Despite how clean you manage to keep your home, there are always ways to make it even cleaner and safer. Indoor air quality may not be something you have ever thought about. However, now might be a good time to focus more on it. Various household products that you use may be causing more problems than not. You might be surprised to know that many of the products you have trusted for years are actually not as safe as you think they are. It is important to learn how some commonly used household products can produce indoor air pollution and what alternative options you have.
Also referred to as IAQ, indoor air quality is the condition of the air within or surrounding a structure. This includes a commercial building or a home. IAQ is associated with the health and comfort of the people in that structure. When indoor air quality is good, the air inside is safer and easier to breathe.
Indoor air quality is particularly important for a home, especially when there are young children present, elderly residents, or people who have compromised immune systems. If there are high levels of pollutants and/or moisture in the indoor air, it could cause increased risks of health problems including respiratory issues and allergies. This is why both homes and commercial buildings need to adhere to IAQ standards.
If you want to eliminate issues with indoor air quality, it is important to understand how pollutants enter the air inside your house. You could actually be using household products that are bringing down the cleanliness levels of your indoor air.
Many cleaning products on the market are made with chemicals that can negatively affect both your health and the environment. Cleaning products that contain anything from ammonia, bleach, powerful synthetic fragrances, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) lower the indoor air quality in a residential space. These chemicals can result in a strong reaction, especially if you mix them with other chemicals.
Solution: By choosing household cleaning products that are made with eco-friendly ingredients and avoiding those that are formulated with harmful chemicals, you can naturally improve your indoor air quality. If possible, research more about how to clean with natural ingredients like baking soda or vinegar.
The fact that you can smell fresh paint means that you are probably breathing in something that is bad for your health. Many of the varieties of paint that are still in use contain VOCs. These contaminants are full of carbon compounds, which can easily transform into vapors. When these intermingle with the air, the reaction with other elements creates ozone. This can amplify air pollution. As the paint dries, it continues to release VOCs into the air, and this is the pollution that you breathe in.
Solution: Choose paint that contains low or zero VOCs to keep your indoor air clean. Your lungs will thank you for it.
You can purchase many products that are designed as aerosol sprays. These include hairspray and other hair treatments, shaving cream, deodorant, and fragrances. Even aerosol cooking oil spray is suspicious because of chemicals that are added. This includes artificial flavors, propellants like butane, isobutane, and propane, and a variety of foam-preventing silicone.
The problem with aerosol sprays is that they are formulated to send out tiny liquid droplets into the air. Sometimes, this liquid consists of harmful ingredients that are not safe to use. About 30 years ago, people exposed aerosol sprays as polluting substances that were also harmful to the environment.
Solution: If possible, avoid using aerosol sprays, or limit their use to avoid sending irritants into the air. You can find many products in other forms that are safer to use and have little to no effects on your home’s IAQ.
We have all reached for a can of air freshener to eliminate a bad odor, but did you know that air freshener also contains ingredients that are harmful? Certain air fresheners can release over 100 various chemicals. Many of those chemicals can be harmful to health or even toxic. These chemicals can also have reactions with other substances in your indoor air and that can result in more dangerous compounds being produced. Consequently, some people may cough or sneeze after inhaling even a small amount of air freshener. If the spray touches the skin, it could also cause irritation, redness, and itchiness.
It might seem counter-intuitive that a product that is designed to make the air ‘fresher’ can actually cause problems with indoor air quality. However, it is not shocking. Air fresheners are actually made with fragrances, propellants, and various kinds of additives that all lend a hand in reducing IAQ.
Solution: Use natural ingredients to get rid of bad odors and improve indoor air quality.
Many people think that candles are innocent, but they can also be harmful to your health. Fortunately, not all candles are harmful — only those that contain paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is a by-product of coal oil, shale, or petroleum. By themselves, they are most likely harmless. However, when they are lit they begin to disperse carcinogenic compounds into the air. A particular study showed that the fumes emitted by paraffin wax candles were connected to lung cancer and asthma.
Solution: Do not use paraffin wax candles often. If you use candles on a regular basis, try to find ones made with natural ingredients like beeswax.
Dry cleaning uses an organic solvent to remove dirt, bad odors, and stains. The solutions used in dry cleaning can pose risks, especially for those who have pre-existing medical conditions that involve the heart, lungs, liver, or kidneys. PERC (perchloroethylene) is the most alarming type of ingredient used in dry cleaning. This is a variant of VOC and it can be particularly problematic if exposure to the chemical occurs for a prolonged period.
Solution: If you must have your clothes dry cleaned, be sure to unwrap them outdoors. Let them sit outside for some time so that the dangerous chemicals can disperse. Furthermore, Choose a trusted dry cleaning company and don’t be afraid to say something if you notice that your dry-cleaned clothes have a strong smell.
To manage indoor air quality properly, it is important to be actively aware of the various products that could result in IAQ issues. Keeping your indoor air safe is good for your personal safety and health. It is also necessary to properly maintain the environment. Little steps can produce big differences. Being actively involved will make sure that your home and the people who live in it are kept safe and comfortable.
