6 Common Household Products That Pollute Your Home’s Air

indoor air quality

Regardless of how clean you keep your home, you can always make it cleaner and safer. Now is an excellent time to look at some household products you’re using. Some may be more harmful than good. It may surprise some individuals that many products they have trusted for years are not as safe as expected. Some think that their HVAC system alone can keep the air clean. While your unit does an excellent job, you can help by being mindful of the household products you’re using. Keep reading to know how six of the most common household products can lead to indoor air pollution and what you can do in place of said products.

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What Is Indoor Air Quality?

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is the state of the air in or around a building, like a residential home or a commercial structure. It is linked to the health and comfort of that structure’s occupants. You can breathe safer and easier when you have good indoor air quality.

IAQ is a significant home concern if young children, elderly residents, and immuno-compromised people live in your home. High moisture and/or contaminant levels in the indoor air can result in a higher risk of health problems, like respiratory issues and allergies. This is why homes and commercial structures need to meet the standards for indoor air quality.

Help eliminate indoor air quality problems by learning how pollutants mix in with the air inside your home. You may be utilizing household products that significantly lower the cleanliness of the air inside your home. 

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Household Products That Affect IAQ

Here are six household products that impact your home’s air quality:

Cleaning Products

image of cleaning supplies that impact indoor air quality

The formula of many commercial cleaning products contains chemicals that can harm the environment and our health. Cleaning supplies can have strong synthetic fragrances, ammonia, bleach, volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. They can lower the indoor air quality in your home and result in a strong reaction, especially if mixed with other chemicals.

Solution: Learn how you can improve your indoor air quality naturally. Choose cleaning products made of environmentally-friendly ingredients. Avoid ones that have harmful substances. Use baking soda, vinegar, or other natural cleaners if possible. 

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If the smell of fresh paint lingers in the air, you are likely breathing an unsafe substance that’s not good for your health. Many of the paints sold and used contain VOCs with carbon compounds that can turn to vapor easily. When VOCs mix with the air, they react with other elements and generate ozone, which can increase air pollution. Paint continuously releases VOCs in the air as it dries, so you also keep breathing in this pollution.

Solution: Learn how to maintain clean indoor air. Make sure to choose a paint with low VOC. It is best that you go out of your way to search for VOC-free paint. Your lungs will be grateful if you do.  

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Aerosol Sprays

image of a aerosol spray can depicting indoor air pollution

Many products are packaged as aerosol sprays, including deodorant, perfumes, hair treatments, shaving cream, and deodorant. Cooking oil also comes in little aerosol spray cans, including chemicals like propellants (butane, propane, and isobutane), artificial flavoring, and a kind of silicone that keeps oil from foaming. 

Aerosol sprays were made to propel tiny liquid drops through the air. It is considered unsafe to use when the liquid has harmful ingredients. It was revealed over 30 years ago that aerosol sprays are polluting substances and are considered a threat to the environment. 

Solution: Limit the use or avoid aerosol sprays altogether if possible to avoid pollutants in the air. Many products come in other forms and can be used safely without impacting your home’s indoor air quality.

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Air Fresheners

All of us have used air fresheners to remove a bad smell at some point. However, did you know that it also has harmful ingredients? Some air fresheners can produce more than a hundred toxic chemicals to your health. These chemicals can also react with other elements in the air inside your home and turn into more harmful compounds. Inhaling even a tiny amount of air freshener can cause some individuals to sneeze or cough. The mist coming in contact with the skin can also cause irritation, itchiness, and redness. 

It may seem contradictory to have a product for “freshening” the air to cause problems with your indoor air quality. However, it isn’t surprising. Air fresheners are made with fragrance, propellants, and various additives that lower indoor air quality. 

Solution: Use natural ingredients to eliminate foul odors and improve indoor air quality. 

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image of candles depicting air quality solutions

Candles may seem harmless, but they still pose a health risk. Fortunately, not all candles are bad. You should only be wary of those made from paraffin wax. Paraffin is a by-product of coal oil, shale, or petroleum. Candles are likely harmless but release carcinogenic compounds into the air when burnt. One study also found that paraffin candles can emit fumes associated with asthma and lung cancer.  

Solution: Keep away from using paraffin wax regularly. If you use candles regularly, consider those made of more natural ingredients like beeswax.

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Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning utilizes an organic solvent to remove dirt, stains, and unpleasant odors. The solutions that dry cleaners use can be harmful, especially to individuals with pre-existing health conditions involving their liver, kidneys, heart, or lungs. Perchloroethylene (PERC) is the most problematic ingredient used in dry cleaning. It is a type of VOC that can be especially concerning if there is prolonged exposure to the chemical or if it occurs over a long period. 

Solution: Unwrap dry-cleaned clothes outside your home if you cannot avoid dry cleaning. Leave them outside so the harmful chemicals are released. Make sure to go to a reputable dry cleaning company, and don’t hesitate to complain if you notice your dry-cleaned clothes emit a pungent smell.

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Good indoor air quality management must include being actively aware of the different products that can cause problems with the air quality in your home. Keeping your indoor air quality safe isn’t only beneficial for your health but is also needed for the proper maintenance of the environment. Small steps can make a big difference. Being proactive will help ensure your home and everyone in it stay safe and comfortable.

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Call Van Varick & Sons For Your Heating & Air Conditioning Requirements

Van Varick & Sons provides top-quality HVAC services in Northern New Jersey. Our professionally certified technicians are experts in heating and cooling replacements, installations, repairs, and maintenance. All our experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled techs can service any HVAC system safely and correctly.

Our company offers the region’s most competitive cooling and heating service costs. We can help enhance your comfort and energy efficiency while lowering your home’s cooling and heating bills. We can also help you find practical solutions to improve indoor air quality.

Our reliable techs can recommend the best solutions if you need an HVAC repair or replacement system while keeping your budget in mind. All our work is backed by a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. Give Van Varick & Sons a call to schedule a service appointment. We offer free, in-home estimates. Call now!

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