Research shows the indoor air quality of the typical American home is more polluted than the outdoor air. The reason? Airtight construction and regular air sealing of cracks in the home prevent the penetration of fresh air, allowing for the buildup of airborne pollutants. That translates to problems such as high humidity, as well as aggravation of allergies, asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
So what's the solution? Following are some tips for a multi-pronged approach to controlling pollution in your home.
Showering in the bathroom and cooking in the kitchen are the most likely culprits for high humidity in a home, although plumbing and roof leaks may also create overly moist conditions. High humidity promotes mold, mildew, and fungus (and the unpleasant odors that go with them), but also makes us feel warmer, so that in summer there's an urge to turn down the thermostat to feel comfortable. High humidity also encourages dust mites. Installing an exhaust ventilation system in the bathroom and over the range can help lower humidity.
Control pet dander, dust, decaying insect particles and pollen by thorough cleaning. Vacuum often. Take off shoes before entering the home to keep dust out, and brush off clothes or remove them after stepping inside to prevent pollen from invading the home. Confine pollen-bearing plants to one room, and leave the door closed. Wash and brush pets outdoors.
Keep VOCs Out
Our homes are full of powerful chemical pollutants called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), given off by dry cleaning products, pressed wood, cleaning chemicals, paint, carpet and upholstery. Keep a tight lid on chemical products; air out home furnishings and dry cleaning before bringing them indoors.
Air cleaning technology may also help rid your home of pollutants. Install a high quality, pleated air filter, rated 8-12 on the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) scale, and look into air cleaning devices such as ultraviolet lights and an electrostatic air cleaner for your HVAC system.
For more on how to control airborne pollutants in your home, contact Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning. We serve the Fort Wayne area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 260-376-2961.
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