Think the air inside your home is clean? Think again. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the most industrialized cities.” Yikes.
If you’re not sure where your indoor air quality stands, the first thing you should do is get indoor air quality testing to determine what’s contaminating the air inside your home.
But while you’re here, check out some of the most common indoor air pollutants you may not even be aware you’re allowing inside your house.
1. Excessive Dust
If your house tends to be pretty dusty, chances are your indoor air quality is pretty poor. Often, dust — which is composed of skin flakes, dander, chemicals, and thousands of other microscopic particles — isn’t even visible.
As it floats through the air around your house, you unknowingly breathe it in, and once it’s inside your lungs, dust can trigger respiratory issues.
To help control dust accumulation inside your home, you can:
● Schedule professional duct cleaning at regular intervals (every two to five years for most homes).
● Use portable air purifiers or have a whole-house air purification system installed in your HVAC system.
● Change your HVAC filters every 30-90 days.
● Vacuum frequently, wash linens frequently, and dust using microfiber dusting products.
2. Synthetic Air Fresheners & Candles
You might want your house to smell nice, but if you’re using synthetic air fresheners or petroleum-based candles to get the job done, you’re diminishing your indoor air quality.
Soy-based candles fragranced with synthetic chemicals also make your indoor air quality worse. These products contain volatile organic compounds, which can have deleterious effects on your health over time.
Rather than using air freshening products made with synthetic scents, opt for essential oils. You can diffuse them or get soy-based candles with natural fragrances to help keep your indoor air as chemical-free as possible.
3. Cooking Fumes
Do you do lots of cooking at home? If so, your cooking habits may be contributing to poor indoor air quality. Your oven, fumes from cooking on the stovetop, and even the non-stick spray you might use can all pollute the air inside your home.
You can learn more about how to mitigate cooking-related air pollutants in our recent blog, Can Cooking Negatively Affect Your Indoor Air Quality?
4. Excessive Humidity
If your home interior tends to be fairly humid and you haven’t taken measures to dry things out a bit, you may be inadvertently encouraging mold and mildew growth. And if these things are present in your home, they’re definitely diminishing your indoor air quality.
Check out How Indoor Humidity Can Be Damaging and What You Can Do About It for tips on how to excess moisture and related microbe growth in your home.
VOCs are potentially harmful chemicals used inside innocent household products. They can be anything from mothballs to plastics, and can be ten times more harmful when used indoors.
Some of the most common ones include:
● Benzine: found in glue, paint, and carpeting.
● Acetone: found in furniture polish, wallpaper, and nail polish remover.
● Ethanol: found in dishwasher detergents, laundry detergents, and glass cleaners.
While these are just a few examples, they are all direct contributors to low indoor air quality, and the biggest steps you can take to reduce your exposure is:
● Check the label and choose products that have alternative compounds.
● If you use products with VOCs indoors, open windows to create efficient air circulation.
● Invest in an air filtration system that will absorb the chemicals.
Your pets are a beloved part of your family; however, their dander and shedding can wreak havoc on your home’s indoor air quality. Once the dander and hair becomes airborne, it will accumulate throughout the home and cause symptoms including:
● Watery eyes
● Itchy skin
Even if you're not allergic to your pet, that doesn't mean your home's air quality is not affected because pet hair also poses a challenge for HVAC systems.
When the stale air is sucked into the unit for conditioning the fur can go with it and can cause a clog in your air filter which makes your unit work much harder. Finding ways to maintain your air quality and your HVAC system is critical, so here are a few recommendations:
● Stay on top of changing your HVAC air filters.
● Regularly bathe your pet.
● Incorporate an air filter.
● Choose a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
● Have a separate sleeping area for your pet.
Improve Your Indoor Air Quality With Dust Doctors
Ready to breathe cleaner air inside your home? Then get in touch with our team at Dust Doctors, so we can help you boost your indoor air quality!
We specialize in several services that can help clean up your indoor air and boost your HVAC system’s efficiency, including air purifier installation, duct cleaning, a/c cleaning, and more.
To schedule service or learn more about what we can do for you, give us a call today at 651-319-9777. You can also request a free quote online, and we’ll get in touch with more information!
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