Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals released from various items as they age. Thousands of household products can release VOCs, and these compounds can have both short- and long-term consequences on your health. VOCs are much more concentrated inside than outside, so it’s important to take measures to avoid VOCs entering the indoor air ventilation systems in your home.
Act Mindfully With Home Improvements
Read the labels carefully on all home improvement products, including paint, wallpaper, carpet and flooring. Follow the instructions carefully, particularly when it advises you to ventilate your workspace well. When possible, avoid items that emit VOCs in favor of safer alternatives. Try the following swaps:
- Water-based polyurethane instead of oil-based products
- Wool, cotton or sisal instead of vinyl and synthetics
- Ceramic, linoleum, bamboo, cork or recycled glass instead of wood sealed with formaldehyde or vinyl
Learn to Recognize Common VOCs
There are many different VOCs to watch out for, but recognizing the names of the most common ones will help you avoid them. Formaldehyde, benzene, chloride and perchloroethylene are found in many products and have documented negative health effects.
Though you would expect cleaning products to create a healthier and safer home environment, many emit VOCs. The same is true of some air fresheners. Avoid VOCs in your home by using natural products; vinegar, baking soda, salt and lemon juice are powerful cleaning agents. You can give your home a lovely scent with essential oils.
Take Care of Your HVAC System
Change the filter in your HVAC system every one to three months. Dust left too long can lead to mold growth, which can be hazardous to your health and negatively impact your indoor air quality. Also be sure to have your HVAC system professionally serviced twice a year.
Learn more about how you can avoid VOCs, as well as United Air Conditioning’s indoor air quality solutions, or call us at 727-531-0496 to schedule an appointment!
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