Indoor Air Quality Alert! Would the EPA Consider the Air in Your Living Room a Health Risk?

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At this point in the year, most Arizonans experience cabin fever, having spent months inside to avoid the intense heat of the Arizona summer sun. Did you know Phoenix residents spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors? This year, there have been more 100 degree-plus days than ever before. Being inside to avoid the extreme temperatures means breathing indoor, air-conditioned air for many months in a row. It might be worth a few minutes of your time to consider making changes to improve the quality of the air you breathe indoors.

EPA Guidelines for Air Pollution

Most people find it hard to believe, but the air inside your home may be worse quality than the air circulating outside. In an article entitled, The Inside Story, A Guide to Indoor Air Quality, the EPA states, “In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities.” Given the challenges Phoenix residents face in terms of desert winds, dust storms, automobile pollution, particulate matter and regular inversions due to area geography, the fact is Phoenix outdoor air quality is less than ideal. That means the air indoors needs to be filtered and cleaned.

The Good News? Your Home Is Insulated – The Bad News…

The bad news is, in terms of indoor air quality – your home is insulated. In the last 10-20 years, many homeowners have taken the time to add insulation to their homes and install completely airtight windows and doors to increase the value of their home. Adding insulation has many benefits, but one of the drawbacks is there are fewer chances for open windows or sufficiently airing out your home. Most people understand the concept of recirculated air on airplanes and the challenges that presents. In airtight Phoenix homes with triple insulated windows it’s somewhat similar. Air is being filtered then recirculated through your home many times per day.

Keeping Your Entire AC System Clean – Including the Vents

The key to fresh air inside your home is keeping your entire HVAC system clean as a whistle. That includes installing new air filters once a month, having your AC unit cleaned, vacuumed for dust and dirt blown out of the coils at least once per year (ideally twice per year) and having your vents checked for the 4-Ds – dust, dirt, displacement and dripping water. Depending on how old your house is, your vents may not have been checked in years. Even if your vents are clean, it is not uncommon for AC vents to get knocked out of place, creating holes in the system that can suck in dust and unwanted particulates.

Indoor Air Quality – The Invisible Challenge

For most of us, our indoor air quality seems fine, but take a moment to think about it. Did you ever catch a shaft of sunlight shining in through a window in the late afternoon and notice an inordinate amount of dust floating in the air? Does anyone in your family suffer from asthma or respiratory distress? Do you have pets that you love to pieces who are also filling your house with pet dander? Indoor air pollution can even occur from household cleaning products, handyman projects and home hobby materials. Why not take a moment to call Chandler Air, and let one of our indoor air professionals do a complete work up on the air quality in your house?