Providing Austin With Indoor Air Quality Services
Chances are that if you're like most of the country, you spend a considerable amount of your time indoors. Whether it's at work or at home in Austin, TX, you'll be inside quite a bit more than many realize. But recent studies have shown that indoor air quality is much poorer than outdoor air is. In fact, the EPA's most recent research has found that indoor air an average of 2 to 5 times as many contaminants than outdoor air. In some cases, that number can be as much as 100 times.
A wide range of pollutants can be found in the air of a home or office, ranging from mold to pest dander to chemicals to gases and beyond. These pollutants can put us at serious risk for developing major health issues.
Common Household Pollutants
Your Austin, TX home may not be as environmentally friendly as you suspect. Here are some of the common household pollutants found in homes around the country.
- Secondhand Smoke – Caused by cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products, secondhand smoke can linger in a home much longer than many realize. It can lead to cancer and other respiratory illnesses and is especially dangerous for children or the elderly.
- Radon – Radon is invisible and odorless. It's a radioactive gas created within the soil, and it can enter a home through any cracks or through walls touching the ground. It is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and is a serious contaminant.
- Combustion Pollutants – Burned materials can create numerous pollutants within the home. These are more present in buildings that lack proper ventilation or that use fuel burning appliances without a vent. In some cases, these pollutants can create major health issues, in other cases they could kill.
- Carbon Monoxide – This odorless gas is a type of combustion pollutant and one that can be the most dangerous. It causes headaches, nausea, and can lead to death.
- Nitrogen Dioxide – Another odorless gas, this one can cause throat, nose, and eye irritation and increase the risk of developing respiratory infections.
- Molds – Molds are a growing problem in the country. Molds are organic living compounds that are most common in higher humidity areas but that can form in basements or damp areas of the home. They produce spores that are released into the air and are often inhaled by inhabitants of a structure. They can lead to rashes, breathing issues, sneezing, and more.
- Volatile Organic Compounds – These are essentially chemical fumes released by things like paint strippers, lacquers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, and other similar compounds. They can irritate mucus membranes and lead to health issues with the liver, kidneys, and the nervous system.
Improving Your Austin Home's Indoor Air Quality
There are several steps that you can take to help improve your indoor air quality. Some of the best ones include the following.
- Improve Ventilation - Opening a few windows every day for up to ten minutes can improve air flow dramatically.
- Add Some Plants – Studies have found that adding houseplants to a home can dramatically improve the air quality within it.
- Stop Smoking – Don't allow smoking in or around the home.
- Remove Your Shoes – Believe it or not, air quality can be impacted by debris and dirt that you track into your home on the bottoms of your shoes. Take them off and leave them by the door to prevent this.
- Let Clothes Dry – Whether washed and dried at home or at the dry cleaners, hang your clothes outside the home or outside the closet for a day or two first. This prevents mold.
- Use Safe Cleansers – Using safe, non-toxic cleaning products can help as well. Things like baking soda, vinegar, and peroxide can help with this.
- Use Ceramic Cookware – Non-stick cookware contains chemicals that can be released into the air and cause serious air quality issues.
- Avoid Commercial Air Fresheners – They might smell nice, but the chemicals released in commercial air fresheners and candles can damage your home's air quality in a huge way.
- Store Smart – Don't store paints, solvents, and other similar chemicals in your Austin home or in the attached garage. If need be, consider investing in a small storage shed for them.
- Upgrade Filters – Changing your furnace or HVAC filters could help. Upgrading to more expensive HEPA style filters can help remove a tremendous amount of contaminants from the air.
- Switch to Hardwood – Carpet can trap particles that can create poor air quality. Hardwood or laminate flooring looks great, is easier to clean, and is much better for your air quality.
All of these steps could help you improve your home's air quality and help you start feeling better as a result.
Is It Time For Help?
QUALITY HVAC of Austin can help you get better air quality throughout your home, and knowing when to contact us is important. You should let us evaluate your air quality if you notice any of the following consistently:
- Sore throats
- Asthma or allergies
- Development of other respiratory issues
- Memory loss, fatigue, and depression
You should always visit a medical professional if you're experiencing health issues, but if things persist it might be worth letting the pros take a look at your Austin home. Our team can determine whether or not steps need to be taken to improve your air quality. It could make a huge difference in your life.