Maintaining indoor air quality is important, but it can be trickier than one might think. With all of the pollen and smog outside, you might be tempted to keep your windows closed as much as possible, thinking that the cleanest air is indoors, but nothing could be further from the truth.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of a well-ventilated house, including:
- Why Ventilating Your Home Is Important
- Common Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
- Tips for Keeping Your Home Well-Ventilated
- What To Do If Opening Windows Is Not An Option for Ventilating Your Home
Why is Ventilating Your Home Important?
First of all, by ventilation, we’re referring to the way your home exchanges indoor air with outdoor air. Due to the way modern homes are insulated, ventilation doesn’t occur in newer homes the way it used to in older homes.
The trouble starts when various sources of indoor air pollution begin to accumulate in your home over time. Along with these pollutants, excessive moisture can also accumulate, which in turn fosters mold growth. These things compromise your indoor air quality and can put your health at risk as well.
By letting air flow in and out of your home (essentially, allowing your house to “breathe”) you’re reducing that harmful buildup in your indoor air supply.
Common Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
These can be found in products like aerosol sprays, glues, craft and hobby supplies, pesticides and insect repellents, dry-cleaned clothes, printers, and air fresheners (ironically).
The range of health effects from exposure to VOCs varies. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), people may suffer eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, loss of coordination, nausea, and damage to the liver, kidney, and/or central nervous system.
This gas is released by fuel-burning appliances like heaters and stoves. It can be harmful when inhaled because it keeps oxygenation from occurring in your body, which, in large amounts, leads to loss of consciousness and suffocation.
Mold and Mildew
Water damage or excess dampness (often found in bathrooms) can lead to mold and mildew problems. When the spores are touched or breathed in, it can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, coughing, wheezing, and sometimes skin irritation. For those with respiratory conditions, exposure to mold or mildew can result in asthma attacks or even a lung infection.
Secondhand smoke can be quite detrimental to your indoor air quality, containing hundreds of carcinogenic and toxic chemicals, including arsenic, ammonia, benzene, and formaldehyde.
While you can choose to refrain from buying products that contain VOCs or other harmful chemicals, dust will find its way into your home one way or another.
Dander (and Dust Mites)
Dander can come from pets and people. What’s worse is that dust mites feed off of that dander and trigger allergies.
Tips for Keeping Your Home Well-Ventilated
If you are unable to install a completely new whole-house ventilation system, here are some tips you can use to keep your air circulating.
- Use Your Kitchen’s Exhaust Fan: Cooking with your gas-powered stove can release a large number of indoor air pollutants. Run your kitchen’s exhaust fan while cooking and for 15 minutes after cooking.
- Use Your Bathroom’s Exhaust Fan: Run your bathroom’s exhaust fan for 45 minutes after bathing/showering to banish excess moisture.
- Keep Your Interior Doors Open: This will prevent air from becoming trapped in one room and becoming stagnant.
- Set Box Fans on Reverse: This is a technique that will help remove VOCs quickly. Put a box fan in the window or entryway of the room you’re focusing on, and turn it on in reverse so that it will push indoor air outside.
- Use Cross-Ventilation: open windows on opposite sides of your home to allow air to naturally move through one window and out the other.
What To Do If Opening Windows Is Not An Option for Ventilating Your Home
Sometimes opening up the doors and windows is not something you’re willing to do. Maybe it’s because of terrible outdoor pollution or bad smells from surrounding fields or livestock. If this is your situation, you may want to consider an electronic air cleaner or air scrubber.
An electronic air cleaner, such as the Clean Air Defense System AirRanger™, is installed directly into your HVAC system’s filter rack, and it’s a low-maintenance, low-cost option that involves no major ductwork modifications. Its activated-carbon center screen removes odors and helps to filter out pollen, dust, cigarette smoke, and other contaminants.
An air scrubber is an indoor air purification system. Advanced systems like the Air Scrubber Plus remove 99.9% of the contaminants and impurities that compromise your indoor air quality. The Air Scrubber Plus, in particular, helps eliminate the following indoor air pollutants and odors:
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and chemical odors
- Cigarette smoke
- Pet dander
- Cooking odors
- Dust and particulate matter
- Pollen, mold, odor-causing bacteria, and other organic contaminants
Whether you’re using an air scrubber on its own or in conjunction with good home ventilation practices, you’re likely to notice that breathing feels easier and sleep is more restful. You may even notice fewer allergic symptoms. Overall, you’ll simply feel better knowing that you’re living in a home with significantly improved indoor air quality.
Monarch Home Service’s elite team of NATE- and EPA-certified technicians can expertly install and carefully optimize your new Air Scrubber Plus in Bakersfield or Fresno. When you choose Monarch Home Services, you’ll enjoy maximized results and efficient operation. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about this incredible technology.
To learn more, contact us online or at (800) 830-9054.