Indoor Air Quality Tips
Baker & Son’s Air Conditioning offers the following indoor air quality tips to help keep our Sarasota area customers breathing healthy and clean air.
Dirty air filters don’t work well, even if they’re high quality HEPA filters. Different manufacturers recommend changing filters more/less frequently than others, but changing them every three months is a good rule of thumb. To ensure your HVAC and air filtration system is functioning correctly, it’s also important to schedule a yearly maintenance check.
Don't Use Pesticides
If pesticides are used on the lawn, pets and people with both be tracking them in to the house. If insects are a problem in the home, it’s recommended that you avoid toxic sprays, and use traps or boric acid instead.
Choose Building Products Wisely
Kitchen cabinets, plywood, particle board, OSB (oriented strand board) and insulation can all contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Try to avoid building materials containing formaldehyde by opting for alternatives like solid wood materials.
No Flexible Vinyl
Select floor and wall coverings that aren’t made with flexible vinyl, which contains PVC. PVC often contains lead and phthalate plasticizers. Dust from wallpaper and flooring can contain these materials, which are toxic and indoor air contaminants. Simply avoiding flexible vinyl materials can reduce the risk of encountering them.
Use Cedar, Not Mothballs
Replace your mothballs with cedar blocks, shavings or balls. Mothballs work because they contain naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene, both of which are harmful to moths. But their also harmful to you – cedar isn't!
There are a number of things that can cause moisture in and around your home, which can be a breeding ground for mold, so it’s important to stay on top of these items. To avoid household moisture make sure your roof is in good shape and that you always keep gutters cleared and downspouts connected so water can freely drain away from the home. Inside you want to make sure bathrooms are properly ventilated and that you fix all leaks and dripping faucets.
Choose Beauty Products Carefully
The quality of the air inside your home is diminished by acetone fingernail polish remover, nail polish itself and many man-made fragrances. Some people can even experience breathing problems when essential oils are present.
Testing for radon is important because this radioactive gas is both colorless and odorless, so it can't be detected. Exposure over time causes lung cancer, so it truly is a silent killer. Today's homes are constructed air-tight so if radon is present, it can be a serious problem.
No Smoking Inside
Tobacco smoke contributes up to 4,000 airborne contaminants, 40 of which are known to cause cancer. You don't need to be an expert to understand why no smoking should be allowed inside your home.
Open Windows and Doors
It’s important to let fresh air in to the home even during the winter months, so open your doors and windows from time to time. For less impact on your heating bill, do this during the warmest part of the day. Opening one window or door on the top level of the home and one on the bottom can create an updraft that rapidly pushes out stale air and replaces it with fresh air. To accomplish this during the summer, do the same thing but at night, when the outside air has cooled some.
Nonylphenols and octylphenols are suspected hormone disrupter chemicals that can build up in your home, so avoid cleaners that contain them. Product labels don’t always list all ingredients, so it’s a good idea to just avoid those products. Vinegar and baking soda can don’t leave any toxic fumes behind, but can be effective cleaners