Tag Archives: Volatile organic compounds

Keep Your Indoor Air Quality Fresh and Clean With These Simple Steps

Keep Your Indoor Air Quality Fresh and Clean With These Simple StepsIf you are concerned about indoor air quality (IAQ) and keeping your home’s air fresh, a number of simple changes can make a big difference. Since clean water is just as essential as clean air, preventing groundwater contamination also makes good sense for anyone concerned about reducing pollution levels in their home.

Many common household products contain volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) which can cause respiratory distress in susceptible individuals; some are even suspected carcinogens. Although some of the items in the following list are intended for outdoor use, ultimately, groundwater pollution affects the water we drink indoors. By eliminating the use of the following products and replacing them with simple, tried and true alternatives, you will create a healthier home environment:

  • Harsh chemical cleaning products, which release poisonous vapors when they are used to “clean” your home. Try using diluted vinegar as an all purpose cleaner; adding baking soda provides gentle abrasion and a whitening effect. Completely natural cleaning products are also readily available.
  • Synthetic fragrances, which are one of the most significant culprits you must battle in your effort to keep your homes air fresh. Because they are so common, it can be challenging to completely eliminate them; read ingredient lists carefully, and only select products without “fragrance” or “parfum.” Again, substituting vinegar or baking soda works well to eliminate household odors which chemical fragrances only cover up.
  • Antibacterial soaps, which are linked with a number of health problems, including thyroid issues. Studies confirm that regular soap and water kills germs just as well without side effects.
  • Synthetic pesticides and herbicides, used indoors or out. Indoor pests can be controlled through eliminating any food sources; outdoor weed control can be accomplished by hand.
  • Any coal-tar based driveway sealant, which is best eliminated by replacing your paved driveway with gravel or using a driveway sealant free of coal-tar.

Homeowners in the Peachtree City area interested in more tips on how to keep their homes air fresh can contact Powers Heating & Air, where “We stand by our goal of providing REWARDS to our 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).

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Unhealthy Volatile Organic Compounds: Getting Them out of Your Indoor Air

Unhealthy Volatile Organic Compounds: Getting Them out of Your Indoor AirVolatile organic compounds, or VOCs as they are often called, are gases that are released by common materials found in your home. Exposure to VOCs can result in short-term problems including headache, dizziness, sore throat, itchy eyes and nausea. Long-term exposure has been linked to increased risk of certain types of cancer, liver damage, kidney damage and damage to the central nervous system. There are VOCs in your home right now. Learning how to bring the concentrations down can help you and your family live longer, healthier lives.

Identifying the potential sources of VOCs in your home is the first step in controlling and reducing them. VOCs can be found in numerous building materials including:

  • Carpets
  • Composite wood floors
  • Paint
  • Vinyl
  • Upholstery
  • Fabric treatments
  • Varnishes
  • Solvents

VOCs are also found in many everyday household products:

  • Air fresheners
  • Cosmetics
  • Moth balls
  • Fuel oil
  • Gasoline
  • Ozone producing air cleaners
  • Household cleaners
  • Pesticides

Studies have found that the concentration of VOCs inside highly efficient houses can be significant. The concentration depends on the amount of VOCs in products in the home, the rate at which they are released, the ventilation rate of the home, and concentrations of VOCs in the outside air.

The best way to combat VOCs is to ventilate your home. Open up the windows and pull fresh air into the home with the help of fans when outside temperatures and humidity levels allow this strategy. This will also help keep temperatures down, which will lower the off-gas rate of the VOC-containing products.

You also should actively avoid bringing products with VOCs into your home. Buy new furniture that has had a chance to off-gas in the showroom. Also, check the labels on your cleaning supplies before you make a purchase. Avoid products with BTEX, acetone, isopropyl alcohol, toluene, naphthalene, butane, formaldehyde, isoprene and xylene.

If you need more information about improving your indoor air quality by reducing the level of volatile organic compounds in your home, call us at Powers Heating & Air. We’ve been keeping our customers in the Peachtree City area safe and comfortable since 2001.

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).

Image courtesy of Shutterstock