Most of the hazards that impact your indoor air quality are difficult to see with the naked eye. Although these dangers aren’t readily visible, this doesn’t mean that they’re not there. It’s important to be aware of the hidden dangers that might lurk in your air. Read on to learn more about the culprits that may be harming the air quality in your Odessa, Florida, home. Once you know what you’re up against, you can take smart steps to keep your air cleaner.
Berkeley Lab scientists have determined that the fine particles in indoor air are as dangerous as traffic accidents in the United States. With the average American spending 70 to 90 percent of their time indoors, exposure to these hazards is a serious consideration. These fine particles are comprised of a variety of chemicals including nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide.
The best way to protect yourself from fine particles in the home is with proper ventilation. Well-meaning homeowners often seal their homes tightly to improve energy efficiency. While this keeps heating and cooling from escaping, it also keeps pollutants trapped in the home. You can maintain energy efficiency while welcoming clean air into your house with an energy recovery ventilator like the Trane FreshEffects system. This vents stale indoor air to the outside and brings fresh, healthy air in.
Furry friends make wonderful companions, but their hair, dander, and skin particles can accumulate in the air, making it difficult to breathe comfortably. Those with asthma and allergies are especially susceptible. If you allow your pets to sleep on the bed, it’s important to take some precautions to keep dander from building up in your mattress or pillows. Allergen-proof covers can help you keep things clean.
Your HVAC system’s filter can capture most pet hair and dander. Make sure the filter is clean so it can do its job as efficiently as possible. Change your filter at least once every three months. If you have more than one pet, you may want to increase your filter changes to once every one or two months.
Volatile Organic Compounds
VOCs are carbon-based chemicals that evaporate at room temperature. These include airborne substances like butane, methyl chloride, formaldehyde, toluene, hexanal, DDT, and phthalates. These are off-gassed by many common household products including:
- Aerosol sprays
- Dry-cleaned clothing
- Air fresheners
- Cleaning products
- Wood preservatives
New furniture, carpeting, and upholstery are especially serious culprits. Although you can’t see VOCs, you can often feel their effects. They can cause nausea, headaches, eye, nose, and throat irritation, fatigue, and dizziness. The best way to minimize VOCs is to keep them out of your home to begin with. You can combat VOCs that get into your home with certain houseplants. Spider plants, dwarf date palms, rubber plants, philodendron, and other plants naturally remove these toxins from the air.
Dust mites are microscopic pests that look like tiny spiders. You can’t easily see them, but they’ve likely found a home in many places throughout your house. Dust mites feed on dander and skin flakes. While they don’t bite, they can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, and a skin rash.
Dust mites typically settle in upholstery and bedding. They can also hide in your curtains, blinds, rugs, and stuffed animals. Washing these items in hot water will kill existing dust mites. Eliminate some of the dust mites from your home by using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. A whole-home air cleaner installed in your HVAC system will help pull dust mites from the air. Regular HVAC maintenance will help keep your system clean, so you don’t have an accumulation of dust mites.
If you’re interested in improving the indoor air quality in your home, contact Nuccio Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. at 813-961-7895. We can help you find the right solutions for your distinct needs. Whether you’re looking for an air cleaner, maintenance visit, or ventilator, we have what you need on hand.