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Indoor Air Quality Myths

Posted on July 24, 2012
by Wendy Stackhouse

 

Do you think your indoor air is cleaner than the air outside?

Do you think air pollution is only a problem outdoors?

Are there any sources of air pollution in your home?

Your answers to these questions could reflect belief in some commonly held myths about indoor air quality. We at AirTek would like to put the lie to some of these myths and demystify (or is it demythify?) some others.

Myth #1: Air Pollution is only a problem outdoors

Today’s energy efficient buildings are great at keeping the heated and cooled inside air in, but that is not necessarily the best state of affairs. Pollution from your gas stove or fireplace, volatile organic compounds from paint, carpeting, curtains and cleaning products and even pollutants from outside can get trapped indoors because our homes are so well sealed against escaping heat and air conditioning. Studies show that indoor air can be as much as 12 times more polluted than outdoor air in the same location.

Myth #2: My house is clean, my air must be clean, too

Actually, it could be the opposite. The cleaning products you use have a huge impact on the indoor air quality in your home or building. Choosing “green” cleaners, switching to products or even homemade cleaners based on baking soda or vinegar solutions can work just as well as chemical based cleaners from the grocery store and be much healthier for you and your family.

Paint cans

Myth #3: It’s too difficult to improve my indoor air

Not true! Improving your air could be as simple as opening your windows more often or using greener cleaning products. You can also follow simple rules when replacing things or renovating your home:

  • Keep windows open when using paint, adhesive or other decorating materials that give off volatile organic compounds, as well as for a few days after the project is complete to let the gases escape.
  • Never use exterior paint on an interior surface.
  • Unwrap new furniture outdoors and let it stay outdoors for a few days if you can and in a well-ventilated room if not, before putting it in its permanent home.
  • Choose low- or no-VOC materials whenever possible.
  • Think about well-maintained but previously owned furniture when you redecorate. Older pieces have already had a chance to release the gases they produced when new.
  • You know that new carpeting smell? You want to get that out of the house as quickly as possible. Keep the windows open and fans running for a few days after installation.

Myth #4: I don’t need to worry about my indoor air quality

No, you don’t need to worry. Worry is an awfully strong word. But you do need to think about the quality of your indoor air. We spend close to 90% of our time indoors these days and the air we breathe during that time needs to be healthy and safe. We don’t think you need to worry, but a little thoughtfulness will go a long way!

At AirTek, we want your indoor air to be clean and healthy and we can help you make and keep it that way by cleaning your ductwork and HVAC system without chemicals that could make your indoor air worse, but with treatments that will completely sanitize and disinfect your entire ventilation system, killing any bacteria, mold spores, removing dust and other particles and keeping your home energy efficient and clean. Contact AirTek for more information!

Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for AirTek Indoor Air Solutions and our affiliate Alliance Environmental Group. We welcome your comments! For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on environmental services like mold remediation, lead removal and pest control including bed bugs, Like us at Alliance Environmental on Facebook or follow Alliance on Twitter!

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