Think Indoor Air Isn’t as Polluted as Outdoor Air? Think Again

Think Indoor Air Isn't as Polluted as Outdoor Air? Think AgainGiven the amount of vehicle traffic that contributes to bad air quality in San Diego, it’s easy to assume that indoor air pollution is minor compared to what’s outside. But in reality, the air you breathe indoors may be among the most toxic you encounter, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

A recent nationwide study found that while 91 percent of survey respondents believe high air quality is essential for good health, 76 percent used products in their homes that degrade indoor air quality (IAQ). A full 57 percent didn’t change the HVAC system’s air filter regularly to alleviate airborne allergies or control airborne particulates.

Achieving healthy indoor air isn’t difficult or expensive, especially if you use your central cooling and heating system as part of a whole-house approach. Here are some tips to start with.

Improve Ventilation

Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bath to pull out excessive humidity. You can also use an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) as part of your HVAC system to exhaust stale indoor air and replace it with fresh air. ERVs capture the energy in the outgoing air and put it into the incoming air, making them an energy efficient approach to reduce indoor air pollution.

Reduce the Amount of VOCs in Your Home

Cleaning products, paint, new flooring, many cleaning products, dry cleaning and vinyl products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can lead to damaging health effects. Look for products with a clean air label or labeled as no or low VOCs. Ultraviolet (UV) lights inside the air handler and ductwork can neutralize the toxicity of VOCs and help control the spread of viruses and bacteria.

Change Air Filters Regularly

Change the HVAC system’s air filter on a regular basis to keep IAQ higher. A clean filter will trap more airborne particulates like pollen, dust and pet dander, reducing the severity of allergies and asthma.

For more information on indoor air pollution, contact Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning. We prouldy provide outstanding HVAC and IAQ services for homeowners in the San Marcos area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Risto Viita/Shutterstock”

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