Tower Energy provides outstanding cooling and heating services in Hartford County, Connecticut, and the surrounding areas. Our team consists of the best NATE certified specialists who can offer you exceptional HVAC installations, repairs, replacements, and tune-ups. Each team member has years of experience and superior knowledge to service your HVAC properly.
Tower Energy guarantees heating and cooling costs that are the most competitive in the area. Our services can elevate your comfort levels, improve your indoor air quality, and improve your energy efficiency, all while bringing down your cooling and heating costs.
If you are in need of HVAC repairs or a replacement HVAC system, we can recommend the perfect choice for you that also fits with your budget. Our work is backed with a satisfaction guarantee. For a free in-home estimate or to schedule an appointment, give Tower Energy a call today.
Having a pet can help improve your life quality. Canine and feline friends give socialization and comfort to many people around the world. There is no doubt that caring for a pet can be a therapeutic and rewarding endeavor. However, the indoor air quality in your home can suffer when you have furry animals in your home.
In this article, we share some simple tips you can do to improve indoor air quality. These tips will also help you prevent the air quality issues that come with owning a pet. This way, you can ensure that your living environment becomes a comfortable and safe space that everyone in your household can enjoy.
A building’s indoor air quality is affected by many different things. For example, you might have an enclosed space that utilizes a central AC. Using a lot of spray cleaners to clean around this close area will severely affect the air you breathe in. Having pets at home works with the same principle. Instead of harmful chemicals, airborne particles like fur and animal dander will be circulated throughout your home. Unfortunately, these can block your HVAC system and affect its overall efficiency and effectiveness. It is, therefore, vital that pet parents work harder than those who do not have pets to achieve clean and breathable indoor air.
Some of the adverse effects that airborne particulates from your pets can have include aggravating any existing respiratory illnesses or pet allergies. Excess animal dander in the air can further damage the lungs of an individual who is suffering from asthma or COPD. When you work hard to keep the air clean, you not only protect your family. You safeguard your guests as well.
One of the best ways pet owners can do to enhance their home’s air quality is to make sure that your HVAC system is equipped with excellent air filtration. Air filters trap small particles that would otherwise be circulated and inhaled by the occupants of your home. It is vital that you routinely check, clean, or replace the air filters. A dirty air filter means that the accumulated debris is re-circulated throughout your home. It won’t be able to work as effectively as well.
A clogged air filter can also lead to your HVAC system not working as it should. Even worse, it can lead to a breakdown. If you have one or more pets at home, your HVAC air filter likely needs to be replaced at least once every 30 to 45 days. It is recommended that you conduct frequent checks and assessments to determine when you need to replace your HVAC air filter.
It is vital that your pet receive regular grooming. Brush your dog or cat’s fur to lessen shedding. It would help if you also cleaned out kennels, litter boxes, and other areas that your animal uses. This way, your lungs do not need to fight off as many particulates as there are less visible pet messes. It is also recommended that you use a high-power vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter. Even if you don’t have carpets, you can utilize the vacuum on surfaces like drapes, rugs, and couches. These areas are notorious for collecting hairs, pet dander, and other allergens.
You can also use UV lighting to purify and cleanse the air inside your home. Our pets can carry germs that can be transmitted to the surfaces around our house. Even a quick walk outside can result in your pet’s paw being covered in potentially harmful microorganisms. These can them transfer to everything your pet walks on, multiply, and be airborne.
UV lights can help kill bacteria, mold spores, and other contaminants before they spread around your house. An HVAC technician can install them into your ducts or near your unit’s evaporator coil. Since they are placed outside of your living space, rest assured that UV lights will not directly affect all human or animal residents in your house.
High humidity in your home should also be addressed immediately. Keep in mind that the excess moisture in the air creates the perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria to grow. A few signs that your home is suffering from high humidity include water stains on your walls and ceilings and fogged up windows. A whole-house dehumidifier will work in tandem with your HVAC system to better control the moisture in your home. You should also consult with your local, trusted HVAC contractor about installing a whole-house air purifier in your home.
You must also be proactive in having your ductwork regularly inspected. The network of ducts inside your home is also notorious for being a breeding ground for mold. It is also where a lot of the dust, dander, and other pollutants congregate. When parts of the duct are damaged, it can significantly hamper the overall efficiency and operations of your HVAC unit. It can lead to a myriad of problems, such as high levels of humidity. Making sure that your ductwork is routinely inspected will not only improve your IAQ. It will also safeguard your health and well-being.
Along with ductwork inspections, ensure that your HVAC system receives proper and regular maintenance as well. These thorough checks and tune-up services can help extend the lifespan of your HVAC equipment, so make sure they are done at least once a year. HVAC maintenance can also make sure that you get the most out of your system. It will also help keep the temperature and humidity control at optimum functionality. When you have a well-maintained HVAC unit and an excellent filtration system, you can be sure that your home will have high indoor air quality even as you share your home with your beloved pets.
