It might surprise you to learn that the air inside your home can contain about twice the outside air pollution. Most people think that going indoors will provide relief from allergies and other breathing issues related to pollution. But the truth is that there are more pollutants inside, but they are often from different sources. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can reduce the air pollution in your home.
Common Indoor Air Pollutants
While many people are concerned about the pollution levels outdoors, they never stop to think about the quality of the air inside their homes. The following are some common types of indoor pollutants.
- Volatile Organic Compounds: VOCs are substances that are released into the air from everyday household items like paint, plastics, and resins from pressed wood products. The pollution comes from these materials off-gassing. Alarmingly, it can take several years for these materials to completely release all of their chemical contamination into the air.
- Tobacco Smoke: Indoor smoking leaves nicotine stains on clothing, fabric, books, and other surfaces. This indoor pollutant can lead to many breathing issues for smokers and even non-smokers who are in the area.
- Exhaust: Exhaust from furnaces, a fireplace, or stove, if not properly vented, can pollute the indoor air with soot and carbon monoxide.
- Radon: Trace levels of uranium can be found in rocks and soil. As these materials naturally break down, they can enter your home through dirt floors, cracks in the concrete, and floor drains.
Ways To Reduce Indoor Pollutants
Fortunately, there are many ways that we can reduce the level of air pollution indoors. By lowering the level, we reduce the risk of short and long-term repercussions such as allergic reactions, including sore throat, watery eyes, sneezing, asthma-like reactions, and breathing difficulty.
- Replace air filters regularly. The air filter in your air conditioner or HVAC is the best way to remove dust and pollutants from the air inside your home. There are high-quality filters that will work as well as a free-standing air purifier. And the air filter does nothing to introduce other allergens or pollution into the air as some of the other solutions might.
- Open the windows. While this is an excellent option to reduce indoor pollutants, it can have a drawback if you live in a dusty or high-pollen area. You will be trading one set of pollutants for another. But it is better than nothing.
- Lifestyle changes can be challenging, but they are also a great way to reduce indoor air pollution. One of the best practices is to limit smoking to outdoors. Another helpful change is either keeping pets outside or committing to regular bathing and grooming to reduce pet dander and the dust that comes into your home on your pet.
Help Your AC Help You
As we mentioned, your air conditioner is the best way to reduce dust and air pollutants in your home due to the unit’s air filter. But it is important to remember that the air filter in your AC unit is also responsible for filtering the air running inside the system. Its primary goal is to reduce or eliminate harmful dust from entering the delicate components inside the unit. So don’t wait until the ar filter is completely coated with dust and dirt to install a new filter. Be proactive and set a monthly reminder to replace your AC filter.
The more dust accumulated on the filter, the harder your AC must work to keep your home cool and comfortable. So replacing the filter more often will lengthen the life of your air conditioner, keep your home more comfortable, and help keep your electric bill more reasonable. It is a small price to pay for a cool home all summer.
To learn more about improving the air quality in your home using your air conditioner or scheduling maintenance, call (512) 910-8123. The team at Parobek Plumbing & Air Conditioning is here to take your calls 24/7 and provide emergency service if your AC is not functioning correctly. We offer free no-obligation price quotes and the most affordable rates in the area. So you will never need to live without functional AC in your home.