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Your home’s indoor air quality is important not only for the comfort of your family but also for their health. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are harmful substances that are common in many homes, brought in via a multitude of household items, including many cleaning and craft supplies. Lowering the level of VOCs can help dramatically improve the indoor air quality in your Clearwater, Florida, home, making it healthier and more comfortable. Here’s a guide to reducing the VOC levels in your home to help you on your way to cleaner indoor air.

Locate Sources

The first step toward reducing the amount of VOCs in your home’s air is to locate the sources of the harmful contaminants. While it’s impossible to provide an exhaustive list of every household item that can emit VOCs, knowing the general categories can help you find these items. Chemical-laden cleaners, car products like oil, paint thinners, aerosol chemicals, spray paints, cigarette smoke, and formaldehyde are some of the most common sources of VOCs. Often, these are limited-use items, but VOCs can be introduced by construction materials that contain them, like wood floors and wall paint, as well as through lifestyle choices such as smoking.

Provide Adequate Containment

Once you’ve located the sources of VOCs, it’s time to contain them as best you can. Some VOC contributors, like wood floors or wall paint, can’t be contained but it helps to be aware of how they release dangerous chemicals into the air, typically due to poor humidity control. Many others, however, can be appropriately contained using airtight seals to keep the VOC contaminants inside. Many home improvement stores sell containers that work well to keep these compounds safely sealed away.

It can also help not to store these items inside your home but inside another structure like a garage or shed. If you choose to do this, it’s still important to provide some level of containment. VOC build-up inside these structures can be extra hazardous to your health when you have to enter them. Plus, many VOCs are also flammable, so keeping them adequately contained can help reduce the chance of them catching fire.

Use Appropriately

When using items that can release VOCs into your home’s air, it’s best not to use them inside your house. Home improvement projects or other occasions that call for their use should be done outside if at all possible. If you have smokers inside your home, having them move onto a porch or backyard while smoking can make a huge difference in your home’s indoor air quality and dramatically reduce the VOC levels inside your house. While not as potent, secondhand smoke can also contribute and is something to be mindful of. Home cleaners that contain VOCs should be used sparingly.

Ventilate Consistently

If you must use items that contain VOCs in your home, ventilation can go a long way in keeping the contaminants from lingering. Running your HVAC system while using them can help, as can separate fans or ventilation systems. Even an open window can make a huge difference. Having a constant flow and exchange of air not only keeps the air in your home from becoming contaminated with VOCs but can also keep you from getting dizzy and reduce other unpleasant side effects of VOC exposure.

Clean Contaminated Air

If you already have unhealthy VOC levels in your home, there are several steps you can take to improve them and restore your home’s indoor air quality. Besides the steps listed above, you can invest in air purification systems that work wonders by removing VOCs from the air and replacing contaminated air with clean, fresh air that will help make your home more comfortable and improve your family’s health. Many houseplants are also very good at removing VOCs from the air, especially formaldehyde. Ficus, spider plants, ferns, and lilies are a few examples. If you have pets, be sure to check whether the plants are toxic to your four-legged friends before bringing the plants into your home.

The experts at Advanced Cooling Systems can help you improve your indoor air quality and reduce VOC levels. Give us a call at 866-827-7662 to discuss our indoor air products today.

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