A Quick Guide To Easier Breathing
Everyone turns to their trusted HVAC repair company when it's time to improve their indoor air quality, but did you know there are some easy DIY steps you can take to help? Save time and money by following this simple guide, courtesy of our expert HVAC technicians, and check out our previous guide on how to improve indoor air quality.
Not sure if you should be concerned about the air quality inside your home? No problem! Schedule air quality testing with Bloomington Heating & Air! A licensed HVAC professional will evaluate different rooms inside your home and design a custom solution to improve your indoor air quality year-round.
Identify & Eliminate Indoor Air Pollutants
- Asbestos - This is a naturally occurring mineral fiber traditionally used in many building materials, such as ceiling and floor tiles and insulation. The use of asbestos in construction has been phased out of mainstream use due to its relation to numerous health issues. But, some may still be found in old buildings.
- Solid Fuel Used In Fireplaces & Heaters - Charcoal, coal, and wood are three common solid fuels burned for cooking and/or heat. These heat sources may create a cozy ambiance, but they’re a significant contributor to indoor air pollution.
- Pesticides - Many of the products used to eliminate household pests, such as ants, are classified as pesticides. These products are commonplace in homes and businesses, with 75 percent of households using at least one pesticide indoors. Short- and long-term exposure may range from eye, nose, and throat irritation to multiple major health issues.
- Secondhand Smoke - As the deadly byproduct of burning tobacco products, secondhand smoke is a common contributor to reduced indoor air quality (IAQ). Exposure to secondhand smoke has been linked to numerous health issues, including respiratory illnesses.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - VOCs are generally denser in indoor air due to the lack of particle disbursement. In outdoor spaces, the particles can disperse more. These compounds are in a gaseous form and emit from many common liquids and/or solids found in a home or business, such as nail polish remover, paints, and gasoline.
How Do You Reduce Indoor Air Pollution?
- Establish No Smoking In The Building - Smoking in a building goes beyond tobacco use. It also includes using a fireplace and/or lighting candles. Pollutants are released through the combustion process but can be reduced with these steps:
- Only use cured and/or dried wood in a fireplace or wood-burning stove;
- Always open the fireplace flue when in use;
- Never use gas space heaters in an unvented area; and
- Never allow engines to idle in an enclosed space, such as in a garage.
- Make A Habit Of Regularly Changing Air Filters - Air filters are found throughout a home or business beyond the HVAC system. Air purifiers and vacuums rely on the filter being changed or cleaned regularly to maintain their effectiveness. Plus, switching to a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter further reduces air pollution.
- Switch To Non-Paraffin Candles - If you or others still want to enjoy candles, switch from mass-produced ones made with paraffin, a flammable, synthetic solid with a petroleum base. When burned, these candles produce a soot that discolors and pollutes nearby surfaces as the smoke settles. Beeswax and soy candles are a better alternative as both produce soot at a significantly lower rate and burn longer than paraffin candles.
How Can You Improve Indoor Air Quality?
- Keep Pets Bathed & Groomed - It’s important to keep four-legged family members bathed and groomed as their dander and hair can trigger respiratory issues such as allergies and asthma. Wash pet bedding regularly and, if possible, keep them off of beds, chairs, and couches used by two-legged family members.
- Mop & Vacuum Frequently - Ensure your vacuum has rotating brushes to pull embedded allergens from the carpet along with strong suction and to clean in corners and nooks where dust tends to accumulate out of sight. Use a microfiber mop to clean hard surfaces, with or without cleaners and soaps. Water alone is still effective at removing pollutant particles.
- Use Floor Mats In Every Doorway - Placing a floor mat in every doorway is a great way to improve home air quality. Outdoor soil is a vessel for many different types of chemicals and pesticides. Encourage everyone to wipe their shoes before stepping further inside or consider instituting a no-shoes-inside policy to further reduce the amount of outside dirt entering the home.