Even the cleanest homes can suffer from degraded air quality. The reason? Air pollutants enter our homes in manifold ways that most of us aren’t even aware of. Couple that with the fact that most homes of modern construction are airtight, and you have a recipe for poor indoor air quality.
Many people develop allergies to these pollutants, or else sensitivities that cause them to suffer from respiratory irritations. The pollutants may also aggravate conditions such as chronic bronchitis and asthma.
With cold weather months already here, we find ourselves indoors more often than not, read on and learn how to prevent air pollutants both at the source and once they are in your home. This will help keep your home a more comfortable healthy space to spend time in.
Common Home Air Pollutants
Here are some pollutants typically found in a residence, the means of entry and how to control them:
- Dust—Dust blows in through windows, doors and crevices. To control, take off shoes at the door. Seal window and door frames with caulk and weatherstripping. Dust with microstatic cloths; vacuum with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter.
- Pollen–Pollen blows in through open windows, doors; it may also enter on clothing and pets. Brush off clothing or remove it on entering the home. Follow the same cleaning procedures as above. Sequester indoor plants when they are producing pollen.
- Pet dander–Dander is composed of flaky skin particles produced by pets as they shed. Brush them outdoors; bathe them at least once a week.
- Dust mites–These microscopic insects live in rugs, carpet, mattresses, pillows and upholstery. Keep relative humidity low in the home. Vacuum upholstered furniture with a HEPA filter. Wash linens frequently in hot water.
- Volatile organic compounds–VOCs are produced by the off-gassing of certain chemicals, ranging from household cleaning products, to paint, pressed wood products, dry cleaning solvent and textiles. Leave new articles outdoors a few days to air out. Keep chemicals tightly capped and out of the living space. Buy natural products whenever possible.
Also, use a good quality air filter in your HVAC system, which will do a better job of trapping pollutants than a cheap fiberglass filter.
For more information about controlling air pollutants in your home, contact Roth Heating and Cooling of Lake Oswego.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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