If you’re like most Americans, you spend at least 90% of your time indoors. A majority of those hours will be spent in your Richmond Hill, GA, home. Unfortunately, a typical home’s air is two to five times more polluted than the air in the backyard. If you’ve noticed more dust buildup, an increase in breathing problems or more allergy or asthma symptoms, it’s a good idea to work on your indoor air quality. Use these six tips from our skilled technicians at Galbreath & Sons, Inc. to improve the quality of your home’s air.
1. Choose VOC-Free Furnishings and Materials
When you’re purchasing supplies, furnishings and materials for your home, choose items that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are known to cause breathing problems, and some of them are known carcinogens. These chemicals are vapors with low water solubility. They persist in your home’s air. Household items that are often high in VOCs include paints, adhesives, pesticides, cleaning products, fuels and solvents. When you can’t find a VOC-free alternative for a product you need, only purchase as much as you’ll use in one project. If you must store an item with VOCs, try to do so in a detached shed or garage where the fumes can’t penetrate your living space.
2. Research What You Bring Into Your Home
Many dry cleaners use solvents that are high in formaldehyde and other VOCs. When you need to purchase blankets or soft home furnishings, look for the OEKO-TEX certification. These items are free of VOCs. Buy used items when possible. They have already off-gassed their VOCs. If it’s not possible to purchase a used item, allow the new item to off-gas outdoors for one to two days before you bring it into your home. Avoid bringing plants into your home. While they’re pretty, they also contain spores, pollen and other pollutants. If you have a pet, you’ll need to vacuum daily. Choose a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. HEPA filters capture particles as small as 0.3 microns in size, which include most viruses and all bacteria.
3. Use Exhaust Fans
Many everyday activities you do in your home contribute to poor indoor air quality. For example, cooking with oil creates tiny aerosol droplets that you breathe into your lungs. Once you breathe the droplets, they contribute to breathing problems and can worsen respiratory conditions. When cooking, use the kitchen’s exhaust fan. Also, use the exhaust fan when showering. If you’re doing some arts and crafts activities that involve painting, stripping paint, varnishing or gluing, use an exhaust fan to ventilate the fumes to the outdoors.
4. Bring in Fresh Air
It’s important to bring fresh air into your home. Furnaces automatically do this. However, if you use a heat pump, it won’t. Consider using an energy or heat recovery ventilator, which brings in fresh air, filters it and preheats or pre-cools it before it mixes with the existing air in your home. Bear in mind that simply opening your windows will allow pollen and other outdoor particles to get into your home. It’s better to use a ventilation system with a filter to bring clean fresh air into your home.
5. Use an Air Purification System
If your home includes a baby, elderly person or individual with allergies, asthma or another respiratory condition, consider a whole-home air purification system. These systems use different technologies to trap or inactivate particles in your home’s air. Electrostatic air purifiers use charged particles to trap particles in your home’s air. The particles become too large to float, so they sink onto the electrostatic plates or into the filter media.
6. Install a UV-C Light
Consider installing a UV-C light into your home’s ducts or heating and cooling system. These lights function as air purifiers. The UV-C wavelength inactivates biological materials, including viruses, bacteria, pollen and pet dander. The UV-C lights sanitize the heated or cooled air as it enters the ducts. The lights also shine on the evaporator and condenser coils of the heating and cooling system, preventing biological growth on their surfaces.
Galbreath & Sons, Inc. is the trusted provider of heating and cooling repair, replacement, installation and maintenance services in Richmond Hill. We also offer solar power systems and duct sealing to make your home more energy efficient. For more details about how to improve your home’s indoor air quality, get in touch with us at Galbreath & Sons, Inc. today.