If you’re questioning whether your Portland residence has unhealthy indoor air quality (IAQ), it probably does.
We are indoors a lot. As a matter of fact, we’re inside up to 90% of the time, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And the air inside homes could be 2–5 times more polluted than outdoors, which may create long-term health issues.
Most Common Sources of Bad IAQ
We’ve put together a list of the most common sources of poor IAQ, the issues they cause and how you can take care of these indoor air pollutants. If you’re concerned about the air inside your residence, we recommend chatting with a pro like Three Rivers Heating & Cooling about which solutions are ideal for your home.
Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are fumes emitted from everyday household items.
They’re found in paint and stains in addition to:
- Building materials
- Cleaning products
- Air fresheners
When these vapors accumulate inside, they can irritate your eyes, nose and throat. They might also cause headaches and nausea. Regardless of whether your residence is in a rural or industrial location, an EPA study found indoor levels of these chemicals can be 2–5 times greater than the air outdoors.
Always adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions when painting or cleaning. Cracking a window can help chemicals disappear faster.
Air purification systems can also help. This equipment partners with your heating and cooling equipment to freshen indoor air. When looking for one, ensure it’s specifically designed to wipe out VOCs.
Dust and Pet Dander
Dust and pet dander can irritate health problems like asthma and allergies, especially when it continuously gets recirculated by your house’s comfort system. While you can vacuum more frequently and install an improved air filter, an air filtration system could be a better solution.
This solution hooks to your heating and cooling equipment to provide powerful filtration. Some types provide hospital-level filtration for eliminating particles and bioaerosols.
Modern homes are tightly sealed to increase energy efficiency. While this is fantastic for your utility bill, it’s not ideal for your IAQ.
Musty odors can hang around for a greater amount of time as your home is pulling in reduced fresh air. As keeping your windows open all year-round isn’t doable, here are two approaches you can make your indoor air smell fresher.
An air purification system is placed in your ductwork to neutralize odors before they are redistributed. Look for one with a carbon filter and the capability to break down dangerous VOCs. These units can also help keep your loved ones healthy by wiping out most bacteria and normal allergy triggers like pollen and mold spores.
A ventilation system takes out stale indoor air and exchanges it with fresh outdoor air. There are two models of units (heat recovery and energy recovery), so ask our professionals for more details on which solution is best for your house.
It’s important your residence’s humidity remains even. Air that’s too humid can lead to mold, while dry air can lead to respiratory symptoms.
Our specialists suggest 40–50% for top comfort. To keep yours even, think about getting a whole-home humidifier or whole-home dehumidifier with your HVAC unit.
Instead of having to lug a humidifier from room to room, this product delivers consistent humidity across your house.
Carbon monoxide is colorless gas you can’t smell. It occurs when there’s insufficient combustion in fuel-burning appliances, like gas heating systems, water heaters or fireplaces.
It poses a serious health risk. In little levels, it can lead to flu-like ailments like headaches and nausea. It may be fatal in large levels.
We suggest annual furnace maintenance to ensure your unit is working like it should. This job allows our pros to find problems before they begin, including malfunctions that can create carbon monoxide leaks.
The best approach to keep your house free of carbon monoxide is to put in detectors. These alarms must be on all floors near bedrooms and living rooms.
Better Your Home’s Air Quality with the Three Rivers Heating & Cooling Specialists
Aware that your home has inferior air quality but not sure how to improve it? Or unsure which solution is best for you? Give our kind HVAC experts a call at 503-213-4433 or contact us online right away. With free estimates and professional service, we’ll help you locate the best equipment for your family and budget.