Painting is one of the most effective and affordable ways to give your home a fresh, clean look. However easy it is to put on the walls, its effects on air quality aren’t quite so easy to manage.
Many kinds of paints have numerous chemicals that evaporate as they dry. Some, if not most, of these chemicals are known respiratory irritants whose side effects range from temporary to long-lasting health implications.
Fortunately, interior paint is available that is low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that pose the most danger and potential for irritation. Besides interior paint, more and more adhesives, paint strippers, and wood finishes are available that have no- or low-VOCs.
When choosing these products, look carefully on the can for statements or symbols of clean air compliance. You may also see details about the amount of VOCs the paint emits. Choose one that fits your budget with the lowest amount of harmful emissions. Never use exterior paint indoors.
When to Paint
Any season, other than summer, is a good time to paint indoors in Yuma. It’s hard to open the windows for fresh air ventilation when temperatures top the 100s. High temperatures also make painting challenging and most manufacturers don’t recommend it.
Even though a paint may be low in VOCs, it still has an odor, increases humidity, and contains many other chemicals.
Use window fans and open windows to reduce the effects on air quality. If your kitchen and bathroom fans exhaust through the roof or walls, turn them on after opening the windows. They are effective at pulling out air from your home, even if they’re on a different level.
The U.S. EPA recommends running the fan for several days as long as it’s safe to leave a window open overnight or when your home isn’t occupied.
Because the effects on air quality from indoor painting can harm your family’s health, it’s important to use fresh air ventilation and select paint products carefully. To learn more about indoor air quality, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company, providing HVAC services for Yuma-area homeowners.
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 quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.