How Air Pollutants Make it Indoors

 How Air Pollutants Make it IndoorsEven the cleanest home on the block might have high levels of air pollutants that decrease indoor air quality (IAQ). Many particles that find their way indoors are too small for the human eye to detect. Combine those with common gases emitted by products used for everyday living, and it’s no wonder home IAQ often suffers.

What Are They

Mold spores, dust, pet dander, pollen and dust mite waste are common pollutants found in indoor air. Dust itself is composite material, consisting of shed skin cells, lint and dirt. Although these particles are harmless to some, dust mite waste, pollen and animal dander are common allergy and asthma triggers.

The most common offending gases found inside homes are volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They come from anything made from hydrocarbons. Home cleaning products, scented candles, air fresheners, dry cleaning, paint, new flooring and furniture, and makeup may contain VOCs. People’s sensitivity levels vary, from mild reactions to serious illnesses.

Achieving Better Air Quality

  • Use door mats to capture pollen and mold spores from your shoes, and brush indoor/outdoor pets.
  • Dust mites live in fabrics and bedding. Launder sheets weekly in hot water and dry on the high setting.
  • Vacuum with a HEPA filter for this appliance, and avoid sweeping, which just redistributes dust. Use damp cloths to dust furniture.
  • Change the air filter for the furnace regularly, and use one that will trap smaller particles. Look for those with higher MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) ratings or labeled as “better.”
  • Fix plumbing leaks promptly to prevent mold growth.
  • Install UV (ultraviolet) lights in the HVAC system to prevent mold growth and neutralize VOCs. UV lights also stop the spread of viruses and bacteria indoors.
  • Use nonpolluting cleaners like vinegar, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Avoid perfumed products like soaps, candles, air sprays and dryer sheets.
  • Choose home improvement products identified as low in VOCs, like paints, flooring and finishes.

Minimizing air pollutants in your home leads to healthier air. For more information about improving your IAQ, contact C.R. Wolfe Heating & Air Conditioning, providing trusted services for Middletown homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Middletown, New York about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 845-367-4482. 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Pexels/Pixabay” 

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