Considering that we spend at least half of our days indoors, as homeowners it’s important be more aware of the indoor air quality of our homes, According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the top four air quality problems all occur indoors. Bartlett Heating and Air shares a look at these common air pollutants and how their effects can be minimized.
Excessive Humidity — It may sound odd considering moisture is part and parcel of clean air, but excess moisture can actually be harmful to your home’s occupants. The important word to remember here is “excessive”. High levels of humidity are not ideal, as a humid indoor environment can encourage mold and mildew growth, damage wooden components and even allow other indoor air pollutants to thrive. An air conditioner set to the proper temperature and combined with regular ventilation can help control indoor humidity. You can also opt for dehumidifiers if humidity levels get too high.
Radon — Radon is a gas that’s naturally generated through the soil. Its concentration varies by area and, ideally, radon levels should be tested before house foundations are laid. A properly built home should already have vents for releasing radon-rich gases into the air. Once dispersed into open air, it’s pretty much harmless.
Combustion Products — Furnaces, boilers and gas ranges burn fuel to generate heat. Some of their byproducts end up as soot or other particles which, if not vented, can contribute to indoor air pollution. This is why performing regular HVAC maintenance and repairs is important; not only will it keep your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently, it will also enable HVAC technicians to ensure no pollutants are leaking into your home. If you’re considering buying a new furnace, look for one with high AFUE values. The higher the number, the fewer pollutants it will generate.
Volatile Organic Compounds — Also known as VOCs, these are pollutants that get released through a process called “off-gassing”. VOCs come from certain types of paint, plastic and household products such as pesticides. Sometimes these products will continue emitting VOCs for years after installation, so the best solution to this problem is to make sure the house is adequately ventilated. Keeping the windows open for at least 15 minutes a day is usually enough to keep VOCs down to harmless levels.
Your HVAC Technician Can Help
To learn more about how your HVAC system can contribute to cleaner indoor air, call Bartlett today at (630) 504-7855. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.