According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the concentration of indoor air pollutants in homes is often two to five times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. With the average person spending 90% of their time indoors, every homeowner needs to prioritize maintaining good indoor air quality.
Your trusted air conditioning installation contractor Sierra Air sheds light on the common causes of indoor air pollutants, and how to combat them in this post.
Common Indoor Air Pollutants
You may not realize it, but some common indoor air pollutants come from things that are already in your home, like the following:
1. Indoor Smoking — Nicotine from tobacco smoke leaves stains on fabrics and painted surfaces. Nicotine particles may also remain in the air, which leaves a lingering tobacco smell. Prolonged exposure to these particles can cause respiratory problems, even for non-smokers.
2. Volatile Organic Compounds — VOCs are substances that are present in common household items such as paints, plastics and resins from pressed wood boards. These substances are released over long periods—sometimes decades—through a process called off-gassing.
3. Exhaust — Furnaces, stoves and fireplaces, as well as attached garages, can be sources of soot and carbon monoxide if not vented properly.
4. Radon — Radon is a gas that’s released when trace amounts of uranium, commonly found in soil, break down. Radon gas can enter the house through dirt floors, floor drains and cracks in concrete floors.
5. Biological Agents — These are indoor air pollutants that come from pets or plants, such as animal dander, pollen and mold.
How to Fight Indoor Air Pollutants
Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to fight indoor air pollutants. The first thing you should look at is your home’s heating and air conditioning system. Perform regular inspections and make sure the air filters are replaced when full. HVAC systems typically require new air filters every three months, but your filters may need to be replaced as often as once a month if heavily used. Having a humidifier/dehumidifier in your HVAC system can help inhibit mold and mildew growth.
You can flush out indoor air pollutants by opening the windows in your home for at least 15 minutes a day. This won’t completely get rid of particulates in the air, but it can keep them at safe levels. Fine insect screens can help prevent pollen and other outdoor particles from entering your home. Changes to your routines, such as keeping smoking to certain outdoor areas and regularly bathing your pets, can also contribute to better indoor air quality.
Call Sierra Air for Your Indoor Ventilation Needs
Sierra Air is your leading provider of heating and air conditioning repair and installation services. Fill out our contact form to find out more information. We serve customers in Reno, NV, and nearby areas.