when they came back in the spring, the home, the home was full of mold. Like it was bad because there was so much humidity and the cold and the condensation. The mold was everywhere. In a situation like that, yeah, it’s almost better just to tear the house. You’re not moving and you’re not living. But that’s a rare case scenario.

The majority of the time when we see mold, it’s a shower has a leak behind it or the toilet overflowed and got into the walls. A little bit of mold starts growing. In those situations, we can go in and we can fix where the mold is, remove the mold, remove the drywall, the wood that’s affected. But where a lot of people stop and where you need to keep going is you need to do the deep clean of the home. Because the mold under the sink isn’t necessarily the thing that’s getting you sick. It’s the mycotoxins and the mold spores that are coming off of that mold that are spreading throughout the house.

If you think about the size ratio here, cigarette smoke is really similar size to mold spores. So think if you had someone in the bathroom smoking a cigarette without the vent on, how long is it going to take for that smell of smoke to go throughout your house? Pretty quick. So same thing if we have mold growing underneath the sink in the bathroom, those mold spores are spreading through the house pretty rapidly. You’re breathing those in. They’re getting into your carpet. They’re getting into your pillow, into the porous materials. So that’s when we need to do a really good deep clean. Any of the stuff that’s clothing or bedding, we need to run it through the washing machine. We need to clean it really good. Any of the solid surfaces need to get wiped down. Things like carpet may need to get thrown away. I don’t recommend carpet anyways. I think they’re kind of nasty. It holds a lot of bad stuff in it. Stick to solid surfaces if you can. Mattresses, if you have mattress protectors on them, they’re probably okay. But if not, you might need to replace the mattress. Couches are always a tough one if it’s a porous couch fabric. Those will hold a lot of nasty things. Those need to be switched out every five, eight years anyway just because they’re going to hold so much nasty stuff. So when it comes down to do we sell, do we move, what do we do, that’s where it can really be helpful to pull in a professional like me or some other consultant. There’s some good ones across the country. Get their opinion. Say, look, this is our situation. What do you think we should do at this point?

Katie: And I’ll definitely make sure to link to your website because I know you have a whole lot of resources for people to understand even where to start with that or how they can evaluate on their own or if they do need professional help. And I’ll make sure that’s all in the show notes. Also, because it’s top of mind and I’m a big fan of Mike Feldstein, what about things like air filters? Are these in general a good thing to have in our home, even if we don’t hopefully have a big mold issue or something else going on? Are they still beneficial to have with all the things we talked about, like the VOCs and everything else in our home?

Ryan: Absolutely. Yeah, I’m a big fan of those. I have a Jasper Air Purifier unit in every single room of my house. I have two in the master bedroom. I have two out in the living room. And those things are running all the time. In fact, I have one here in my office. And the one reason I really like the Jasper, Mike’s company, is that they’re really quiet. So I’m in here on a podcast, Jasper’s over running the corner, and it’s really quiet. So it’s kind of designed for doctor’s office and dentist’s office to really move and clean air, but do it efficiently and quietly.

So yeah, to answer your question, air filtration solves a lot of issues. And on top, keeping your house really clean too. So we have cleaners that come once a week, and they do a full cleaning of our house. Every Thursday, they come through top to bottom, they spend most of the day here. Some people think that’s a little much, but from what I’ve seen with my testing, that’s what, when we analyze dust, it’s made up of dead skin cells, it’s made up of mold spores, insect parts, insect feces, dust mites, broken down foams and fibers and pesticides and bacteria. None of this stuff we want to breath in, microplastics. It’s all in the dust and so it’s much better to clean it from the surface, clean it from the air before it has a chance to get in your body. So two takeaways from this is get good air filtration and keep your house clean. Those are the two biggest things you can do.

Katie: Good to know. And speaking of that, I feel like in health and wellness, we always want to focus on the food and the supplements. And I do think those things are important. But when I think of it kind of in like a triage effect, we eat a few times a day, but we drink more water than we eat, and we breathe much more air than we even drink water. So in order of importance, I think about air quality is very, very important, hydration, very, very important, and food also important, but a little bit less so.

