There's a well-established tradition in this country that workplaces should be safe, as free of work hazards as possible, and that they should be well ventilated so that workers can minimize exposure to airborne particulates. However, few of us give much consideration to the need for adequate ventilation and good indoor air quality in our home craft or work rooms.
Here are some things to think about regarding that room where you spend so many of your hours working on projects or creating masterpieces.
1. Avoid toxic substances.
Depending on the kind of work you do, you may be exposed to toxic substances such as glue, paint remover or thinner, paint, various types of solvents and others. All these substances give off volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which in sufficient quantities are not only an irritant but may be carcinogenic or cause a host of other problems, from rashes to brain damage. Whenever possible, store your VOC-laden chemicals out of the room, or in a cabinet with secure lids. Lock the cabinet if you have children at home. Whenever there is a non-toxic option, be sure to choose it for your craft room.
2. Provide good ventilation.
Open a window or install a dedicated exhaust venting system to help remedy the buildup of toxic substances. Use a fan in an open window, pointed outside, to draw out the pollutants. In winter, avoid closing the door to your craft room if you have no source of ventilation. If you do install exhaust ventilation, make sure it is ducted to the outdoors, and that the stale air is not exhausted into the attic or into the ceiling joists.
3. Look into an air cleaner.
Some air cleaners are designed to handle a variety of indoor pollutants, including VOCs, and can improve your IAQ appreciably.
To learn more about air cleaners, ventilation, and other IAQ issues, contact Hartman Brothers. We've served the New Haven area since 1963.
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.