With the cold weather upon us, you may have found yourself spending more time indoors. It has been estimated that the air you breathe inside your home or workplace is two to five times more polluted than the air outdoors. A wide variety of pollutants contribute to poor indoor air quality, and knowing some of the most common ones helps us understand what needs to be done to get rid of them once and for all. Continue reading to learn more about what factors may be contributing to poor indoor air quality.
Secondhand smoke, also known as passive smoke, is exhaled by a person smoking a cigarette, pipe, or cigar. It is also said to be worse than the act of smoking itself since it contains nearly 400 compounds, most of which are chemicals that can be harmful to one’s health. It is a risk factor for asthma, lung cancer, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in non-smokers.
The solution to secondhand smoke is simple: keep your indoor living spaces completely free of cigarette smoke. A smoke-free household also helps minimize the risks of fires, especially if you have fuel oil or other flammable items around.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile organic compounds stem from household items and building materials that release toxins into the indoor air in a process called off-gassing. They mix with the other contaminants in the air you breathe at home or work. These can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat and can cause nausea and breathing difficulties.
As a homeowner, it’s important to take steps to get rid of VOCs. The best option is to limit your use of goods with high VOCs, such as aerosol sprays. Some other examples of common items that have high VOCs include certain cleaners, new rugs and furniture, room deodorizers, paints, caulks, and nail polish remover. While using such products, be sure to open windows to let fresh air in and use a fan to force indoor air outside. You can also let the items air out in a space like a garage before brining them into the house.
Mold and Mildew
Excess moisture in the indoor air is caused by household activities such as cooking, taking hot showers, and doing the laundry. If moisture issues are not addressed, this can lead to mold and mildew growth, which is another contributing factor to poor indoor air quality and can have a negative impact on your health.
Before the spores of these microorganisms start affecting the health and well-being of your household, you’ll want to ensure the indoor humidity levels are in check. Consider investing in a dehumidifier to keep moisture at bay. Get in touch with a local HVAC contractor, like Fred F. Collis & Sons, to provide you with a quality option.
These are just a few ways you can improve the air in your home. For all your indoor air quality solutions, you can always Count on Collis! Whether you need a dehumidifier, air purifier, duct cleaning, or more, we’re here to help. Contact our team of experts today! (315) 768-2323