Indoor Air Quality Frequently Asked Questions
What is Indoor Air Quality?According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), your exposure to air pollutants can be up to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors. The American Lung Association estimates that most people spend 90% of their time indoors, so clean indoor air is very important.
What can I do myself to enhance my home's air quality?
There are several everyday steps you can take to reduce the pollutants circulating in your home, including:
- Store household cleaners, paint solvents and chemical products in tightly sealed containers. If possible, keep them outdoors
- Clean and vacuum at least once a week
- Regularly wash bed linens and stuffed toys
- Keep windows closed when pollen, pollution and humidity levels are high
- Make sure your home is properly ventilated. (Modern homes are well insulated and sealed to conserve energy, which means airborne pollutants have no way to escape)
- Keep humidity levels within a healthy, comfortable range to prevent growth of mold and mildew (25% - 55%)
- Avoid using scented deodorizers and odor-masking air fresheners, which may cause toxic chemicals
- Have your HVAC system regularly inspected to make sure it is clean and in good operating condition
- Choose furnishings that emit the smallest possible amount of chemical vapors.
- Do not allow smoking inside your home and make sure all gas appliances are properly vented
Many household items contribute to poor indoor air quality. Compounds found in carpeting, furniture, upholstery and drapery fabric consistently emit gas or fumes. Other sources of pollutants can include, but are not limited to, cleaning agents, paints and personal care products.
Newer homes that are tightly sealed for energy efficiency tend to limit air circulation, which can contribute to a buildup of contaminants.
What are the benefits of clean air?
Allergies and asthma are two health problems that can be helped with clean indoor air. When airborne irritants are removed, allergy and asthma sufferers often find relief from their symptoms. Even healthy people who have never suffered from allergies can benefit from clean air. By removing airborne dust particles, you reduce the amount of exposure your respiratory system has to them.
How can I improve my indoor air quality?
There are five basic strategies for outsmarting indoor air pollution:
- Identify the problem
- The first step toward better indoor air is to identify the types of pollutants present in your home. The best way to do this is to schedule an indoor air quality test with Gibson’s Heating & Plumbing
- Improve ventilation
- Moisture condensation on walls or windows and stuffy air are signs of poor ventilation. A qualified Gibson’s service technician can inspect your comfort system to determine if this is the problem. The technician can also inform you whether or not your equipment is working properly
- Purify the air
- Bacteria, dust mites, animal dander and mold may also be a source of your home's odor problem. You can reduce these odor causing contaminants with a germicidal (UV) light, which inhibit the growth of biological contaminants, sterilizing surfaces in the HVAC system
- Activated carbon and microbicide-treated filters can also purify your home's air. Both the carbon and the microbicide-treated filters remove odor and kill bacteria. The carbon filters are more effective at removing odor, and the microbicide-treated filters trap bacteria as the air is pulled through, which inhibits biological contaminants from growing
Poor indoor air quality can be the cause of numerous health problems. Medical groups report that as many as half of all illnesses are caused or aggravated by indoor air pollution.
The air inside your home is more polluted than the outdoor air.
It’s true! So why is the air inside your home so dirty? There are a few reasons. First, your home traps air inside circulating little from outside to inside. In that air are irritants like dust, pet dander, cigarette smoke, bacteria, molds and fungus. The only method of cleaning the air in your home is a filtration system attached to your furnace. Even the best of filters get dirty and can’t even approach capturing all the pollution in your air.
So what can you do about it?
Call Gibson’s for a complete and thorough cleaning of your air ducts and ventilation system. Our method uses a specialized, powerful vacuum that sucks air and dirt through the system, while long agitators are inserted into the ducts to dislodge dirt and debris that are stuck on the inner surfaces. A HEPA filtered vacuum system collects the dirt in a containment unit and we haul it away! Another thing you can do is to change your filters on a regular basis and have Gibson’s install a UV Light.
- Benefits of Air Duct Cleaning
- Better Air Quality
- Less Dust
- Removes Allergens & Dirt
- Help Eliminate Odors
- Reduces Housekeeping Chores
- Dirt build up and darkening of air duct vents and cold air returns.
- Shading of painted surfaces near air ducts. This is dirt!
- An unusual amount of dust on furniture and countertops.