What Are You Breathing In: The Importance of Air Quality Control

One of the reasons that we believe so strongly in regular maintenance of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in homes and offices is that it helps improve the quality of the air that people breathe. On average, Americans spend about 90 percent of their time indoors. While that may be slightly lower here in sunny central Florida, a significant part of most people’s daily life is still spent inside their homes and offices. That’s why proper ventilation and regular maintenance of your Orlando air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems are essential.

What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?

Many people think of bad air quality as something they encounter outdoors. However, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the level of pollutants indoors can be two to five times higher than outdoors, and sometimes much greater than that. No matter how clean you keep your home, you and your family are breathing in a number of toxic substances without realizing it. If you own a business, particularly one where people are working together in relatively close quarters in a sealed-up building, some of the substances may be different, but they can still be dangerous.

Newer residential and commercial properties are constructed to seal in heat or air conditioning and protect those inside from the outdoor elements. However, they are also sealing in pollutants. Of course, older structures with less-effective insulation also create similar conditions with regard to many years of accumulated pollutants.

Below are just a few common causes of indoor air pollution:

  • Construction and flooring materials: Paint, wood, furniture, carpets and other flooring materials emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which have been shown to be ten times higher indoors than outdoors. Some VOCs have been linked to liver and kidney damage, cancer and even central nervous system problems.
  • Household and personal care products: Spray products like air freshener, hair spray and cologne can release VOCs as well. Of course, pesticides are a particular culprit.
  • Mold, mildew and bacteria: These are among the bacterial pollutants in our homes and offices that release toxins into the air. Dust mites and pet dander also fall into this category. They most commonly cause allergic symptoms, but can cause other health problems as well, including digestive issues, fever and dizziness.

How You Can Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

It’s important to minimize the sources of indoor pollution when you can. These include spray pesticides, air fresheners and cleaners. Of course, regular cleaning, particularly vacuuming and dusting, are important for minimizing biological and other types of pollutants.

If you are renovating your home or office or you are purchasing new flooring, furniture or cabinetry, look for “green building materials” or for items made from these materials. They are becoming easier to find and contain fewer toxins.

Control Humidity and Improve Ventilation

Ideally, to minimize mold, mildew and dust mites, the indoor humidity level should be between 30 and 60 percent. If you have humidifiers, clean them regularly and make sure the water is fresh.

Keep areas like bathrooms and basements where moisture collects clean, dry and well-ventilated. Make use of your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans and consider portable or window air conditioners. Of course, if you can keep the windows open while temperatures are comfortable, that helps with ventilation too (assuming that you are not letting in dangerous outdoor pollutants like paint fumes or pesticides.)

As one of the leading HVAC companies in Orlando, Florida, Gembecki is committed to our customers’ comfort. That’s why in addition to the quality HVAC products we sell and service, we also offer our Comfort Club program. By joining the Comfort Club, you will receive routine inspections by our certified technicians. They will inspect your air conditioning and heating equipment, air filters, thermostats, electrical wiring and much more.

By keeping your HVAC system running smoothly, not only can you help minimize the number of pollutants in your home or office, but you can extend the life of your Orlando air conditioning and heating equipment. If you have any specific concerns or questions, our technicians have the experience and knowledge to answer them (or get you the answers you need). With a Comfort Club membership, you also get a 10 percent discount on labor and parts plus preferred scheduling. Call us today to find out how Gembecki can help make your indoor environment safer and more comfortable.

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