It is very common to conclude that breathing in the outdoor air contains more harmful pollutants than indoors. However, the truth is that your home indoor air can often pose a much larger threat. This article will provide you with important information on how you can keep your home air clean during closed house conditions whether it’s winter or summer.
Florida’s weather often means that people will spend more time indoors and have less of an opportunity to open windows and doors allowing fresh air inside. There are times too when it is not hot enough to cool and not cold enough to heat. This is the perfect time to take some steps to keep your home air clean and making sure your indoor air quality is at an acceptable level.
The top three most deadly indoor air pollutants:
1. Carbon monoxide – Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector present in your home and that you change your batteries regularly alongside your smoke detectors.
2. Secondhand smoke – Banish smokers to the outdoors to protect your home from the dangers of cigarette smoke.
3. Radon gas – While radon gas is not as common in Florida coastal communities as in other areas, radon is a natural radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell, or taste and that has been found in granite countertops, basements, and well-water. You will need a radon test kit if you suspect that your home has an unsafe level of radon gas.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Formaldehyde
There are numerous other threats to your home air that should be addressed as well. Many of the products that you use on a regular basis contain harmful VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that could be hazardous to your health. A laboratory like Prism Analytical can analyze VOC concentrations by group. This information can be useful in determining whether irritant VOCs are from offgassing building materials, smoke residue, cleaning agents, paints, etc. Paints can release toxic gases such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde for months after application. Look for products containing low VOC’s and make sure that you have adequate ventilation when using products such as paint or cleaning solutions.
Humidity and Mold
Elevated humidity levels due to Florida’s high outdoor moisture levels often affect the indoor room climate when there is no heat load requirement for heating or cooling. This condition leads to elevated humidity levels within your home. The best way to monitor this condition is with a portable temperature and humidity meter that can be moved from room to room. These are available from Lowes, Home Depot or online. Google ‘portable temperature and humidity monitor’ and purchase one.
Rain and humidity in the summer and fall months can result in mold growth. The presence of mold can increase respiratory distress and trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. Testing the air quality in your home will alert you to the presence of mold growth so you can remediate quickly and help contribute to keeping your home indoor air clean.
How to keep your home air clean of pollutants all year round
A practical way to protect the indoor air quality in your home is to test and monitor on a regular basis. Test your indoor air for radon. Monitor carbon monoxide levels. Contact us for sampling options to identify any potentially hazardous levels of formaldehyde, mold, and VOC’s to keep your home air of clean of pollutants. So whether during winter or summer you’ll be spending time indoors, you can have an active part to keep your home air clean. Get serious about your indoor air quality in winter or summer!