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Resources Blog What The EPA Says About Indoor Air Quality

6 Things the EPA Says About Indoor Air Quality

A typical Grove, OK, resident spends about 90% of their time indoors. Most of that time is spent in one's home, closely followed by the workplace. If your home or workplace has poor indoor air quality, your health, comfort and well-being could suffer. Read on to learn six things the Environmental Protection Agency has to say about indoor air quality.

1. Source Control Comes First

A simple, cheap and effective way to improve indoor air quality is to control the sources of indoor air pollution. Choose adhesives, toners and paints that are free of volatile organic compounds. Select cleaners that are free of harsh chemicals. Use exhaust fans when cooking, soldering, sanding or woodworking. Choose drywall, flooring and furniture that uses environmentally friendly materials. Reduce the use of new plastic products. Schedule routine maintenance for appliances that burn gas as a fuel source.

2. More Ventilation Is Better

The EPA strongly recommends increasing ventilation for indoor spaces as a method of improving indoor air quality. This means bringing in more fresh outdoor air, filtering it and distributing it throughout the structure. Consider installing an energy or heat recovery ventilator. These systems bring in fresh air and remove the old air without increasing the workload on the heating and cooling system. Exhaust fans, attic fans, whole-house fans and roof vents also increase indoor ventilation.

3. Lifestyle Changes May Be Needed

What you do in your indoor spaces has a big impact on the indoor air quality. The EPA suggests several lifestyle changes you can make to improve the indoor air quality. When cooking, cleaning or showering, use exhaust fans to remove the volatile organic compounds and odors from the air. Before bringing dry-cleaned clothing, plastic items, upholstered furniture or furniture sealed with stain guards, allow the items to off-gas outdoors or in a garage for a few days.

4. Air Filters Are Important

According to the EPA, one of the best yet simplest things you can do to improve the quality of indoor air is use a top-notch air filter. Air filters for heating and air conditioning systems are rated with the minimum efficiency reported value (MERV) system. The MERV ratings range from 1 to 20. The higher the rating, the more particles the filter captures. High MERV-rated filters capture up to 99.9% of allergens, bacteria, viruses and parasites from the air. If you're concerned about the spread of influenza, COVID-19 or other respiratory viruses in your home or office, select an air filter with a MERV rating of at least 16. You'll pay more for these filters, but they are medical-grade products that hospitals use to maintain a sterile and sanitary environment.

5. Air Purification Systems Help

There are several types of air purification systems to consider for your home or office. A portable air purifier is good for a small space, such as a bedroom or a single office. However, a whole-house air purification system cleans all of the air in your home. There are also commercial-sized purification units. Air purifiers for homes may use electrostatic filters, ozone or UV light to sanitize the air and trap particles. Commercial air purifiers use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, UV-C lights or both of these. Air purifiers can remove up to 99.97% of viruses, bacteria and other particles from the indoor air. They reduce the risk of spreading respiratory illnesses and decrease the level of allergens and volatile organic compounds that trigger breathing problems.

6. Consider Duct Cleaning for Better Air Quality

Most homes and workplaces have ducts that deliver the heated or cooled air to the living spaces. Over time, dust and debris settle in the air ducts. Not only does this obstruct airflow, but it also contributes to indoor air quality problems. Pests, wild animal nests, pet dander and other debris can also get into the ducts, triggering allergy attacks. If you've noticed more allergy symptoms or can't use an air purifier because of sensitivity issues, consider professional duct cleaning. It may lessen your symptoms and help keep your space cleaner.

At B&B Heating and Air Conditioning, we're proud to be the trusted provider of indoor air quality solutions in Grove, OK. The community also turns to us for dependable heating and cooling maintenance, repair, replacement and installation. Our pre-season tune-ups and planned services keep you comfortable all year long. To learn more, contact us at B&B Heating and Air Conditioning today.

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