Hidden Indoor Air Pollutants in Your Home
The air we breathe in our homes can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Your home should be a respite, a place of safety and comfort. One of the ways you can guarantee a safe living environment is by locating all the hidden indoor air pollutants in your home. Some of the air offenders on this list may be obvious—some not so much—that’s why we’re telling you what indoor air pollutants are hiding in your home.
Scented candles contribute to a cozy home. They spread calming scents that help most homeowners feel at ease; but they can also do major damage to your indoor air quality. Candles made with paraffin are the worst culprits. Paraffin itself is a petroleum byproduct and no one wants that spreading through their home; and additionally, the most common scented candles can emit the chemicals toluene and benzene, both of which are known carcinogens. Despite this, we’re not telling you to stop burning all candles immediately. There are some better options available. Candles made of natural products, like beeswax or soy, are great alternatives. Both burn slower and cooler, release less chemicals, and are less likely to trigger allergies. If you want to say “bye” to candles all together, we recommend a diffuser and essential oils.
Cleaning and Beauty Products
Believe it or not, some of your home and beauty products can contribute to not just indoor air pollution, but outdoor as well. Researchers in Los Angeles found that nearly half of volatile organic compounds—or VOCs—found in roadside air are from household products. Think about all that floating around your home. Yuck, right? Many household products can cause headaches, eye irritation, or throat and nose problems. Products that contribute to this are:
- Aerosol hair spray and dry shampoo
- Air Fresheners
- Dry cleaning chemicals
- Oven cleaners
- Rug and other upholstery cleaners
If you’re worried about indoor air pollutants from cleaning and beauty supplies, the best thing you can do is check the ingredients of your products. The EPA recently debuted a “safer choice” label that have lower levels of VOCs and harmful chemicals. Even Simple Green products are listed as a “safer choice.”
Dirty Air Filter
When was the last time you changed your air filter? If you need to think about this question, chances are you’ve waited too long. Your air filter does more than protect your HVAC system, it protects your family. All the air circulating through your home needs to first pass through the air filter. The air filter catches dust, dander, microbial growth, and other potentially harmful pollutants. We recommend changing your air filter twice every year. Once before heater season, and once before AC season.
Lessen Your Indoor Air Pollution
Combating the hidden indoor air pollutants in your home is easier than you think. There are small, simple changes you can make that will have a major impact on your indoor air quality. One thing is to remove shoes before you, or guests, enter the house. Shoes track in dirt, dander, and other pollutants and allergens. Removing them before you enter the home is one way to reduce the spread of potentially harmful particles. Another solution is to switch from candles and air fresheners to an essential oil diffuser. But, our favorite solution is the air scrubber. The air scrubber uses light waves and a special catalytic process to remove unwanted particles and chemicals from your indoor air.
Need a Solution? Call Moore Home Services
The average American spends 90% of their time indoors, make that indoor air count. If you’re combating indoor air pollutants and want some advice or help, don’t hesitate to call the experts at Moore Home Services. Our Diamond Certified HVAC technicians happily serve Santa Rosa, Marin County, and their surrounding areas. To meet your indoor air expert, reach out to our friendly call center representatives, or fill out the form linked here.