According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, homes are among the five worst environmental hazards many people encounter, largely because of indoor pollutants. The combination of manufactured products and tighter homes concentrates gases and increases the toxicity of many common products and biological agents found indoors.
Pay attention to what you bring home, especially when buying:
Remodeling materials, including paint, flooring, wall coverings, new flooring, caulk and adhesives
Plastics, especially vinyl shower curtains
Unless they're labeled otherwise, these products probably contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause minor to severe health problems. Look for alternatives that state they're low in VOCs or have none.Dust mite waste is one of the most common allergens and it's present in household dust. Control it by:
Changing the air filter for your HVAC system whenever it's covered with dust.
Using a HEPA filter bag with your vacuum cleaner.
Vacuuming instead of sweeping hard-surface floors.
Washing bedding in hot water and drying in the dryer.
Besides minimizing particulate pollutants by changing your air filter, you can use your HVAC system to manage the pollutant load indoors with:
A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) — Both of these devices remove stale air and replace it with an equal amount of fresh air. HRVs and ERVs make a minimal impact on heating or cooling costs by extracting the heat energy leaving the home and putting it back into the incoming air.
UV (ultraviolet) lights — When placed in the air handler or ductwork, UV lights improve air quality by neutralizing VOCs and lowering the population of mold spores, viruses and bacteria in the air. The lights alter the structure of these compounds, leaving them harmless or unable to reproduce.
Annual professional HVAC maintenance — Regular maintenance reduces the risk of toxic gas emissions from furnaces and mold growth inside the A/C. Tight ducts won't circulate polluting airborne particulates.
Controlling the pollutants in your home promotes better health and indoor comfort. To learn more, contact Air Assurance, providing trusted HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Jana Guothova/Shutterstock”