How Indoor Paints Can Affect Indoor Air Quality

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July 18, 2019

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IAQ affectsYour indoor air quality can be compromised by many things -- pet dander, pollen, dust -- and among the worst offenders, volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. VOCs can be harmful to the health of all living creatures, so they should be contained whenever possible.

These substances are found in many things, including pressed wood, solvents, fragrances, household chemicals and paint. That's right -- paint is one of the worst offenders when it comes to off-gassing VOCs.

Read on and learn how to minimize your IAQ concerns when painting indoors.

Which Interior Paint Is Best?

There are two main types of interior paint, water-based and oil-based. When selecting paint for interior projects, choose water-based whenever possible. These paints do give off VOCs, but they are generally less harmful than those found in oil-based. Further, never use exterior paint for the interior of the home.

Always check out the potential health effects on the labels. If there is someone ultra-sensitive to these substances in your home, choose paint with care, and take extra precautions to limit exposure.

Minimizing Exposure

Always paint interiors when you can keep the windows open. Closing the windows and turning on the HVAC system is not recommended. Put a box fan in a window, pointing it outside, so it will draw the air out of the home and exhaust it outdoors.

If you have an exhaust ventilation system that sends stale air outdoors, it may be helpful. Do not turn on the kitchen or bathroom ventilation if the system sends stale air into the attic or ceiling joists. The exhaust air should be directed completely out of the home.

Once the painting project is complete, it's a good idea to stay away for a few days, with the windows open. Just because the paint dries doesn't mean it's not giving off VOCs.

An air purifier that not only absorbs particles from the air but also traps gasses put off by the paint through an activated carbon filter can be helpful for cleaning the air.

To learn more about IAQ concerns, contact Hartman Brothers. We serve New Haven and the surrounding area.

indoor air quality , VOCs , IAQ concerns , painting indoors , interior paint


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