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Attention Homeowners: Use These 3 Rock-Solid Strategies to Kill Pollutants Lurking in Your Home

Posted 03-11-13 in Air Conditioning

Sick from indoor air quality pollutionNo one likes getting colds or dealing with agitated allergies or asthma.

The constant coughing and sneezing makes it hard to enjoy the time you have with your family while at home.

But ironically, the air inside your home may be the cause of your pain. In fact The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that indoor air can be two to five times--and sometimes up to 100 times--more polluted than outdoor air.

And if your home is tightly sealed for energy efficiency, the problem is multiplied since the pollutants will accumulate.

So what’s a homeowner to do?

Use these three solid strategies to improve your indoor air quality, and you’ll enjoy your time at home and increase the health of your family.

Strategy 1: Eliminate sources of pollution

Why fight the symptoms when you can fight the source? The most cost effective way to improve indoor air quality in your home is to understand where the pollutants come from and eliminate them.
According to the EPA, the sources of most indoor quality problems come from:

  • Household cleaning and personal products -  Anything used for cleaning, disinfecting, or degreasing emits organic solvents, which can be dangerous if not used properly.
  • Combustion based products - Furnaces, fireplaces and gas appliances produce carbon monoxide (CO), a deadly, poisonous gas that’s indiscernible to your senses.
  • Pressed wood products - Hardwood plywood, wall paneling, particleboard, fiberboard are all made with adhesives that contain formaldehyde, a colorless, pungent-smelling gas.
  • Tobacco smoke - According to cancer.org, “Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemical compounds. More than 250 of these chemicals are known to be harmful, and at least 69 are known to cause cancer.”

Here is a comprehensive list of air pollutant sources on the EPA website.

Strategy 2: Improve indoor ventilation

Another source of indoor air pollution are short-term activities, such as:

  • Painting
  • Paint stripping
  • Cooking
  • Engaging in maintenance and hobby activities such as welding, soldering, or sanding.
  • Cleaning with chemical-based products

You can improve your home’s indoor air quality by opening your doors and windows and using fans to ventilate your home during these and other activities that generate high levels of pollutants.

Always make sure to read the warning labels on products that use organic solvents and use them as directed.

Strategy 3: Install an air cleaner

Air cleaners do just what they say: they clean your air by removing or killing pathogens, germs and bacteria from your home's air.

While we won’t get into the different cleaning methods, we will explain the two main types of air purifiers: tabletop and whole-house.

Tabletop air cleaners are portable units that can be taken to different rooms in your home

Pros:

  • Single unit costs less than a whole-house unit.
  • Does not require professional installation to use

Cons:

  • May not remove satisfactory amounts of pollutants from strong nearby sources (according to the EPA)
  • Affects only one room
  • Requires multiple units to get the same effect as a whole-house unit.
  • Requires frequent maintenance
  • Intrudes on your living space

Whole-house air cleaners are installed into your ductwork and clean the air in your entire home

Pros:

  • Treats every room in your home
  • Works out of sight and out of mind
  • Most units work silently
  • Requires infrequent maintenance

Cons:

  • Requires more upfront cost than a single tabletop air purifier
  • Requires professional installation

To learn more about air cleaners, check out this guide from the EPA: Residential Air Cleaners (Second Edition): A Summary of Available Information

Maximize your air quality. Maximize your family’s health

Combine these three strategies to maximize your indoor air quality, especially if someone in your family has an allergy or asthma problem.

If you’re interested in a top quality whole-house cleaner, Coolray offers the Carrier line of air cleaning products that can rid your home of pollutants in your home.

Coolray is the Atlanta area’s most trusted heating company. If you have further questions about your home’s air quality, just ask one of our friendly, knowledgeable experts.

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