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How to Maintain Good Indoor Air Quality

Keeping your home’s indoor air quality clean is key to achieving a comfortable and healthy environment for your family. In order to do this, you should be aware that several indoor pollutants and allergens can thrive inside your home. Furthermore, maintaining your indoor air quality involves managing indoor humidity levels and other factors that you should know about.

 Good Indoor Air Quality

Heating oil and delivery service provider Burch Oil shares some information to keep in mind when it comes to keeping good indoor air quality.

Control Dander

If you have furry pets, it’s best to control dander by bathing and grooming them regularly. Regular grooming reduces the fur they shed when laying down on surfaces and running around your home. Although dander is unavoidable when living with furry animals, it can be reduced and controlled by brushing and bathing your pets. You can also reduce the dander in your home by restricting access to certain rooms, like bedrooms, study rooms and areas with carpets. Bedrooms contain a lot of linen where dander can settle, and rooms with carpets attract dander more easily. Finally, another effective way to control dander is to clean your home as much as possible, especially the corners and under the furniture.

Prohibit Indoor Smoking

HVAC and heating oil experts warn against smoking indoors as this doesn’t only affect indoor air quality, but it can also become a fire hazard. Cigarette and tobacco fumes are among the most common air pollutants. They affect even those who don’t smoke through secondhand and thirdhand smoke. According to the Center for Disease Control, secondhand smoke contains about 7,000 compounds, hundreds of which are toxic to the human body and about 70 can cause cancer.

Furthermore, the smoke from cigarettes tends to stick to surfaces and produce discoloration and a bad odor. These contaminated surfaces contain hazardous chemicals from the fumes, creating major health hazards that can affect all occupants of your home. That said, you should prohibit indoor smoking to keep your living spaces free of these pollutants. If some guests and family members really want to smoke, designate a smoking area outside your home and regularly clean it.

Install Exhaust Fans

Exhaust fans are great for improving indoor air quality, as they suck out warm, humid air along with the air pollutants. They are best installed in kitchens and bathrooms and are great for maintaining indoor temperature. Kitchens benefit from exhaust fans by having smoke and food odors vented out, while in bathrooms, steam and excess moisture are reduced. Just remember that the fans should vent outside your home to prevent lint. You should also contact professional HVAC services if you have concerns with your exhaust fans.

Avoid Using Pesticides

As discussed earlier, many home chemicals emit harmful VOCs, and pesticides are one of them. Avoid using them, especially for indoor plants, as they can significantly affect indoor air quality. Pinch off typical bugs that infest your house plants right away to avoid an infection. Fill a spray bottle with warm water and a tiny amount of liquid detergent, then spray it on the plant before wiping it off with a damp cloth.

Clean Your Air Filters

Air filters are important in maintaining good indoor air quality. They prevent allergens and air pollutants from circulating in your home. During spring and fall, they tend to get dirty faster than usual due to the amount of contaminants present in the air during these times of the year. Your HVAC system has air filters installed in them that you need to regularly clean to maintain good indoor air quality, but if you’re not confident in fiddling with your unit, you can call for the assistance of reputable HVAC services providers.

Open Your Windows Regularly

Open windows introduce fresh air into your living spaces, improving indoor air quality. They also promote good ventilation by allowing stale air and odors to escape confined rooms. When you’re cleaning rooms, especially dusty ones, always open windows to allow the air to clear out properly. When the weather is fair, opening your windows can also help cool down your space, reducing energy costs. However, keep in mind that there are times that you shouldn’t open your windows — for instance, when there’s a barbeque session in your yard or when the area around you has a lot of foliage that can produce a lot of pollen and other allergens.

Properly Store Toxic Chemicals and Compounds

Proper storage of toxic and hazardous chemicals and compounds is needed to maintain good indoor air quality. Many of these chemicals produce VOCs that are dangerous to your health and the environment. Heating oil, for example, is a moderately toxic compound that needs to be properly stored and contained to prevent air pollution and fire hazards. Industrial solvents, such as trichloroethylene; fuel oxygenates, such as methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE); or chlorination by-products, such as chloroform, are examples of VOCs. VOCs are common contaminants in groundwater and are found in petroleum fuels, hydraulic fluids, paint thinners and strong dry cleaning chemicals.

Additionally, if you’re planning to paint, choose low VOC ones to reduce the health hazards involved with the fumes. Even after they appear to be entirely cured and the scent is gone, freshly painted walls can still leak small amounts of fumes for months. Keep in mind that common paints often include very hazardous substances like formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.

Prevent Mold and Mildew

Preventing the growth of mold and mildew can be done through proper cleaning and home maintenance. The most common areas in your home where these growths can occur are in your attic and in rooms with exposed plumbing, as these are areas most susceptible to the effects of moisture. Maintain a constant humidity level in your home of no more than 50% throughout the day. You can reduce the humidity by using an air conditioner or a dehumidifier.

Heating oil and delivery is just one of Burch Oil’s many high-quality services. Since 1928, our family-owned company has been providing great value and excellent packages to each of our clients. For more information, fill out our contact form or call us at (301) 373-2131.

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