Have you ever added up all the hours you spend inside your home? Even if you work full time outside the home, you can easily spend 8, 10, or even more hours per day inside your home, breathing in the air that lurks inside.
Is it clean?
According to the EPA, a home’s air quality is often 2 to 5 times more polluted than the air outside. At any given time, there are dust mites, pollen, bacteria, biological growth - the list goes on and on with what can be contaminating your air supply. And because the majority of us leave the doors and windows closed most of the time, thanks to the heating and cooling system, when something gets into your home’s air supply, it can linger for a very long time.
Imagine breathing in chemicals and pollutants every time you head outside to work or play. Imagine coming home to more poisonous chemicals and particulates settling into the air you breathe at home. The World Health Organization estimates over 4.2 million deaths each year from outdoor pollutants, with another 3.8 million deaths from poor indoor air quality.
Still don’t think your home’s air quality matters?
What are the causes?
It starts with what we bring into our homes. Many products and materials release volatile organic compounds - VOCs. It can be in the chemicals you use to clean your home, the paint you apply to your walls, the carpet you install on the floors. Be conscious of what you bring into your home, and always ask for low or zero VOCs whenever possible.
It can also be caused by your ventilation system. If your home isn’t operating the way it should, it means the harmful pollutants can leave your home while fresh air from the outside replaces it. You should have proper ventilation throughout your home, including in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and attic.
It can come from surprising sources - how about that candle that makes your home smell good? If something has a fragrance, you’re introducing VOCs into your air supply.
It can also be your HVAC system. Yes, your furnace and air conditioner are meant to keep you comfortable no matter what the weather is like outside. But the average duct system leaks anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of its air. That means the air supply is trapping pollutants where they shouldn’t be - behind walls, in attics, and crawlspaces. The more air that flows there, the more it builds up, the more harmful it is to your health.
No what? The best place to start is by maintaining your HVAC system regularly. At the very least, set up an appointment to have your equipment tested and monitored before the start of each season, to ensure your equipment is working at its best. We can discuss with you other changes to ensure your air quality is the best it can be.
Schedule your maintenance visit today.
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