Your 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.
There’s a proven connection between indoor air quality and the performance and efficiency of your HVAC system. While your air conditioner and furnace might seem to be principally designed for comfort-control, actually, the system as a whole plays a major role in reducing airborne particulates and allergens, as well as controlling humidity inside the house.
Air Quality Awareness Week takes place April 29-May 3 this year. This Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-sponsored event is held annually to highlight outdoor air quality concerns nation-wide. Here in Northeast Indiana, we contend with two main types of outdoor pollutants – low-level ozone and particulate matter.
Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are a hot trend worldwide, with consumers viewing them as an alternative to smoking traditional tobacco products. Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes don't contain tobacco. However, their increasing prevalence has raised concerns about their impact on indoor air quality.
There are a variety of factors that affect your HVAC. Many of these are considered when sizing new equipment, like your home's square footage, orientation, amount of insulation, number/size of windows, and others. Did you know that your furniture and home's interior finishes can also impact your HVAC system?
With the hectic schedules that most of us have these days, it's no surprise that many people are opting for at-home sporting activities and workout programs rather than gym memberships to improve their health. What you may not know is that the very equipment that's meant to help you stay healthy at home can degrade indoor air quality and harm your health. How can that be?
If you're like most homeowners concerned with your indoor air quality, you may well wonder if that air purifier that you had installed in your HVAC system is really doing its job.
Whether or not your air purifying equipment is working depends on the type of system you have.
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.
Unlike the dirt and dust that soil your floors and furniture, you can't see most of the airborne pollutants that compromise your home's indoor air quality. But these pollutants can have an adverse effect on your health, especially when they build up over time in an airtight home.
This American Heart Health Month, learn how to prevent adverse IAQ effects, including heart disease.
We hate to be the ones to break the bad news to you, but it's official: your live Christmas tree can make you sick. If you've ever noticed an increase in your own sneezing and wheezing when that lovely pine-scented Christmas tree makes an entrance, you may want to find a substitute.
A sweet-smelling home creates a welcoming atmosphere and makes all occupants feel comfortable. However, the candles and room sprays that people usually use compromise indoor air quality. A homemade scented air filter is an easy, inexpensive, and safe way to distribute fresh scent throughout your house. You only need essential oils and a clean air filter to make your own scented filter.
Springtime may seem far away in Indiana in January and February, but it won't be long till allergy sufferers will be enduring the aggravating symptoms that come with flowers and trees bursting into bloom and producing tree pollen. That's one reason why February isn't too soon to start thinking about air purification in your home. Another reason is that February is actually named after a Roman festival of purification called Februa, where people were ritually washed, perhaps in preparation for the new year.
If you're like most homeowners, changing the air filter in your HVAC comes as something of an afterthought. You know you should do it regularly, but somehow you seem to forget. After all, it's out of sight, right? And the HVAC just seems to keep on running, winter or summer. But the fact is, when you change your air filter regularly, you're benefiting your pocketbook, and boosting your comfort level.
Your HVAC system consumes almost half of the energy used in your home annually. To improve its efficiency, your home's heating and cooling and various other systems need to work together in tandem. Addressing the following issues is vital for syncing HVAC systems and saving energy:
Can a heat recovery ventilator solve the problem of keeping indoor air quality fresh and healthy? Today’s tightly sealed energy efficient homes include one drawback: lack of fresh air. This means the enclosed indoor environment often stagnates as fumes, airborne particulates and water vapor accumulate to high levels.
Research shows that the air in most homes is much more polluted than the air found outdoors. You may wonder how that could be in your own home. After all, you are likely scrupulous about keeping it cleaned. But cleaning surfaces alone will not ensure you have good indoor air quality, especially in an airtight house where air pollutants can build up.
The best air filters for your HVAC system can reduce the misery you experience from the trees, shrubs and grasses that produce pollen in the fall. Surprisingly, it’s not the showy chrysanthemums that are the worst offenders. Instead, it’s all the tiny flowers you can’t see that cause most of the allergic reactions. Here's a quick guide to finding the best air filters for your home:
You're not just producing culinary masterpieces when you cook. You're also introducing steam, smoke, airborne particles and odors into the home's air. If you don't have kitchen ventilation, you probably know this already. Fortunately, kitchen ventilation is not that expensive to add, and it's worth the effort and cost.