So we got to go deep on air quality. I would love to, in our remaining time, also briefly touch on water quality and contaminants in our water, because I know this is an area, especially in the US, there can be some nasty stuff in our drinking water that we may not even know is there. And also, this is an area that much like when we talked about EMFs, if you put some things in place to help address that, it’s kind of a set it and forget it. It’s not a daily expenditure of energy to try to remember that. So walk us through what are some of the problems that could be in our drinking water, and what do we do about it?

Ryan: Yeah, and first I just want to touch, you mentioned like a trio of health things. I always teach my clients and my kids, there’s four main things I try to do. It’s clean water, clean air, clean food, and clean thoughts. I like to add the fourth one, the mental aspect of it. You got to be positive. You got to be happy. You got to show gratitude. The mental aspect of it will really wear you down as well. But yeah, those four things, clean air, clean water, clean food, clean thoughts. If you’re not doing those things as a basics, you have no business worrying about any of the other stuff. Focus on those first. And then let’s see how your health grows. And that’s hard to do these days. If you think about it, to hit those four things actually takes a little bit of time. And it shouldn’t. Those things should be natural. But unfortunately, the world we live in, we have to fight just to have those four things.

But to answer your question about the water, unfortunately, the majority of the water that’s coming out of our tap now in the United States is contaminated. With either the PFOAs, which is the forever chemicals. I think a study just came out that 90% of tap water in America is now contaminated with the forever chemicals. That’s going to be like the Teflon, the Scotchgard, the waterproofing, the nonstick coating, those kind of things. But also microplastics. Microplastics is another one now that the majority of water is being contaminated with. Now, if you live in a bigger city, Los Angeles that has reclaimed water, you’re probably drinking your neighbor’s Prozac, you’re drinking pharmaceuticals. There’s a whole range of things that the byproducts from cleaning the water are still in there. It’s just not a good idea to drink tap water and not only drinking it, but bathing and showering. A lot of people don’t realize our body absorbs so much to our skin. Our skin is the largest organism. It absorbs chemicals. So if you’re taking a nice, hot, steamy shower for 20, 30 minutes, you’re absorbing just as much chemicals as you are from drinking water throughout the day.

So it’s very critical to filter a whole home filtration system in your home, but also use an RO type system type system when it comes to the kitchen. Now, when you’re drinking this water and it’s very pure and filtered, you need to make sure that you’re adding some minerals back into it because it can leach from the body. And I believe if you’re eating it with a meal or with food or you’re mixing in your smoothie, you’re fine. But if you’re drinking it separately, then you need to add the minerals back into it.

Katie: Yeah, I love that you brought up minerals. That’s definitely a recurring topic on this podcast. It’s something we’re missing largely in the modern world. So I love that you brought that up. And I really love that you added clean thoughts to the list. I think that’s become a recurring theme as well as just how important our mindset is. And to your point, like if we spend a lot of time and worried about stuff and stressed about stuff, those things actually become more harmful to us. Whereas if we can cultivate gratitude and joy, we still want to deal with those things we’re exposed to, but they might have less of an impact if we’re also curating our thoughts. So you’ve already touched on some key takeaways. Are there any other key takeaways to be aware of on these topics of air quality and water quality?

Ryan: You know, I would even go a little bit further and say, don’t bring things in your house that you feel are toxic that you wouldn’t rub on your skin or breathe in or drink. You know, and that comes and that’s tough when you start thinking, well, how am I going to clean my house? I got the Formula 409, all these things. Well, you know, vinegar and baking soda and distilled water and lemon essential oil goes a long ways with cleaning. You don’t need a lot of these things. And it really comes down to minimizing what you actually need and bringing it into your home and being really conscious of, is this natural? Does this have chemicals on it? Is it plastic? Is it off-gassing? Really think about each item from not only a useful standpoint and bringing you gratitude standpoint, but also a health standpoint. Is this healthy for me? If I hold this, if I rub it on my skin, if I ingest it, is it going to do harm to me?

