During the summer, most of us keep our homes closed up so that the air conditioner runs more efficiently. While this is great for keeping our utility bills under control, it’s not so great for controlling airborne pollutants. Here are some things you can do to combat harmful particulates.
Why Harmful Particulates Build Up in Your Home
Most newer homes are more tightly constructed than homes that were built a few decades ago, so there are fewer air leaks. While this makes your HVAC run more efficiently, harmful particulates such as mold, volatile organic compounds, pollen, dust, and pet dander can build up to levels that may harm your health.
It’s tough to open windows during the dead of winter or the height of summer, but it may be necessary now and then to let fresh air in. Otherwise, look into a ventilation system to help improve your indoor air quality.
What Harmful Particulates Are of Concern?
Here are a few of the harmful particulates that may be affecting your indoor air quality:
- Mold. Mold spores are the top concern of most homeowners, as they can aggravate respiratory conditions and cause lung and breathing problems. Mold spores thrive under damp conditions. Keep your relative humidity below 50% and fix all plumbing leaks immediately. Look into installing ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) lights in your HVAC system.
- Pet dander. Many people are allergic to the skin flakes from their pets. Bathe your pet regularly with a conditioning shampoo that will discourage flaking, and be sure to brush your pet outdoors.
- Pollen. Pollen triggers allergic reactions. Keep pollen out of the home by brushing off your clothes before you come inside or changing them at the door. Sequester clothing in a laundry bag. Group pollen-bearing houseplants in one room and close the door.
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These gases are given off by many products, including pressed wood, solvents, paints, fragrances, and household cleaners. They can cause cancer, organ failure, and severe breathing problems. Air out pressed wood and dry cleaning, and keep VOC-laden chemicals bottled up tightly or stored outdoors.
Additionally, you can control harmful particulates with a quality air filter.
Contact Aggressive Mechanical Contractors for more information about keeping harmful particulates at bay.