Most people are surprised to learn that their homes might have higher levels of air pollutants than large cities with traffic-filled streets. Many common household products contain harmful pollutants. Pollen and mold spores come from the outdoors through doors and windows, along with shoes, clothing and pets. Insects and vermin seek food and shelter indoors and contribute to bad air quality.
In an effort to keep homes at a comfortable temperature without driving up energy costs, people keep their homes tightly closed nearly year-round. This lack of fresh air ventilation worsens indoor air quality (IAQ).
Common offenders are the volatile organic compounds (VOCs), found in goods made from petrochemicals, followed by natural organic materials like mold, waste products from insects and vermin, and in some cases, pollen.
Where You’ll Find VOCs
- Air fresheners
- Household cleaning products
- Scented candles
- Perfumes and makeup
- Dry cleaning
- Building and remodeling materials like paint, finishes, flooring, adhesives, new furniture, and plastic products
- Vehicle exhaust
Solving Poor IAQ
Since air pollutants are harmful to health, it makes sense to take steps to minimize them. The easiest way is to avoid them altogether. Plenty of alternative products are now available that contain low levels of VOCs. Look for a label or symbol of clean air compliance.
Avoid perfumed soaps of all kinds and use natural cleaners like vinegar and baking soda. Open windows or use exhaust fans in lieu of air fresheners. Use only natural candles, and avoid idling your vehicle in the garage. Open windows periodically and use kitchen and bathroom fans to pull out stale air.
Creating an Inhospitable Environment
What’s good for you isn’t good for molds and insects. Keep the humidity below 50 percent year-round with portable dehumidifiers or a whole-house system. Fix water leaks and keep the kitchen clean to avoid mouse and bug infestations. UV (ultraviolet) lights for your HVAC system will reduce mold populations and neutralize VOCs.
Keeping your home free from air pollutants reduces the risks associated with health-related problems and stale air. To learn more, contact Jackson & Sons, providing heating and air services for eastern North Carolina homeowners and businesses since 1974.
Jackson & Sons, Inc.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Eastern North Carolina (including Wayne, Johnston, Greene, Lenoir, Pitt and Duplin Counties) about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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