Tag Archives: pollutants

It’s Heart Month! Know How IAQ Affects Health

It's Heart Month! Know How IAQ Affects HealthFebruary is National Heart Awareness Month. What better time to ponder all the things that affect the health of your heart? You’re probably well aware of how diet and exercise contribute to keeping your heart healthy, but do you ever consider the effects of your indoor air quality on your health?

The sad fact is that the air in our homes is much more polluted than the outside air. That can have an impact on your heart, as well as your lungs and kidneys. Read on for what you should know about IAQ effects on your health.

Airborne Pollutants in Your Home

A number of airborne pollutants may be found in the typical, airtight home:

  • Dust
  • Smoke
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Radon
  • Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide
  • Mold
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

These substances have different impacts on the body, but all in large concentrations can make you sick — at the least, triggering sniffles and other signs of respiratory distress, as well as allergies and asthma symptoms, and even organ failure.

Controlling Airborne Pollutants

Here are some things you can to control airborne pollutants:

  • Vacuum frequently with a HEPA filter.
  • Ban smoking in the home.
  • Sequester pollen-bearing plants in one room; brush off clothing and pets before entering the home.
  • If your home tests positive for radon, look into having a radon barrier installed.
  • Install air quality monitors to keep track of the levels of CO, CO2 and other pollutants.
  • Fix all leaks and if need be, install a whole-house dehumidifier to control moisture, which can promote mold. Install ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) lights in the HVAC system to kill organisms in the air such as mold, mildew and bacteria.
  • Install a charcoal-activated air filter in the HVAC system to get rid of gases such as VOCs and cigarette smoke.
  • Use a good quality, pleated air filter to trap many types of airborne pollutants in your return air supply.

For more on IAQ effects, or to schedule HVAC repair, maintenance or upgrades, contact Powers Heating and Air. We serve Peachtree City.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

Air Pollutants: The Journey Into Your Home

Air Pollutants: The Journey Into Your HomeIn such a beautiful area as Peachtree City, it’s hard to think that air pollutants could be a problem. Anyone who suffers from allergies might feel differently, however. Since this is a year-round mild climate, there are plenty of sources of airborne irritants.

 

The grasses on the lawns and golf courses, pollen from trees and shrubs create some misery, as do naturally occurring mold spores and manmade chemicals. Each of these easily enters your home:

  • Through the windows and doors.
  • On your clothes, hair, and shoes.
  • With your cats and dogs.
  • From products you buy and use inside.

Of them, the products you use on a day-to-day basis may have the most serious impact on your health. Known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), they’re responsible for myriad health problems from annoying sore throats and eye irritation to serious.

Lowering the Pollutant Load

The most effective ways to manage air pollutants is to prevent them from entering your home by:

  • Keeping the windows closed during the spring and fall when pollen counts are at their highest.
  • Using door mats to wipe feet off before entering.
  • Brushing or bathing pets after they’ve been outdoors during pollen season.
  • Upgrading the air filter for your HVAC system. Filters whose MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating is 5 or higher will trap smaller particles, like pollen, mold spores and dust mite waste, all common allergens.
  • Limiting your use of products high in VOCs. Avoid highly perfumed candles, makeup, air fresheners, home cleaners and laundry soaps and dryer sheets. It’s easier than ever to home improvement and decorating materials that don’t have high levels of VOCs. Minimize running fuel-powered vehicles and equipment in the garage and keep pool, yard and insecticides tightly covered.
  • Laundering bedding weekly in hot water and drying at the hottest dryer setting.

Cutting down on indoor air pollutants improves your indoor air quality and increases comfort, especially when doors and windows are closed to save energy. For more information, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing trusted HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Pexels/Pixabay” 

Ways to Control Pollutants in Your Home

Ways to Control Pollutants in Your HomeGood indoor air quality (IAQ) contributes significantly to good health, and minimizing pollutants is the best way to achieve better IAQ. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found that indoor air ranks among the worst environmental hazards that people encounter. It’s not difficult to improve by:

  • Avoidance — Many products used in homes contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that pose health hazards. Many cleaning and home improvement products, candles, cosmetics, and anything that contains perfumes emit VOCs. Look for low-VOC or clean air labels and cleaners that aren’t perfumed. Keep swimming pool chemicals and paints and finishes tightly covered and out of your home’s livable areas.
  • Maintenance — Change the air filter for your HVAC system whenever it’s covered with dust to lower the particulate load indoors. It’s also important to have it professionally serviced at least annually to prevent dust or mold from building inside the system, including the ductwork. The HVAC professional will also look for mechanical issues with combustion furnaces that could emit carbon monoxide (CO) into your home’s air that could include combustion problems, leaking ductwork, or a blocked flue or chimney.
  • Control — Keeping dust to a minimum helps control particulate levels, particularly from dust mite waste, one of the most common allergens found in homes. Use a HEPA-style vacuum cleaner bag and vacuum hard surfaces instead of sweeping to lower pet dander, pollen and dust mite waste distribution. Wash bedding in hot water weekly and dry on the hottest setting.
  • Ventilation — Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans to remove odors and excess humidity. If your home is tightly constructed, you may need a fresh air ventilation system to reduce airborne pollutants. An energy recovery or heat recovery ventilation system can freshen the air without increasing heating or cooling bills. These devices use heat exchange technology to minimize energy consumption.

Achieving better IAQ by managing pollutants will enhance your family’s overall health, and it’s easy to do by avoiding polluting products and maintaining your HVAC system. To learn more, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing trusted HVAC services for Fayette & Coweta County Georgia customers.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Jana Guothova/Shutterstock”