Air pollution is a familiar topic to many of us. But isn’t air pollution something that happens outside our home ???
Not necessarily. Indoor pollutants are just as common and dangerous as those pollutants found outside your home. Your home should be an oasis from the world outside. A place that is both safe and secure. This article defines what indoor air quality (IAQ) is, lists some of the more commonly found indoor pollutants and offers steps you can take to reduce or eliminate these harmful substances and increase the quality of your homes indoor air.
Common Sources of Poor Indoor Air Quality
Various sources are responsible for indoor air pollution due to the gases and particles they release. Pollution levels can increase if ventilation in your home is inadequate. It is imperative that you allow enough fresh air into your home to dilute indoor emissions and carry pollutants outside.
Humidity levels and high temperatures can also escalate concentrations of some pollutants.
There are a multitude of source of indoor air pollution in any home. Most of us are familiar with the more common offenders such as air fresheners, pesticides, cleaning agents and asbestos that might be hiding in older insulation but did you know that new carpet can emit harmful vapors into your home’s air and broken florescent lights can release tiny amounts of mercury, a neurotoxin. It is difficult to remove mercury from your home as vacuums should not be used to lift mercury and carpets cannot be fully cleaned of it.
Another common offender of indoor air pollutants is improperly adjusted appliances such a gas stoves, and furnaces. Poorly installed or maintained appliances can emit significantly more carbon monoxide than an appliance that has been properly installed maintained and adjusted.
|Try out this interactive “house” from the EPA.Learn about the key pollutants and how to address them.|
Steps You Can Take To Improve Indoor Air Quality
1. Call your HVAC Technician!
Your home’s heating and cooling system is responsible for circulating the air in your home. If your system is dirty or not installed properly you are only adding to the issue by circulating more pollutants into the air.
A NATE certified technician, such as those at All Weather Heating and Cooling, can run diagnostics on your unit, properly clean your unit and tell you if it is installed properly. They can also and offer advice on how to get the most out of your furnace and improve your indoor air quality.
2. Use The Correct Filters For Your Unit
All filters are not created equal. Purchase high quality filters that match your system and home environment needs. See our article on the various types of filters available and which ones are best for which applications.
3. Keep a healthy level of humidity.
Common indoor air pollutants such a mold and dust mites LOVE moisture! Keep moisture depend pollutants at bay by keeping your home’s humidity level at around 30-50%. Using a dehumidifier during the winter and central AC during the summer helps reduce indoor air moisture.More tips for dehumidifying your home:
- Crack a window or use a portable fan when cooking, running the dishwasher or bathing.
- Vent the clothes dryer to the outside.
- Repair any leaky indoor plumbing
- Empty drip pans in your window air conditioner and dehumidifier.
Call the HVAC professionals at All Weather Heating and Cooling, LLC and have them determine what pollutants are present in your home and how to best remove it.
Comprehensive testing is possible, including mold analysis, abatement and remediation if necessary.
All Weather Heating and Cooling, LLC will evaluate key parts of your system such as your HRV/Heat Recovery Ventilators and ERV/Energy Recovery Ventilators. Balancing these makes sure outdoor air comes in and stale indoor air is exhausted properly. Do you need more filtering, better ventilation, corrected humidity, or even a UV purification system? All Weather can properly advise you on these points.