Usually, when people think of pollution, they associate it with harmful particles we encounter in outdoor air. Contrary to this common belief, research by the EPA has revealed that the levels of indoor air pollutants are frequently two to five times higher than outdoor levels, even in cities. This is partly due to the fact that we bring so many indoor air pollutants into our homes on a regular basis.
Here are four common ways that people worsen their homes’ indoor air quality without even realizing it.
1. Cooking With Gas
Combustion appliances, including stoves and ovens powered by gas, produce a number of indoor air pollutants while in operation. One of those pollutants is carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that results in at least 400 deaths a year in the U.S. and approximately 20,000 emergency room visits due to accidental poisoning. When using your gas-powered stove or oven, always run your kitchen’s exhaust fan or leave a window open to ventilate the area.
2. Cleaning With Chemical-Packed Household Products
Many household cleaning products (as well as a number of household products in general) release harmful chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). According to the EPA, VOCs can cause both short- and long-term adverse health effects, including eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, liver damage, kidney damage, and central nervous system damage.
3. Painting Rooms With Standard Household Paints
As with many conventional cleaning products on store shelves, a number of household paints also contain VOCs. After coating a wall with one of these paints, the wall will “off-gas” VOCs for months (and sometimes even years) afterward. Opting for low-VOC or VOC-free paints helps to avoid this issue.
4. Buying Furniture Made of Engineered Wood
Engineered wood (also called “composite wood” and “pressed wood”) are manufactured with resins and adhesives that release a number of VOCs, include formaldehyde. Unfortunately, some solid softwoods are also treated with these same materials, making them another source of VOCs. In general, solid hardwood furniture is your safest bet.
If the air quality in your home is causing you discomfort, and store-bought air purifiers aren’t helping, don’t lose heart. Falite Bros has a number of advanced air purifying solutions to restore your comfort, from ventilators to multi-stage filtration systems.