Many homes are plagued by poor indoor air quality in many forms. High indoor humidity can invite mold growth; and airborne viruses, bacteria and allergens can cause illness and exacerbate respiratory issues.
What Are VOCs?
Another class of pollutants called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are present in virtually every home, and they can cause a host of health issues. Volatile organic compounds are harmful gases released from various materials, many of which are commonly used in the home. Literally hundreds of VOCs are introduced into the home from products such as paint, adhesives, cleaning chemicals, furniture, carpeting, caulk, formaldehyde and even felt-tip pens. Even that “new car smell” everyone loves is the result of VOCs being released from interior plastics.
VOCs can exacerbate allergies and asthma and cause health problems, such as upper respiratory infections, headaches even cancer. It is therefore important to keep them out of your home or minimize exposure as much as possible.
- Daily home ventilation is important for health and improving indoor air quality.
- Read labels and choose low-VOC products for wall coverings, flooring and furniture.
- Avoid vinyl and synthetic carpets, which are high in VOCs. Choose instead those made from natural fibers, such as wool, cotton and sisal.
- Hardwood floors are popular, but they contain formaldehyde. Additionally, most finishes emit VOCs. An alternative is to use pre-sealed hardwood, or seal hardwood flooring with water-based polyurethane.
- Use water-based paints rather than oil-based paints which emit more VOCs.
- Make sure household cleaners, paints and solvents are properly sealed.
- Have your ductwork, which could bring VOCs into the living spaces professionally checked, to seal air leaks.
Learn more about how to improve your indoor air quality with All American Heating & Cooling’s IAQ solutions. If you have concerns about the air quality in your home, you may schedule an appointment, or call us at (941) 451-5228 for more information.
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