If you’re a homeowner, you’re probably used to cleaning the inside of your house in order to maintain a healthy environment for both you and your family. However, one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of the cleanliness inside your home is the interior air quality. Total Restore is here to help provide you with a better understanding of how indoor air quality is determined along with several steps you can take to improve the quality of the air inside your home.
Indoor Air Quality Explained
When talking about air quality, you’re probably familiar with the concept of densely populated cities being filled with dark clouds of pollution or smog. If you were living in one of these polluted cities, you’d have a much more difficult time breathing thanks to all of the contaminants in the air. Conversely, if you were walking around on a rural farm out in the country without any signs of pollution — breathing would be easy and refreshing.
We can translate that same analogy of a given area’s air quality inside your home as well. The EPA estimates that humans spend 90% of their time indoors and that 72% of an individual’s chemical exposure comes from their home. One critical component of interior air quality is known as VOC or Volatile Organic Compound. VOCs are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids and account for the majority of everyday chemical exposure in humans. Sources of VOCs include:
- paints, paint strippers, and other solvents
- wood preservatives
- aerosol sprays
- cleansers and disinfectants
- moth repellents and air fresheners
- stored fuels and automotive products
- hobby supplies
- dry-cleaned clothing
As you can see, there are a variety of potentially harmful sources of VOCs throughout your home. In an effort to help mitigate this potential exposure, Total Restore uses GreenGuard Gold certified paint to create a healthier indoor environment while limiting chemical exposure. Our paint is scientifically proven to meet some of the world’s most rigorous, third-party chemical emissions standards. For more helpful tips on improving your indoor air quality, see our suggestions listed below.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is up to 10 times more polluted than outdoor air and Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, that percentage likely increasing due to Covid-19. As we’ve discussed above, VOCs are the most likely culprits for decreasing indoor air quality. Here are our top tips for increasing the quality of your indoor air.
Regularly change your AC filter – A forced-air system (most likely the type of AC you have in your home), works hard to keep your home at that perfect temperature year-round. AC’s have built-in filters to clean air that’s being circulated throughout your home and after a while, those filters fill up and become less and less effective. Not only does this harm air quality — it’s also especially harmful to anyone with allergies or asthma.
Use your cooking vent or range hood – Gas stoves release harmful contaminants like carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. In fact, even electric burners produce these pollutants at lower levels. Use your cooking vent or range hood when preparing a meal in your kitchen to ensure that you’re properly redirecting polluted air outside your home.
Control the humidity in your home – Not only can high levels of humidity ruin your paint and furniture — it’s the perfect breeding ground for mold. Properly working bathroom vents do a great job of controlling moisture in your bathroom. Long-term respiratory exposure to mold leads to serious health issues in the future. Control over humidity leads to no mold which means no health problems!
Add some indoor plants – While you can purchase or rent an air scrubber for your home, why not use nature’s air filters? Purchase some indoor plants to help filter the air inside your home. Just don’t forget to give them sunlight and water!