You may have heard of the alarming studies that show indoor air is often more polluted than what you breathe outdoors. If you’re concerned about what type of pollutants are threatening your family’s health, read on for simple ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality.
What’s Polluting Your Air?
Pollutants that are regularly found in homes include:
- Dust mites
- Mold and mildew
- Pet dander
- Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs
These pollutants are usually present as small particles on surfaces or in the air. They are stirred up by human or pet activity, and can be recirculated by the HVAC system.
6 Pollution Preventative Steps
- Know what’s in your air. Besides the above pollutants, gases such as naturally occurring radon or carbon monoxide generated from internal combustion may be a problem. You can have your home tested for radon, and install carbon monoxide detectors.
- Better-quality air filters can capture particles from .3 to 10 microns, which is the size of particles found in some of the pollutants listed above, whereas the cheaper type of fiberglass filter will do nothing but keep dust and dirt out of your HVAC system. Choose pleated filters made of polyester or cotton fibers.
- Limit your purchase and use of chemicals with VOCs. Use products with natural ingredients whenever possible, and keep pesticides, varnish, paint and other chemical substances tightly capped and stored away from your living space.
- Ventilate your home. Whenever possible, open doors and windows. Install exhaust ventilation in bathroom or kitchen to diminish moisture and possible mold and mildew. Talk to your HVAC consultant about installing whole-house ventilation.
- Add house plants. Some plants absorb pollutants such as VOCs through leaves, use them as food, then release clean air. Forty-two species have been recognized as useful for this purpose.
- Install a whole-house air cleaner. There are several types, and you should choose based on what type of pollutants you’re most concerned with. Talk to your HVAC specialist.
For more information on how to boost indoor air quality, contact Ocean State Air Conditioning and Heating. We’ve served Jacksonville homeowners since 1975.