How Are You Harming Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality?

When you think of the Environmental Protection Agency, you probably think of an agency that deals with pollution in the great outdoors. But as it turns out, they have plenty to say about indoor pollution too. They remind us that indoor air quality may be as bad, or worse than, what’s outside; that can have disastrous health consequences. With some simple tips from Medley Services, you can improve indoor air quality and breathe easier indoors.

The Consequences of Indoor Air Pollution

Some reactions to indoor air pollution are immediate, but others may only be apparent in the longer term. How you’ll react can be determined by your respiratory health, your age, genetics, and of course, the types of pollutants in your home. 

Indoor air contaminants can be hard to identify, since the symptoms they leave behind can mimic a cold, flu, or allergies. But even if you’re not going through tissues and cough medicine in bulk, you can suffer ailments like cancer, heart problems, and asthma in the longer term.

Sources of Indoor Air Contamination

Outdoor Air Pollution

Outdoor air quality may be better, and your home can benefit from the occasional airing out. However, from pollen to fertilizer and exhaust fumes, outdoor air can contribute its fair share to indoor pollution. Monitor outdoor air quality before opening the windows.

Pets

We love our pets, but pet hair and dander can take a toll on respiratory health even if you’re not allergic. Be sure to keep surfaces clean!

Cleaning Products

Speaking of keeping it clean, the same cleaning products that keep our homes spotless can harm our lungs. Ventilation is key, as is not mixing cleaning products (especially bleach) with other chemicals — the vapors they give off can be toxic or even lethal in certain combinations.

Tobacco Products

We’re not going to lecture on the use of tobacco products, but because the smoke they give off causes harm to people besides their users (and because their effects linger indoors long after you’ve quit), we do suggest taking them outdoors.

Building Materials

Is your home making you sick? A process called degassing takes place with many common building materials, finishes, and furnishings, since they give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs). If you paint, install new cabinets, lay new carpet, or buy new furniture, it’s important to ventilate the area so these toxins don’t linger.

Plumbing Leaks

Your home could look like a showcase and you can still have problems with mold and mildew. Areas that tend to be humid for extended periods of time — especially bathrooms, basements, and laundry rooms — will be especially susceptible. And if you have a leak, the water (along with the growths that follow in its wake) can fester in your insulation and drywall. You won’t always see it, but if you feel respiratory distress that clears up when you leave home, your plumbing may be to blame.

HVAC Systems

Your central air system has a filter that can help to keep your home air cleaner. But as you’ve seen if you’ve read this far, it’s doing some pretty heavy lifting. An effective air filter is helping to remove or reduce contaminants, but it won’t be nearly as effective if it’s not changed on schedule (or a bit more frequently if you smoke, own pets, or are doing remodeling or construction of any kind). We can help you find the best filters for your system, and perform air conditioning tune-ups that help your system work better, longer.
Some of these items fall outside the purview of a heating and cooling company. But where we can help, we’re at your disposal. For help with indoor air quality, heating, and air conditioning around Carrollton TX, call Medley Heating and Air Conditioning today!

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