If you need help and guidance with that, I’m sure you’ve talked about EWG and there’s apps out there, Think Dirty and Skin Deep, where you can, these websites have already gone through and vetted a lot of these products. And I think it’s kind of fun, about 10 years ago, we went through our house and we had the EWG app and we were scanning all their products. And we ended up with like two garbage bags full of crap that was just sitting around in random cupboards and under sinks and stuff, a lot of stuff we didn’t even use, but it was very, very toxic on a scale. We just went and got rid of that stuff and we just don’t bring it into our home. A lot of these decisions are made when we’re at the store. The same thing with food. You say your diet when you’re at the grocery store, but the same thing with the products that we buy. Really be mindful of what is in these products and do a little research.

Katie: Yeah, that’s a great point. And I’ll put links to some blog posts I’ve written about how to evaluate that as well. This, I know, was a big part for me of starting a personal care company, was just realizing it’s so hard to find some of these products. And thankfully, now there are natural cleaning products available that truly are safe. I found, for instance, like tallow is one of the best skincare ingredients out there, and it’s natural as well. And I know you have a tremendous amount of resources available online as well. So where can people find you and keep learning?

Ryan: Yeah, and before I jump in, I just want to give a couple more tips that people can do. So if it’s not really humid outside, opening up your windows and getting fresh air is one of the best things you can do. So I live here in Idaho. It’s a pretty dry climate. Even here in the wintertime, I’ll crack the windows and the doors. It’ll be snowing outside, and I’ll have some windows and doors open. It doesn’t matter. I want that fresh air coming in at least twice a day. Get some good cross ventilation going. If you’re in really humid or coastal climate, it’s a little bit harder. You’ve got to implement some dehumidifiers. But for the rest of us, get those windows and doors open.

And then also implementing the air filtration, there’s a good tip you can do. Over on the HVAC system, there’s a fan, and you can turn that fan mode to auto, which means it will turn on when it’s heating or cooling. Or you can switch it to on, which means it will run that fan all the time. And what that’s going to do is filter your air through the HVAC filter. Another thing, check your filter. For one, make sure it doesn’t need to be switched out. If it starts to show a little bit of dirt, switch it out with a clean one. But also get a high-quality one. You know, if you’re at Costco or Home Depot, wherever you’re buying it, get the best one that you can afford to put in there. And then turn it to on and really use the filter on the HVAC system. That’s going to be really good. So do those tips. Those are nice, easy takeaways you can do to improve your air quality today.

Now, as far as where you can find us, our Instagram, @testmyhome. We have a lot of great content on there that we put out, really helpful, free, easy tips. Our website, testmyhome.com. We have the remote testing package that we help a lot of people with. From Canada to Mexico, Puerto Rico, we ship out a kit that includes the air quality meters, the mold, the water test kit, the EMF meter. And it comes with a bunch of training videos and then access to me for a couple of Zoom calls where we can walk you through your home and help you dial in. And really create a really safe home for your family. But not only are we doing the testing, but we’re teaching as well. So that when you’re done with the course, you are empowered and you can make these decisions. And you don’t feel like you’re in the dark anymore. And you can have control over that portion of it.

Katie: Amazing. Well, I will put those links in the show notes. If you guys are listening on the go, that always lives at wellnessmama.com. I know I have learned a lot in this episode and our other episode, and I’m excited to keep learning from you and also test my home. And I’ll report back to you guys if I find anything there and what I learned. But Ryan, thank you so for all the work that you do around this. I know this is very much comes from a place of heart and passion for you. And I’m so grateful for your very authentic voice on this and for educating but without fear and giving people practical things they can do to truly improve their home. So thank you so much.

Ryan: Yeah, thank you for helping spread the word. It’s much needed.

Katie: And thank you as always for listening and sharing your most valuable resources, your time, your energy, and your attention with us today. We’re both so grateful that you did. And I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of the Wellness Mama podcast.

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

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About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


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