Indoor Air Quality
Air pollution is
an issue that concerns everyone, but we tend to think it only exists
outside. Up to 90% of our time is spent indoors and much of that time
is spent at home. Polluted air in your home can affect the health of
you and your family. Landry's Heating and Air Conditioning wants you,
our customer, to know what causes poor indoor air quality and how to
detect the problem areas is the first step to cleaner air and a healthier
Read on to learn more about your home's air quality and how you can
take an active role in improving it. It's easier to make your home healthier
for yourself and your family. Especially when you have the right information.
3 Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
There are 3 main sources of indoor pollutants. By learning more about
these forms of air pollution, you are better equipped to control them.
1. Airborne Particles
Including dust, pollen, dirt, pet dander, insulation and carpet fibers.Particles are often the largest of the pollutants, but are not visible
to the naked eye. Dust and pollen are the two major particles that cause
hay fever. Dust is essentially tiny pieces of everything that exists
in, or moves through your house. Pollen consists of airborne particles
released from trees and other plant life.
2. Biological Contaminants
Including mold spores, dust mites, viruses, fungi, bacteria, yeasts,
and algae. Also known as bioaerosols, they can be living or non-living
organisms. They thrive in warm, humid environments and, because they
are so small, these contaminants can get past the protective filters
in the nose and upper respiratory tract. In so doing, they can reach
the lungs and are highly allergenic. They can be found in places such
as bedding, upholstered furniture, bathrooms, and damp basements.
3. Gases and Odors
Including chemical vapors from gas ovens, space heaters, water heaters,
furnaces, carpets, fireplaces, garages, pets, cleaning products, furniture,
paint, perfumes, pesticides and tobacco smoke.
Gases can include carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and volatile organic
compounds (VOCs). Sources for carbon monoxide include back drafting
heating appliances, poorly maintained fossil fuel heating systems, faulty
chimneys, gas cooking appliances, cigarette smoking and idling cars
in an attached garage.
Formaldehyde comes from building products, carpet backings and insulation.
VOCs can be released from synthetic and composite materials used during
the construction, finishing and furnishing of a home. They can also
come from sources such as aerosol sprays, paints, cleaning chemicals,
gas cooking appliances and air fresheners. Each of these resides in
your home and can contribute to an unhealthy environment.
Improve the Air Quality in your Home
Here are some simple
steps to help make sure the air in your home is as clean as it can be
so that you and your family can enjoy a healthy home. Some of these
clean air solutions are easy to incorporate into your lifestyle and
can actually become a routine part of your weekly household cleaning.
Control the quality of the air in your home by attacking the pollution
where it starts. Here's a checklist with helpful hints you can do at
your house. Check a few of these off the list in the next couple of
weeks and you'll find yourself breathing easier.
Tips to help control dust and other biological contaminants:
- Use a vacuum cleaner with strong suction and a rotating beater brush
to loosen ground-in dirt. Two-ply bags with HEPA filters ensure the
dirt stays in the bag.
- Install hard surface coverings on floors, windows and furniture -they
help repel dust.
- Avoid pets inside your home. If you wish to keep a pet indoors make
sure it is groomed often and keep them away from carpets, furniture
- Wash bedding weekly at a hot setting.
- Use hypoallergenic dust covers on your mattress and pillows to deter dust mites and other biological contaminants.
Tips to help control odors, fumes, and gases:
Tips to help control the humidity levels in your home:
- Keep interior doors leading directly into the garage closed. Leave the
garage door open at least 5 minutes after a car enters or leaves the
- Extinguish all burning embers in your fireplace before shutting the
- Leave the door open to any room that does not have a return vent.
- Use non-toxic cleaning products. Keep them sealed and store them away
from high traffic areas in your home.
- Eliminate tobacco smoke in the home.
- Install and use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms.
- Check your home for leaks near windows, doors, attic accesses and dryer
- Ensure your ductwork is inspected and cleaned by a professional.
- Reduce static electricity in your home by installing a humidifier.
- Maintain relative humidity in the 35 to 50% range. Over 50% can promote
mold and other bacterial growths. Below 35% can cause sore throats,
sinus congestion, skin disorders, warps in wooden furniture and floors,
separation in wood floors, and gaps in molding.
- If you live in a warmer, humid climate, be certain your air conditioning
equipment is sized properly and ensure it's in good working order for
the best dehumidification. (If no air conditioning system is present,
a dehumidifier can be a good option to maintain proper humidity in your
home.) In colder climates, a humidifier may be used to increase humidity
levels as needed.
- Have a precision tune-up performed on your heating and cooling system
twice each year for maximum efficiency, comfort and safety.
Poor ventilation in your home can be a major cause of indoor air pollution.
Without appropriate ventilation, your home can become a breeding ground
for bacterial and biological contaminants. But rest assured, there are
plenty of things you can do yourself or with the help of a Landry's
Heating and Air Conditioning professional to help improve the ventilation
in your home. Here are just some of the main aspects of healthy ventilation
you should be aware of when it comes to ensuring that your family can
enjoy a healthy home.
Here are just some of the many aspects of healthy ventilation you should be aware of when it comes to ensuring that your family can enjoy a healthy home:
- Have your kitchen/bathroom exhaust fans tested to determine if a back
draft from another flue (such as your water heater or fireplace) is
drawing carbon monoxide into your home.
- Contain your renovations to one room at a time.
- Seal and vent renovated rooms before continuing to the next project.
- Have an existing ventilation system properly maintained with regular
- Mechanical ventilation systems such as Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV)
and Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV) are balanced systems that bring
in and filter the outdoor air while exhausting stale indoor air. These
systems capture energy and use it to heat or cool the incoming air for
greater energy efficiency and comfort.
- Rather than opening windows for ventilation, consider solutions that
only allow filtered conditioned outside air to come indoors and help
dilute any pollution in your home's air.
A proper filtration system helps clean the air in your home. There are
many types and sizes of filtration and air cleaner options available.
The effectiveness of a system depends on how well it collects pollutants
from indoor air and how much air it draws through the filtering or cleaning
A proper filtration system helps clean the air in your home:
- Determine the appropriate air filtration and cleaning equipment for
the needs of your family. Landry's Heating and Air Conditioning can
help educate you regarding various options so that you can choose the
option that is best for the health of your home.
- Regardless of the options selected, an important step in good filtration
is the constant recirculation of air throughout your home.
- Remove up to 97.5% of all airborne house dust in less than 24 hours,
as well as 99.9% of all allergy causing pollen and spores, with an air
- UV lights are an excellent problem solver in areas where bacteria or
biological contaminants are a concern.
- UV lights can reduce and destroy bio contaminants by bathing them in
high intensity UV.
- For the complete filtration system, ask your Landry's professional about
the newest filtration and purification system -the photo catalytic purification
system--which combines filtration of particles and bacteria as well
as reduces odors.