4 Shocking Facts About Indoor Air Pollutants

Although the concept of clean air isn’t a new concern, attention has begun to turn toward indoor conditions as well as outdoor air quality. On a worldwide level, an estimated 4.3 million people die each year because of pollution in the home. The issue is not as dramatic for Texas residents or for the United States as a whole because many problems in developing nations trace to cooking methods such as the indoor use of fire. However, you may be surprised at some of the indoor air pollutants that do affect the air in your home.

1. Air Fresheners Can Pollute Your Air

The EPA recommends caution in using air fresheners in your home because of the materials included. In fact, these products can contain ingredients like formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, and aerosol propellants. Many household products emit volatile organic compounds, VOCs, that can affect your health with effects ranging from headaches and throat irritation to central nervous system problems.

Air purification is helpful for addressing solid particles, but VOCs and gaseous materials are typically not trapped by filtration systems. Good ventilation is crucial for allowing these compounds to move out of your indoor environment. However, tight home sealing can prevent efficient ventilation. A balanced ventilation system can be a helpful solution for keeping the levels of these compounds to a minimum.

2. An Efficient Home Isn’t Always a Healthy Home

The EPA provides protocols for energy-efficient equipment upgrades in a home because of the importance of good air purification and ventilating activity. High efficiency levels during the summer months can result in poor humidity management in the home environment. As temperatures remain more stable due to good insulation and home sealing, the air conditioning system may run less. This can translate into poor dehumidification activity, which can promote mold growth and discomfort. Mold management is more effective with a cooling system that allows for dehumidification even when temperature levels don’t demand air conditioning activity. A whole-home dehumidifier is another option for mitigating poor humidity levels.

3. What You Can’t See Could Hurt You

Particulates may be solid, but this doesn’t mean that they are visible. They can range from mold spores to pet dander, and filtration with an air purification system is an ideal method for removing them. However, it is also important to realize that hidden areas of your home can harbor pollutants. Your ducts can become dirty over time, making it important to schedule cleaning services every three to five years. Your air conditioner coils can also become dirty and grimy as pollutants are trapped. Pre-season maintenance is a big priority if you want to keep your indoor air clean.

4. Your Air Filter’s Main Purpose Isn’t Clean Air

An air filter may be viewed as a crucial indoor air quality tool, but it is actually designed to promote efficient system operation. By preventing dust and particulates from building up on the inside coils, your filter can prolong the life and improve the efficiency of your equipment. Change it at the start of each heating or cooling season, and check periodically for replacement needs.

We are committed to helping you with all aspects of your indoor air quality to ensure that your family can breathe easily. Check out Brettco Heating and Air Conditioning’s Indoor Air Quality page for specific service options, or call our Beaumont office at (409) 892-5152 to learn more about the health of your home’s air supply.