Most people would venture to say the quality of the air inside their homes is pretty good — after all, it’s not like you’re breathing in the toxic pollution that hangs in the air outside, right? Hate to break it to you, but that notion is utterly false. In fact, experts believe the quality of the indoor air we breathe is up to five times worse than the air outside, which means when we spend a lot of time indoors, we’re putting our health at risk.
Whether you realize it or not, the quality of the air outside directly influences the quality of the air inside your home, so if it’s bad outdoors, you can bet it’s worse inside. But don’t despair! There are plenty of things you can do to improve the quality of your indoor air. Our Dust Doctors team has the details below.
What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?
It’s easy to believe the four walls that surround you block out the majority of toxic pollution that exists outdoors, but unfortunately, that simply isn’t the case. Worse, what you do inside your home and how well you keep it clean can also affect the amount of pollution you breathe in on a daily basis. The greatest contributors to poor indoor air quality include:
● Radon, a radioactive gas that comes from the decay of uranium and can travel into homes from the surrounding soil.
● Using gas-powered appliances on a regular basis (increases nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide levels inside the home).
● Mold and mildew growth anywhere inside the home.
● Chemical residues from cleaning products.
● Toxic fumes from lead, paint, varnishes, polishes, and even paraffin-based candles.
● Asbestos in building materials.
● Cigarette smoke.
● Pesticides used to kill rodents, mosquitoes, and flies can have a lingering effect even after disposal and can stick to the walls, furniture, floors.
● Dirty fabrics and materials like furniture, curtains, rugs, and bed sheets can all carry large amounts of dander, dust, or undesirable particulates.
● Artificial fragrances like colognes, deodorizers, and air fresheners all may have chemicals not regulated by the government and can interact with other elements, resulting in a degradation of the air quality.
● Allergens like pet dander, dust, mold, dust mites.
So what can you do about all these pollutants inside your home? For starters, limit your use of toxic cleaning products and look for healthier, plant-based alternatives. If you think your home may have asbestos, get an inspection at your earliest convenience. For those of you that smoke indoors, take it outside. And try your best to avoid using products indoors that produce toxic fumes.
Outdoor Toxicity Leads to Indoor Toxicity
Here’s the hard truth: No matter how diligent you are about using clean products inside your home, outdoor conditions will still affect the quality of your indoor air. Radon, a particularly hazardous gas that can lead to lung cancer, forms within the soil around your home and travels inside through tiny cracks in your walls, foundation, and various other openings.
Particulate matter, another toxic pollutant, is a mixture of solid particles and moisture droplets found in the outdoor air, which can also travel inside your home through cracks and small openings. The same goes for sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone gas, and nitrogen oxides, all of which are harmful to your health when you breathe them in.
Since there’s very little you can do about toxic gasses outside your home, you need to find an indoor solution for maintaining clean, healthy, breathable indoor air. Here are our suggestions:
Routine Duct Cleaning
Having your ducts cleaned on a regular basis helps remove toxic mold spores and mildew that originate in your ductwork and continually circulate into your home’s ambient air.
Replace Your Filters
HVAC filters are essential to help remove or reduce contaminants, and staying on top of regular filter changes for your HVAC system is recommended. This helps keep your home and indoor air quality cleaner and can help the HVAC system run more efficiently.
Clean Your A/C
Routine A/C cleaning (once a year is sufficient) helps maintain your HVAC system’s efficiency, which allows it to better remove potentially toxic moisture from the air.
Install Air Purification Systems
Installing air purification devices (either portable devices or whole-home systems) gives you a leg up on indoor air pollution. Because these systems contain HEPA filtration, they remove up to 99.7% of toxic particles from the air. Systems with carbon filtration are also capable of filtering out toxic gasses from your indoor air, though it’s not clear how much they can remove.
Remove Allergens From the Air
Keeping a cleaning regimen is important for improving indoor air quality. Regular dusting and vacuuming keeps dust and allergen build-up from accumulating. It’s also a good idea to stay on top of washing non-permeable surfaces using a soap or bleach solution.
If you notice mold growing in your walls, remove any fabrics or drywall near it and have it professionally cleaned.
Dampness is another hazard and can encourage mold growth, so be sure to use a dehumidifier and turn on a fan or ventilation system when you are cooking or showering.
Keep Up on HVAC Inspections
The HVAC system helps keep your home more comfortable and dramatically impacts the air quality in your home. Regularly scheduled inspections mean you will get consistent comfort and more durability from your system with fewer large repairs, which can help result in energy efficiency and more money in your pocket each month.
Ready to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality? Contact Dust Doctors Today
At Dust Doctors, it’s our goal to help Twin Cities homeowners improve the quality of the air inside their homes. We achieve this through a variety of specialized duct cleaning, A/C cleaning, furnace cleaning, and air purification techniques, so if you’re ready to breathe cleaner indoor air, we’re ready to help you do it!
To learn more about our services, request your free quote, or schedule an appointment, contact our team today at 651-319-9777 or send us a message via our contact page, and we’ll be in touch promptly.
Contact Us for More Information