When you need high-quality heating and cooling services in Hartford County, Connecticut, do not hesitate to call Tower Energy. Rest assured that our NATE certified technicians can conduct HVAC services correctly and quickly, without leaving any mess behind. Our excellent services include boiler repairs, AC tune-ups, mini-split installations, furnace replacements, among others.
Tower Energy guarantees affordable HVAC service prices in the area. Our check and maintenance services can help enhance your home comfort, energy efficiency, and indoor air quality. All of these can be achieved while also reducing your energy costs. We will make sure to provide you with the most viable solutions for your specific home comfort needs. Your satisfaction is important to us, and that’s why we back all our work with a warranty. Book an appointment with Tower Energy today. We offer free, no-obligation, in-home consultations.
Winter brings with it the holidays and other joyous things. Unfortunately, winter also means low temperatures and snow. Not to mention the dry indoor air we have to cope up with as well. It might not seem like a big issue, but dry air can affect your home’s indoor air quality and comfort. It can also affect your health when neglected for too long. Often, homeowners do not take notice of the dry air in your home until after dry air symptoms pop up. In this article, we will talk about dry air, how it affects your home’s air quality, and a few solutions to dry air issues.
A dry air environment is when the level of water vapor in the air is almost non-existent. Water vapor in the air is a natural occurrence. However, changes in the temperature can affect the amount of moisture in the air. If it is cold, then the air won’t be able to retain water vapor. It is no wonder that we experience dry air more during the winter season.
Humidity refers to the amount of water vapor or moisture in the air. The humidity level inside your home will also determine its comfort level. The most common reasons for dry indoor air are:
A right balance of water vapor in the air means you maintain the indoor air quality standards in your home. One of the likely reasons for an imbalanced moisture level is that your home does not have proper insulation. Your heater reduces the moisture levels inside your home. However, the balance can be maintained if there is an appropriate level of humidity inside your home. Any holes, gaps, or cracks in your home will pull in the dry air from outside and disrupt the balance.
The moisture inside your home is reduced every time you turn on your heating system. This also occurs whenever you switch on cooling appliances like air conditioners. The air will remain dry if the water vapor that is lost when you turn on your HVAC system is not replaced.
Prolonged exposure to dry indoor air can cause a few issues to both your health and home. A few of the common effects of dry air are:
Dry air constricts your airways. When this happens, you will have difficulty in breathing. This is especially an issue for people who suffer from chronic respiratory problems like asthma. Some of the symptoms include feeling a tightness in the chest, coughing, and shortness of breath.
Dry air tends to suck the moisture out of your skin as well. This might lead to skin issues such as itchiness and flaking. Your hair is also affected id there is very little humidity in the air as it can lead to having dry hair that is prone to breakage. People who have the flu may also notice their symptoms worsening if exposed to dry air. They might experience dry, itchy eyes and chills, among other symptoms.
If you find any cracks on the paint or if your wallpaper is peeling off, it might be because of the dry air. Books, musical instruments, paper or wooden sculptures, and paintings can also get damaged by the dry air.
Anything made of wood inside your home is at risk too. Dry air can cause deformity on any wooden surfaces in your home, including doors, furniture, window frames, and floors. It can also make wooden cabinets, doors, and windows difficult to open and close. This is because they tend to dry out when exposed to dry air for long periods.
Dry indoor air can be damaging to your health and home. Fortunately, dry indoor air can be preventable. Some of the things you can do to keep the humidity level balanced include:
Check around your house for any gaps, holes, and cracks. Use fillers, putty, or foam sealant to fix them. Weatherstripping your doors and windows is also recommended. Make sure that the insulation in your home is intact and sufficient. Otherwise, add more for better insulation.
A humidifier adds moisture in the air. It is an essential device for when you need to keep the humidity level balanced inside your home. There are five types of humidifiers, some of which are portable and perfect for single rooms. However, if you want to make sure that your whole home receives the much-needed moisture, consider installing a central humidifier. This ensures that you receive comfort while still being cost-efficient.
Regular HVAC tune-ups are vital to ensure that your heating equipment works properly for a very long time. It is recommended that you get your HVAC system maintained at least once a year before the winter months arrive. A professional HVAC technician can help you with all your heating and cooling needs, even identifying issues before they turn into larger problems. An HVAC system that is in tiptop shape will prevent indoor air pollution and maintain a home environment that is comfortable and safe for you and your family.
The winter season is a time for joyous occasions. Don’t let the dry air dampen the mood. Dry indoor air can cause quite health and comfort problems for you and your family. However, you do not have to suffer through it as there are many ways to fix it. Taking the right approach into improving your indoor air quality and getting your home winter-ready will go a long way.
If you need top-quality heating and cooling services, look no further than Tower Energy. We have the NATE certified technicians that can repair, maintain, install, and replace any HVAC make and model. We guarantee that our professionals have the skills, knowledge, and experience to service your HVAC equipment properly.
Rest assured that Tower Energy can assist you with all your HVAC needs. We offer the most competitive service costs in the area, and a guarantee backs our work. Our HVAC services prioritize indoor air quality, energy efficiency, comfort, and more. Call us and schedule a free, in-home estimate today.