You might be taking every effort to lead a healthy lifestyle and install healthy habits in your family members, but you could be forgetting one important thing – the air you breathe. It’s easy to overlook it since the air is invisible and we don’t really think about breathing – it just comes naturally. Meanwhile, indoor air pollution can be just as bad and often much worse than outdoor air pollution.
If you watch what you eat, it’s only natural to pay attention to what you breathe in as well. Grove Heating & Cooling is here to help you identify the most common indoor air pollution sources and learn the ways to control them.
As you might know, smoking affects more than just the smoker and can significantly lower indoor air quality. Lighting a cigarette indoors results in the smoke and smell lingering for hours, days, and even years – getting absorbed by fabrics, drywall and other porous materials. You can always tell if there is a smoker in the home as soon as you walk in. If you have a smoker in your family, make sure they smoke outside away from open windows.
The way some products and materials are manufactured or treated may cause them to release unwanted chemicals into the air. Polishes, finishes, flame retardants and other appearance and quality enhancers are applied to most of the products we buy from shoes and clothes to furniture and electronics. That new-car smell you are familiar with is nothing but off-gassing of chemicals used in production and installation of the car’s interior. Some major off-gassing offenders in your home include:
- Particle board and other pressed woods that contain formaldehyde, which has been linked to throat cancer
- Shoes are usually treated with dyes and chemicals to enhance their look and durability
- Carpeting frequently contains volatile organic compounds (VOC)
To reduce the amount of gasses emitted by such items, try sealing exposed wood seams and off-gassing newly purchased items outside in a sunny and windy weather whenever possible. If you have a family member with increased sensitivity to chemicals, place an item in question in an unused room until most of the chemicals evaporate. A mini split A/C system can be used to keep this particular room well-vented.
Air Fresheners & Household Cleaners
A lot of air fresheners and other household fragrance products contain chemicals. Ironically, while you are attempting to improve your air by introducing a fresh scent, you could also be polluting it. Similarly, chemically-loaded cleaners leave the surface clean, but irritate your lungs and can be dangerous for your pets.
Open a window on a windy spring day and you will get a house full of pollen, spores, dust and other particles that you can’t see, but can probably feel irritating your airways. We also bring contaminants from the outside on a daily basis on our clothes, shoes, bags and pets.
Mold is another dangerous air pollutant. When mold spores meet moisture problem in your home, you get mold growth, which will keep releasing more spores into the air. Mold can aggravate asthma and existing allergies, and some of the mold types are toxic and can cause serious damage when inhaled.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that source control is the most effective method of reducing indoor air pollution. Source control involves completely eliminating the sources of pollution from your home or reducing the amount of emissions they produce. Keeping the air moving also helps, so call us for HVAC repair in Annapolis if you’re A/C is not keeping up with the task.