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What The EPA Says About Indoor Air Quality

Here’s the simple truth. The quality of the air you breathe can affect your health. Doesn’t it make sense your indoor air should be as clean as possible? The Environmental Protection Agency thinks so. They offer non-biased information about keeping your indoor air quality at a supportive level. You may not be able to control the air quality in an office building or public space. However, you can do something about the air in your home environment. Here’s what the EPA has to say about maintaining air quality for your residence.

Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

The EPA says air pollutants can be as much as two to five times higher inside a home than outdoors. Your air can be polluted by building materials, cleaning products, paint, insecticides and combustible materials. Combustible materials are substances that are burned, including tobacco, wood, coal and heating fuels. Cooking appliances, fireplaces and heating systems can throw pollution into the air.

The sources of indoor pollution can also include outdoor pollution, according to the EPA. These pollutants can enter the home through open windows and doors. Humans can bring substances into the home on clothing, shoes and skin. Your water supply may also have chemicals and pollutants attached that enter the air when a faucet or shower is turned on. The climate and weather where you live can make some air quality issues worse. Damp, humid environments are breeding grounds for molds and moisture inside the home.

Products That Can Pollute Your Home

Volatile organic compounds are harmful to humans and pets. Many off-the-shelf products you purchase in a store emit VOCs. The EPA lists some of these on their website. These can include air fresheners, dry cleaning substances, moth repellents, pesticides, varnishes and waxes.

A Plan for Controlling Indoor Pollution

A simple plan can help you make changes to your air that are beneficial. Start by controlling the sources of air pollution in the home. Proper ventilation is key here. Adding exhaust fans and reading and following the manufacturer’s recommendations for cooking and heating appliances is important. Changing air filters regularly will prevent pollutants from recirculating.

Humidity control can also reduce indoor air pollutants. Humid air can trap nasty substances and lower the quality of the air you’re breathing. A dehumidifier attached to your heating and cooling system can help remove the excess moisture. The indoor air experts at Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning provide complete air quality audits for Athens. As a family-owned and -operated company, keeping your family safe with clean indoor air is important to us. Let us know you want an audit for your home.

What You Can Do Right Away

The idea that you’ve been breathing harmful air in a place you feel safe can be a bit overwhelming. The EPA recommends certain steps that are easy to implement. First, get your home tested for radon. Radon is a dangerous gas that is released from cracks in the earth’s surface. It has no smell or color and can seep in through a home’s foundation. Many states offer free or discounted radon testing kits for homeowners through their environmental departments.

Second, install a carbon monoxide detector. You can purchase one at your local hardware or home building store. Controlling moisture in the home is your next step. Take note of leaks, and address them right away. Another easy step toward improving your indoor air is to keep your ventilation and ductwork system clean. Keeping your home a smoke-free zone will also eliminate air quality issues.

Air Cleaners and Filtration Systems

Filtration systems and cleaners attached to an HVAC system are only working when the system is in use. Placing one or more portable filtration units in the home can provide added protection. Filtration equipment can’t replace the need to reduce sources of pollution. Combining substance reduction and proper ventilation with the right equipment provides greater control for a property owner. Any equipment you employ as a solution will only work if you keep the filter and equipment clean and maintained.

Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning has been serving families in Athens since 1985. We’re known for our trained technicians, timely responses and professional results. Homeowners and property managers rely on us for indoor air quality audits and heating and cooling installations, repairs and maintenance. We also install dehumidifiers and air filtration systems. Call us today to request an appointment for your home or investment property.