It’s pretty easy to find information about outdoor air quality on a daily basis. It’s much harder to find alerts and warnings about indoor air quality. Sometimes you can smell and see problems, but many times the pollutants in indoor air are undetectable. The U.S. EPA has found that the air in some homes ranks among the most polluted environments people encounter.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
VOCs are one of the most common indoor air pollutants that come from common household products. You’ll find them in everything from household cleaners to home remodeling supplies. New paint, carpeting, cabinets, and flooring may have high levels of VOCs.
Attached garages are another common source of VOCs if you park your car inside it or store insecticides or chemicals inside it. Perfumes, makeup, candles and air sprays have VOCs, as do dryer sheets and some detergents.
Exposure to VOCs can cause everything from mild headaches or sore throats to serious organ damage, cancer, or nervous systems disorders. The best ways to limit VOC exposure is to select products that have low VOCs or avoid them altogether.
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If you can’t avoid them completely, consider having Forrest Anderson install an air scrubber inside your HVAC system that will help in controlling the pollutants in your home.
Energy efficient energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) are another way to reduce the toxicity of indoor air pollutants like VOCs. However, ERVs provide balanced fresh air ventilation without raising energy bills.
Although it’s not one of the most serious indoor air pollutants, dust can be annoying for people who suffer from allergies or asthma. Most of the dust inside your home comes from the lint in carpets, clothing, draperies, furniture and your clothing. Some come from pollen and some from human and animal dander (shed skin cells).
The dust may also have its share of dust mite waste inside it, which is one of the most common allergy triggers. A good air filter for your HVAC system will help lower the dust particles indoors. If you have questions about which filter to use, contact us, we’d love to help you find the best solution for your needs.
Mold spores are one of the most persistent indoor air pollutants even in this dry climate. In fact, there are few places on the planet where mold won’t grow. You can limit mold in your home by having your HVAC system cleaned and serviced by the licensed HVAC specialists from Forrest Anderson.
Fireplaces and some gas appliances can increase serious indoor air pollutants if they’re not vented to the outdoors. If you use a gas range, be sure to run the hood fan when you use it. Have your gas furnace inspected before using it each winter.
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms according to the manufacturer’s schedule. Gas creates nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and formaldehyde (HCHO). All are indoor air pollutants.