Posted: March 18, 2020
There are many reasons why your home may has poor indoor air quality (IAQ), but the bottom line is that this situation can result in many health problems if you don’t do corrective measures. This is especially important during these uncertain times, when people are spending more time at home and avoiding crowds in an effort to avoid getting sick.
1. Everyone is affected by indoor air quality
Young children, the elderly and people with respiratory conditions like asthma or COPD, are especially vulnerable to poor IAQ. But even healthy adults can be impacted.
2. Fragrances can impact IAQ
Many cleaning and personal care products use scent as a way to make them more attractive. But the scents added to products like air fresheners, soaps, detergents, all-purpose cleaners, and other products can result in hundreds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) being released into your home.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, VOCs can create health problems ranging from throat, eye, and nose irritation to dizziness to even liver or kidney damage. Make an effort to use unscented products. You can still add a pleasant smell to your home with essential oils and a diffuser.
3. Humidity levels
Humidity — either too much or too little — can create all sorts of problems. If the air is too humid, it can encourage the growth and spread of mold. Research has shown that molds can trigger asthma attacks, allergic reactions, and lung infections in people with chronic lung disease or compromised immune systems.
4. Home cleaning products may harm indoor air quality
A clean home can help improve indoor air quality. But if you choose the wrong product to clean your home, you can make your living environment worse. Aerosol spray products, chlorine bleach, detergents and dishwashing liquid, rug and upholstery cleaners, oven cleaners, and floor and furniture polishes may all contain VOCs, flammable ingredients or other irritants. The EPA offers a Safer Choice guide for finding better cleaning options that won’t harm your indoor air quality. You can also make your own cleaners that not only protect your indoor air quality, they’re also less expensive.
5. Home improvement may impact indoor air quality
Whether it’s a do-it-yourself project or a professional renovation, products such as carpeting, paint and pressed wood, these can be packed with VOCs and other irritants. Ask your contractor or home improvement store for low-VOC products. When you buy new cabinets, carpeting, home decor or furniture, make sure they don’t contain formaldehyde, which is most commonly found in adhesives.
6. Airflow matters
If the air in your home isn’t circulating, it can create problems such as an accumulation of pollutants, or the growth of mold and mildew. While today’s energy-efficient homes do a great job of keeping heated or cooled air in, they can also trap stale, contaminated air inside. A ventilating system, also sometimes called a ventilator, can be an effective solution. Ventilators remove dangerous gases from your home by exchanging fresh, clean outdoor air for the “dirty” air inside. What’s more, they can do this with no loss of heated or cooled air so there is no waste of precious energy.
7. Small things make a big difference
Every little bit helps so consider these tips:
8. HVAC maintenance helps
Getting regular maintenance of your home’s heating and cooling equipment can do a lot to improve your indoor air quality.
You may sometimes forget to change the air filter on your furnace or air conditioning system and that can negatively impact your indoor air quality. Check your HVAC filter about once a month and change/clean it as needed. This is especially important if someone in your home has a respiratory condition, or if you have pets. In these situations, you may need to change/clean the filter more frequently.
10. Invest in indoor air quality equipment
There are many products that can help improve and protect the indoor air quality in your home, such as whole-house humidification and air cleaning systems. Many of today’s HEPA filters and UV lights have been proven to kill airborne viruses and some bacteria. Read more about these IAQ products. Another great solution to indoor air quality problems is our award-winning Aeroseal duct-sealing service. This not only improves air quality in your home, it also increases your comfort and saves you money. You can read more about our Aeroseal duct sealing here.
The IAQ experts at Wilson Oil and Propane will be glad to help improve the air quality in your Delaware Valley home. Contact us today to learn more or receive a free estimate.