Making the air in your St. Louis, Missouri, home easier to breathe can result in better health for your loved ones. Luckily, there are many ways you can improve the indoor air quality of your home. One of the easiest ways is by managing the amount of volatile air compounds that release into the air. Below are tips to prevent your indoor air quality from suffering when using VOCs.
Only Buy the Amount of Product You’ll Use
Sometimes you may find yourself overbuying in an attempt to save a few dollars. Unfortunately, even when properly stored, chemicals are a primary source of VOCs. If you need to buy large quantities of household products, consider buying low-VOC or green brands.
Store Whatever You Can Outside of the House
You should store any chemicals that don’t require temperature control in a detached garage or outdoor shed. This includes gas cans, paint thinners and pesticides. Remember that any smelly chemicals should be as far away from the inside of the home. You also should store equipment that utilizes oil and gas, such as snow blowers and lawn mowers, away from your home.
Seal Off Your Attached Garage
If you don’t have an outside shed and your garage is attached, consider sealing it off. This means adding weatherstripping around the entrance and filling in any loose holes. You’ll also want to check around your ductwork and vents that feed into the garage if your HVAC system resides there. The rule of thumb is to find any connection between the garage and your living area and make sure you seal it properly.
Trust Your Instincts
Your nose knows when something is off. If you’re smelling cleaning products, paint or other chemicals, you’re essentially inhaling VOCs. If you notice these smells, open the windows to air out the home and remove the product from the house. When planning possible large renovations, such as painting, consider waiting until it’s warm enough to open the windows of the room in which you’re working.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
Proper ventilation is key to ensure VOCs get out of your home’s air supply. Always make sure to have exhaust fans in the kitchen and consider running them when using cleaning supplies. Just make sure they aren’t running constantly to avoid building up a negative pressure in your house and actually draw in VOCs from an attached garage. Run the fans until the smell dissipates, and then turn them off. If you do other projects in your home, such as woodworking, invest in additional exhaust fans that can draw the VOCs from the chemicals you’ll need to use outside.
Toss Out Your Chemical Air Fresheners
Plug-in and spray air fresheners are great at masking smells and making the air seem fresher. But there are many fine particles that come from the air freshener. Sometimes they aren’t listed on the bottle and can be extremely toxic. Additionally, some will contain the chemical terpene, which is a fragrant chemical that can lead to health problems when it lingers in your indoor air, such as respiratory issues.
Liven Up Your House and Air With Indoor Plants
Indoor plants won’t only enhance the decor of your home. Many will clean the air by filtering out dangerous VOCs. Plants such as English Ivy are often referred to as air filtering plants. If you place them around your home, they can help improve its indoor air quality.
Add an Air Purifier to Your Bedroom
Your bedroom is one of the places where you’ll spend the most hours in one space in your home. Therefore, improving the air quality in that room is crucial. Choose air purifiers with carbon filters that’ll filter small contaminants and VOC particles.
Don’t let VOCs worsen the indoor air quality in your home. Contact Averill Heating & Air Conditioning at 314-328-0437 to find out more about the best air purifiers and ventilation systems.
Image provided by Thinkstock