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June 30, 2015

Indoor Air May Not Be as Clean as You Think

Indoor Air May Not Be as Clean as You ThinkA recent survey found that many Americans aren’t aware of the hazards of residential indoor air pollution. This is noteworthy because if folks don’t know their indoor air is dirty, they won’t do anything about it.

Following are some of the findings of the survey as reported by The ACHR News:

  • Half of survey respondents believe the air in their homes is cleaner than outdoor air, despite the U.S. EPA’s findings that on average, indoor air is two to five times dirtier than outdoor air.
  • Three out of four people admitted that they regularly use items or take actions that lead to poor indoor air quality. These include burning scented candles, using household products containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and using poorly vented gas or wood stoves.
  • The survey found many other instances of people being unaware of how to avoid indoor air pollution, including ignorance to the hazards of poor ventilation in tightly sealed modern homes.

Strategies to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

  • Upgrade your HVAC filter: Get one that’s rated for removing a wide variety of airborne particulates including pollen and mold spores. Check the filter monthly and replace it when it looks dirty.
  • Reduce pollution sources: If you are not spraying or using VOCs and other chemical-laced solutions in your home, they won’t build up in your indoor air. Find natural alternatives.
  • Get a radon test: Your home may contain hazardous radon gas that has infiltrated into the basement from underground. Purchase a testing kit at a home improvement store and mail in the results for testing.
  • Improve ventilation: You can compensate for airtight construction by properly ventilating your home. This means more natural ventilation, attic and window fans, exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchen, and aggressive mechanical ventilation systems such as HRVs and ERVs.
  • Humidity control: Too much moisture in the air can erode indoor air quality and cause discomfort. Get a dehumidifier, schedule annual maintenance on HVAC systems, and close the windows during damp weather.

For more advice on reducing indoor air pollution in your Northwest Arkansas home, contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Tania A/Shutterstock”