Indoor Air Quality: Keeping a Home’s Air Healthy

Keeping a Home's Air Healthy

It is important for homeowners to consider air quality when making improvements to their homes. The more sealed a home becomes to insulate temperature, the more likely the indoor air quality of a home is going to decrease. Here are several solutions.

Limiting Air Pollution in The Home

The USEPA recommends source control as a primary step to improving indoor air quality. Source control involves reducing the output of pollution in areas that are within a homeowner’s control.

Homeowners who use gas stove ranges should consider getting their pilot output adjusted so that only a minimal amount of gas is being used to keep the pilots lit. Slight wind and cleaning of stoves can often unknowingly extinguish the flame of stovetop pilots. In an airtight home this propane can escape for hours, creating hazardous breathing conditions. Inhalation of propane can cause dizziness and asphyxiation. Propane can also produce carbon monoxide, which should never be trapped in a home.

Homeowners with particularly airtight homes should also take careful consideration into the types of cleaners they use. Household cleaning products such as bleach, ammonia, or other cleaners are generally safe, but when released into an airtight environment they can have detrimental effects to human health. Aerosol cleaners should especially be avoided in airtight homes as these sprays have been known to cause diarrhea, headaches, and depression (The GuardianHealth Risks Found in Household Aerosol use”).

Bathrooms are one area of the home that homeowners should be a bit more liberal about sealing. It is important for a bathroom to have proper ventilation because the moisture created by a long, hot shower is the perfect environment for mold to grow in. Mold can have subtle, and devastating effects on human health.

Many issues of source control are prevented with proper ventilation, but as the importance of home energy efficiency has risen, homeowners should consider avoiding harmful products in poorly ventilated homes.

Using Air Cleaners to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

Another important element of indoor air quality that homeowners should consider is the use of indoor air cleaners. These cleaners can range from small tabletop appliances to complex HVAC systems. Source control alone will create an excellent and efficient indoor environment, so air cleaners are highly recommended. If you want to learn about the best ones, visit Health Essential.

The removal of particulate matter is an important role of indoor air cleaners. Particulate matter describes a type of air pollutant that is an actual solid floating about in the air. Particulates can be microscopic like dust, or mites, but over time breathing air with the heavy particulate matter has many health effects.

Small electronic systems can be purchased and placed in each room to remove particulate matter. These systems use electromagnetism to draw particulate matter out of the air. They must be cleaned once matter has built up significantly. Particulate filters only remove solids, not gasses.

Gas-phases filters are charged with removing gaseous pollutants. These filters are gas specific, so it is important for homeowners to know what type of gas they are trying to remove before they purchase a gas-phase filter system. These filters generally use carbon to draw odors and other gas pollutants from the air. Over time, the carbon should be replaced to allow for a new filter to absorb the gasses.

It is essential for today’s homeowner to remain aware about potential home-hazards. Many informed homeowners have taken the necessary steps by increasing the energy efficiency of their home. It is essential that these homeowners don’t ignore the health hazards created by an airtight home and take the steps to control source pollutants and purchase an indoor filtration system.

About Barry