Contaminants inevitably pollute the air in our homes, whether through products and equipment we use indoors or from the natural environment. Broken down mainly into two categories — particles and gases — air contaminants can range from relatively harmless to potentially deadly.
Before you know how to combat poor indoor air quality, you have to know what you’re fighting. Homeowners can take simple steps to determine what contaminants are present in their indoor air — and then remove any potentially harmful pollutants.
Three tips for improving your indoor air quality:
- Testing: Carbon monoxide are among the particularly dangerous contaminants found in homes. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of fuel combustion that can leak from faulty furnaces or other household equipment. Buy a good quality carbon monoxide detector for each level of your home to protect you and your family from the deadly gas. Also contract with a professional heating contractor to annualy test the condition of all your gas consuming heating systems. In addition, each of your fuel-burning appliances should receive regular service checks by a proffesional and qualified technician, who test for proper operation and any safety issues with the use of the appliance. Finally, test your furnishings and other household materials as potential sources before you use them in your home; that includes items such as caulk, paints and glues. A simple test for these products: Use a small amount, wait for them to cure, and determine whether they still emit a strong odor.
- Detectors: After determining the carbon monoxide levels in your home are safe, add separate detectors for each gas throughout your home to monitor any changing levels. If your carbon monoxide detector warns of unsafe levels — or if you suspect a carbon monoxide leak for any reason — get everyone out of the home immediately.
- Source removal: Finally, eliminate the sources of pollutants from your home. Replace faulty equipment. Don’t smoke or burn candles or incense indoors. Choose cleaning products that aren’t toxic. Avoid pesticides and any aerosol sprays.
If you have questions about your indoor air quality, contact the experts at Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We serve Overland Park, Johnson County and Kansas City.
Our goal is to help educate our customers 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 Resource guide.
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