Indoor Air Quality
You spend up to 90% of your time in your home. Polluted air in your home can affect the health of you and your family. We want you 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 living environment.
Protect what’s most important!
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 living environment.
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.
Air Borne 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.
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.
Gases & 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.
Use your senses!
Use your eyes
Look for cracks in walls, sweating windows, pooled water, peeling paint and mold. You may need to regulate humidity levels in your home.
Use your ears
Can you hear water dripping? Is your furnace or air conditioner making strange sounds? Your heating or cooling system may be due for a check up.
Use your nose
Smell mildew? You may have too much humidity. Sneezing? You may have a dust, pollen, or mold problem. If you can still smell your cooking after four hours, your house is not adequately ventilated.
Use your hands
Do you feel any drafts? You may have leaks near windows, doors, attic accesses or dryer vents or your heating and cooling system airflow may be sized improperly. Is your skin dry and flaky? Do you get static shocks? Your house may be too dry and require humidification.
Solutions that 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 and beds.
- 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:
- 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 garage.
- Extinguish all burning embers in your fireplace before shutting the flue.
- 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.
Tips to help control the humidity levels in your home:
- Check your home for leaks near windows, doors, attic accesses and dryer vents.
- 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 service.
- 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 element.
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 cleaner.
- 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.
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