When it comes to outdoor air pollution, the Tallahassee area ranks among the cleanest cities in the country. Indoors, however, it’s a different story. Most homes contain a variety of household products that can negatively affect indoor air quality. For your safety and well-being, it’s important to recognize these problematic products and how you can limit their impacts.
A fresh coat of paint can transform the look of your home. Unfortunately, it can also transform your air quality. That’s because, like many things in your home, paint typically contains organic solvents. These solvents are readily released as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in a process called off-gassing. Paint is especially problematic because it’s usually applied over large surface areas, increasing the amount of off-gassing that occurs. Whenever possible, look for low-VOC brands and provide plenty of ventilation during and after painting.
Many of the products you use to clean your home could be having the opposite effect on your air. Cleaning supplies are often loaded with harsh chemicals, strong fragrances, and organic solvents. In addition to being a major source of VOCs, some products also produce noxious fumes that linger in the air. A safer alternative is to clean your home with vinegar, baking soda, and other natural products. If you must use chemical cleaners, read the labels carefully and consider choosing unscented products.
As you might have guessed, aerosol sprays are also a significant source of VOCs. They may contain carcinogens and other harmful chemicals as well. The thing that makes aerosol sprays particularly concerning is revealed in the name. An aerosol is a suspension of fine particles in a gas, so aerosol sprays easily remain airborne. In some cases, these particles are small enough to enter your body when you inhale. It’s best to simply avoid these sprays as much as possible, particularly indoors.
These are just a few of the products that can contribute to poor air quality in your home. In fact, studies have shown that common household products account for about half of all VOC emissions. For effective solutions to your air quality issues, see High Quality Heating and Air’s indoor air quality services or call 850-307-5356.