The Environmental Protection Agency reports that indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Many household products and activities contribute to poor indoor air quality. Indoor air pollutants include volatile organic compounds, biological contaminants, particulate matter and combustion pollutants.
Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractor can help. Mike's Heating and Air of Albany, OR, offers residential and commercial indoor air quality solutions for residents of the Willamette Valley and nearby areas.
Volatile Organic Compounds
Some liquids and solids emit gases known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Some create short-term health effects, such as sneezing or dizziness. Others have intense or long-term health effects, including impaired memory, liver or kidney damage and cancer.
Sources of VOCs include:
- Paint and solvents
- Aerosol sprays
- Disinfectants and cleaning supplies
- Craft and hobby supplies
- Furniture, textiles and carpets
- Building supplies, including composite woods
Use these products in well-ventilated areas or outdoors. Air textiles and building products before installing them.
Biological pollutants thrive in moist, warm environments. Some are infectious agents, disease vectors or toxins. Others may cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma attacks.
Biological contaminants include:
- Viruses, fungi, mold and bacteria
- Pet dander and saliva
- Droppings, urine and body parts from cockroaches, other insects and rodents
- Dust mites
- Household dust
Keep indoor humidity levels below 60% to control these pollutants. Increase ventilation by running ceiling fans in living areas and exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms.
Indoor Particulate Matter and Combustion Pollutants
Indoor particulate matter comes from thousands of sources, including cigarette smoke, cooking, soil and dust. Appliances that use fossil fuels, such as furnaces, water heaters, cookstoves and wood-burning stoves, release gases and particulates as they burn. Dust may contain chemicals or heavy metals. Small particulates are of concern because they can be inhaled into your lungs or enter your bloodstream.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause minor health effects in low concentrations and serious health effects in higher concentrations. Unvented or backdrafting gas appliances can release enough carbon monoxide to kill.
Frequent vacuuming, changing HVAC air filters, increasing ventilation and using air purifiers can reduce or eliminate indoor particulates.
Call the Experts at Mike's Heating and Air
Mike's Heating and Air offers indoor air quality services. We test the air and recommend solutions to reduce or remove pollutants. We may recommend installing products that work with your HVAC system to improve ventilation, capture particulates and inactivate biological contaminants. We also provide tips to improve ventilation and regulate humidity.
Residents and businesses in the Willamette Valley can depend on us for quality HVAC services, including HVAC installations, repairs and maintenance. Our technicians are NATE-certified, demonstrating expertise in specialties and core services. Call Mike's Heating and Air to discuss your indoor air quality concerns or schedule an on-site visit.