We’ve spent a lot of time on the blog discussing how to identify issues with your ductwork. However, this is only exceptionally interesting if you’ve recently bought a house or even suspect someone that has visited contracted a virus, such as COVID-19.
Today we’re discussing something of great importance, which has to do with identifying how you may be contributing to dirty ducts without even realizing it.
“Walking into a modern building can be compared to placing your head inside a plastic bag filled with toxic fumes,” says a CDC report. Clean indoor air is genuinely a great road to better health.
If you’re like most homeowners, it probably isn’t your fault your home’s air is dirty — after all, no one warns against the hazardous everyday habits that contribute to indoor pollution. Fortunately for you, today, we’re bringing those dangerous habits to light. If you’re guilty of these four practices, it’s time to start changing your ways!
Everyone thinks that burning candles will help clear and purify the air in your home. Sadly, it’s true — many commercially available candles contain volatile organic compounds that disperse into your home’s air as they burn. Candles with the petroleum derivative, paraffin — which encompasses most candles on the market — emit many of the same toxins that diesel fuel gives off as it burns. That will come as a huge surprise to any homeowner.
Even candles that don’t contain paraffin can be hazardous to your respiratory system due to the scent ingredients.
You can still burn candles indoors. Here’s how to cut down on your indoor air quality’s adverse effects:
● Trim the wick. Avoid burning candles with wicks that are longer than ¼ inch.
● Ventilate. Always burn candles in well-ventilated areas, but avoid placing them directly in the path of indoor drafts.
● Limit burning time. Try to keep your candles burning for one hour or less. Allow your candles to cool fully before relighting the wicks.
● Avoid petroleum derivatives. Opt for candles that use a soy or beeswax base. These candles release far fewer VOCs while burning than their paraffin-based cousins.
Using Harsh Cleaning Products
Anti-bacterial cleaning sprays, bleach, and air disinfectants wreak absolute havoc on your indoor air quality because they contain laundry lists of ingredients that are terrible for your respiratory health.
Like paraffin-based candles, many household cleaning products release dangerous VOCs into your home’s air, including compounds like:
Unfortunately, each time you use these products, you not only breathe in those compounds directly but also expose other household members. To reduce you and your family’s risk of respiratory complications, opt for natural household cleaners, such as vinegar, baking soda, and the good old fashioned standby, dish soap.
Neglecting Adequate Ventilation
If your home isn’t well ventilated, pollutants and indoor air contaminants cannot exit your home. Adequate ventilation helps funnel these compounds outdoors rather than inside your lungs, so be sure to periodically open windows to allow indoor-outdoor air exchange. To keep air flowing freely throughout your home, you should also make sure to keep your ceiling fans running and take advantage of the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms.
Neglecting Your Air Filters
If you’re prone to forgetting about your air filters, you’re not doing your indoor air quality any favors. HVAC filters trap a specific quantity of dust from your air ducts, and when they’ve started to operate, they begin pushing dust and other particles into your home’s ambient air.
To keep your indoor as pure as possible, be sure to change your system’s filters according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule, which typically means every six months. If you have pets or allergies, you may need to replace them more frequently, perhaps at two- to three-month intervals. And, to further protect yourself and your loved ones from respiratory distress, consider implementing an air purification system along with routine filter changes.
During the long Minnesota winters, indoor air quality is paramount.
It’s a smart idea to save the cigarettes for outdoors, but if you must smoke inside, professional duct cleaning can help reduce the toxins and chemicals present within your home.
Indoor Air and Contaminants
If you regularly smoke indoors, your indoor air quality is low—there’s no arguing that fact. So, even when you’re not actively smoking, you’re still inhaling toxins and chemicals constantly, as long as you’re inside your home.
Professional duct cleaning is an intensive approach to removing chemical and toxin buildup within your ductwork to enjoy fresher, cleaner indoor air. However, for indoor smokers, duct cleaning alone is often insufficient to detoxify indoor air adequately.
Installing UV filters within your home can further improve your indoor air quality, as the system will remove 99.97% of even the tiniest airborne particles and chemicals.
Get in touch with Vent Medics today, and see what a difference clean air ducts and dryer vents can make for your family’s health.
If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.