One of the biggest misconceptions about pollution people have today is that the outdoor air is less healthy than the air inside our homes and buildings. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), levels of pollutants indoors can be anywhere from two to 100 times higher than outdoor levels, which is why indoor air quality is so important.
If this is news to you and you want to learn more about indoor air quality (IAQ), follow our guide for homeowners below. We’ll show you what might be affecting your indoor air quality, why your family may be at risk for health hazards and what you can do to improve your home’s IAQ starting today.
What Does Indoor Air Quality Mean?
If you are like most homeowners, you likely do all that you can to keep your home clean, comfortable and safe. But while you can try to limit how many pollutants are in your home through vacuuming, dusting and disinfecting, these actions don’t always do much to improve indoor air quality.
Indoor air quality generally refers to the quality of air inside your home. A home’s IAQ is vitally important, especially since we spend nearly 80 percent of our lives indoors (and maybe even more for those of us living on the Space Coast of Florida!). Yet, even the cleanest of homes can suffer from poor IAQ.
Indoor Air Quality and Health Risks
When indoor air quality is low, the risk for a variety of health concerns increases greatly. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to serious side effects, such as cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illnesses — all of which can be life-threatening. Not sure what to look for? Here are a few red flags and warning signs that something may be wrong with your home’s indoor air quality:
- Sore throat
- Dry, itchy or red eyes
- Constant coughing or wheezing
- Fatigue and/or dizziness
- Shortness of breath
- Skin or nose irritations
Also, keep in mind that small children and infants often have a harder time fighting off pollutants and health hazards that may be easier for adult bodies to manage. If your little one is showing any of these signs, you should investigate your home’s IAQ immediately.
What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?
Unfortunately, poor indoor air quality can be a result of countless items and actions. This can include anything from the failure to properly keep up with your home’s AC system to the types of products you buy for your house. One of the biggest factors affecting indoor air quality, however, is the amount of volatile organic compounds (or VOCs for short). These chemicals vaporize at room temperature and can be found in carpets, furniture, cleaning products, curtains and more.
How Can You Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality in 5 Steps
Follow these simple tricks and steps to start improving your indoor air quality today.
Step 1: Buy Houseplants
Whether you have a green thumb or not, having fresh plants in the house or apartment not only boost your home’s aesthetics, but can also greatly increase your IAQ — all without you doing much at all! Many houseplants are easy to take care of and work to eliminate harsh pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and more. Need a few ideas? Here are some of the best houseplants to boost IAQ.
- Spider plant
- Gerbera daisy
- Peace lily
- Aloe vera
Step 2: Call a Professional AC Company for an IAQ Check
No one understands indoor air quality better than a trustworthy and experienced AC company. If you live in Titusville, Cocoa Beach or Merritt Island, depend on our team at Colman Heating and Air for all of your indoor air quality services and products. We have over 30 years of experience and know just the tricks to measure your IAQ and getting you back to the ultimate comfort with healthy indoor air. Contact us for a checkup on your home’s AC system to begin the next steps for the best in indoor air quality.
Step 3: Use Natural and Organic Cleaning Products
As much as we may think those big, shiny bottles of cleaning products bought at the store help keep our homes healthy and clear of pollutants, they’re often one of the biggest causes of indoor air pollutants. But if we don’t use them, how else will our homes get clean and disinfected? Instead, try these DIY cleaning methods to clean your home:
- Lemon and other citrus fruits
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Essential oils
- Fresh herbs or fruit peels
Step 4: Change Your Air Filter
Your air filter is responsible for filtering out all of those unhealthy and hazardous air pollutants. But if your air filter isn’t regularly changed or cleaned, it won’t be nearly as efficient and can have a harder time cleaning out those harmful chemicals from the air. Aim to clean or change out your air filter at least once a month.
Step 5: Install a UV Light
UV light technology can drastically improve your home’s IAQ. By having a UV light installed in the air handler of your air conditioning system, the ultraviolet light attacks germs and prevents them from reproducing. Once the light is placed in your system, it can kill up to 90 percent of surface microbes and can sterilize 99 percent of your system…just within 24 hours!
Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality Today with Help from Colman Heating & Air!
Do you live in Merritt Island, Viera, Cocoa or Titusville, Florida? We’re here to help get your IAQ back up to comfortable and healthy standards! With over 30 years of experience and the best in air quality products and services, let us be your go to experts for your AC needs. We can do an IAQ check in no time and help start a plan that works for your home. Call us today or schedule an appointment online!