Americans feel safe at home. There’s a common belief that all you have to do is close the front door to be protected from everything outside, including air pollution. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as indoor air pollution is actually more concerning than outdoor air pollution.
The results of a recent study commissioned by 3M show just how dangerous the problem has become. There are two primary causes for indoor air pollution:
- Materials – Glues, insulation, paints and many of the products we construct our homes from contain toxic chemicals and components. These can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can circulate through the air and cause everything from lung disease to cancer.
- Improper air circulation and filtration – Air must be constantly refreshed to prevent the buildup of toxic elements. If HVAC systems are malfunctioning or improperly maintained, this can’t happen.
Additionally, many of the products we use on a daily basis emit toxic chemicals. Items like scented candles, gas stoves, fireplaces and others emit everything from carbon monoxide to formaldehyde into the air. Within the confined environment of the home, these present a serious health concern.
Outdoor air pollution doesn’t stop at the door. Every time you open the garage, a window, or simply walk through the front door, you’re introducing outdoor air pollution into the home. And while you may not be able to see it, smog and particulates in the air can accumulate quickly indoors. Once you shut the door or close the window, those elements are trapped inside and must be filtered out of the air.
For these reasons, indoor air pollution is a threat you don’t want to ignore. Fortunately, by keeping your doors and windows closed on high-smog days, reducing exposure to unhealthy chemicals and maintaining your HVAC system will go a long way toward mitigating potential risks.
Learn more about how to protect your home from indoor air pollution from the HVAC pros at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air pollution and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “design36/Shutterstock”