Preventing Air Pollution in your Home

A lack of proper air exchange can cause the air in your home to be up to five times more polluted than outside air. This can cause increased problems in those with asthma or allergies, and can result other serious health risks. Common sources of home indoor air pollution include:

  • Dust, pet dander, and pollen
  • Excess moisture from bathing and cooking
  • Smoke and fumes from fireplaces, candles, tobacco, and gas appliances
  • Harmful organic compounds released by some cleaners, adhesives, paints, and other products
  • Radon gas that can be emitted naturally by the ground in certain areas

Whole-House Ventilation Systems

One of the biggest trends in creating healthy indoor air is whole-house ventilation. There are two types of whole-house ventilation systems.

Heat Recovery Ventilators: HRV systems remove heat from the inside air before it’s exhausted to the outside, and use it to warm the incoming air.

Energy Recovery Ventilators: ERV systems manage both heat loss and the humidity in the air. An ERV system transfers some of the moisture in the humid air stream to the dryer air stream to recover the energy trapped in the moisture.

The bathroom is the biggest source of moisture in the home. The best line of defense against moisture in the bathroom is a quality vent fan. Install one in each bathroom; and use them during and for 15-20 minutes after bathing to remove excess moisture that can cause mold and mildew.

Also remember to change the air filter every one to three months. Install a high-quality air filter on your central heating/cooling system and replace it every one to three months to keep the system operating efficiently. Replace the air filter on your vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, which captures much finer particles than standard vacuum cleaner filters. Another option is to install a central vacuum system that exhausts the air outside your home. Use only cleaners, paints, adhesives, and building materials that are low in VOCs or contain no VOCs. Make sure new cabinets, furniture, and building materials such as plywood, particle board, and oriented strand board used in your home are not made with adhesives that contain formaldehyde. Some houseplants have been shown to actually absorb harmful VOCs from the air. Plants that provided the most benefit include philodendron, peace lily, snake plant, dracaena, and bamboo palm. If you ever notice an issue with the air in your home, make sure to contact us and we can inspect it for you.