Improving Poor Indoor Air Quality
Many homeowners have begun to recognize that airtight homes along with daily life that tends to keep us inside most of the time are two factors leading to greater concern about the quality of our indoor air.
Just as energy-efficient building practices led to these developments, industry insiders continue to seek better air quality by improving the systems that heat and cool our homes.
You may have heard the stat that 90 percent of people spend most of their time indoors. But you may not realize that 65 percent of that time is spent in our own homes. That’s a stat shared by ASHRAE.
Industry Solutions Ahead
ASHRAE, or the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, has been an industry voice on the subject of indoor air quality.
“Acknowledging reports that air quality inside homes can be worse than outside, engineers have identified ways to move air in and out of homes to minimize the factors that lead to indoor air quality problems,” the association said. “The key is to design HVAC and other systems to work together to effectively ventilate homes and minimize sources of indoor pollution.”
As they work to create standards that improve home comfort systems now and in the future, there are also some steps you can take right now to make breathing easier.
What You Can Do
Removing the source of the pollutant and increasing ventilation are standard solutions for homeowners addressing indoor air quality. These activities include:
Improve Ventilation – Make sure your bathrooms, kitchens, laundry areas and fireplaces are appropriately vented to the outside. Minimize use of unvented sources of indoor air pollutants, such as cigarette smoke, candles and indoor grills.
Store Chemicals with Care – Household cleaning products that contain toxins, pesticides and paint solvents should be kept away from your living space.
Filter and Clean Air – Keep clean filters in your HVAC system, changing them regularly. Also, consider upgrading to a system with a built-in air cleaner.
Open Windows – When weather permits, open your windows to increase air exchange, especially when working with hobby solvents or household cleaning products.