We don’t often consider the air quality in our homes when we think about pollution, but the air in your home can be just as polluted as the outdoors.
In fact, according to the EPA, indoor air pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels. With figures like that, it’s vital to think about the air quality in your home to protect your and your family’s health. Prolonged exposure to certain pollutants can result in respiratory distress and illness for certain sensitive groups.
Luckily, there are plenty of methods to improve your indoor air quality.
Indoor air pollution can be an abstract concept to those who aren’t familiar. We often associate pollution with cars, factories, and other fuel-burning sources. This type of pollution is one that’s found its way into your home. But there are other contaminants that can reduce your air quality as well. Here are a few examples of indoor pollutants:
With so many potential pollutants in the air, it’s important to understand how to keep the air in your home healthy. There are a lot of ways you can go about improving the air quality in your home. Let’s go over some of the best methods to do so.
Fresh air is an important key to the puzzle when it comes to reducing indoor pollution. Most heating and cooling systems don’t automatically bring in air from outside; that means the same air is being circulated throughout the house over and over again.
Cracking windows, using an attic fan, or installing a window AC unit are all ways to increase airflow. This is especially important when you’re involved in emissions-producing activities such as painting, cooking, or sanding. But be wary of letting outside air in on smoky or high pollution days.
According to the EPA, one of the most effective ways to reduce indoor pollution is to track down the source and reduce the emissions it creates. Older homes may have asbestos and lead in ceilings, flooring, and paint. Gas stoves, fireplaces, household cleaning products, and mold are a few other sources to be aware of as well.
Source control is a cost-effective way to control air quality since it doesn’t involve using energy.
There are important filters aiding in increasing indoor air quality throughout your home. One of the most important filters is the one your HVAC system uses. Be sure to change this filter out once or twice a year. Other filters to watch and change when necessary are the ones in your kitchen vents, bathroom exhaust fan, clothing dryer, and household appliances such as vacuums.
One of the major contributors to poor indoor air quality is mold. It’s important to get ahead of any infestations before they get on top of you. Mold can occur after water damage or in cool, high humidity areas.
You can prevent mold by using your exhaust fan while cooking or after a shower, handling leaks right away, not overwatering your plants, and using a dehumidifier.
Unfortunately, some odor masking products such as Febreze can reduce the air quality in your home. Chemicals such as phthalates –a hormone-disrupting chemical especially dangerous for small children and babies– is a key ingredient in these products. Using them can lower your air quality and put your family at risk.
Your HVAC system handles the air in your home so it naturally plays a major part in the quality of that air. It’s vital to keep up with regular HVAC maintenance. Clear dust and debris from your vents. Change out your filter when the time comes. Contact your local HVAC professional for regular maintenance.
If you’re in the Thornton, Colorado area, To the T Plumbing and Heating has you covered with an extensive furnace maintenance plan.
Carpets and rugs are like magnets for dust, pollen, and dander. This can be a major source of air pollution in your home. Be sure to vacuum regularly. This is especially important for those who share their home with a cat or dog. Those with allergies will also benefit from regular vacuuming and carpet shampooing when possible.