Finding ways to live comfortably at home and spend more time indoors this past year played a major role in slowing the spread of COVID-19. However, while these efforts were monumental in boosting public health, being at home more often may have introduced more contaminants to your living environment and negatively affected indoor air quality. Whether you’ve been social distancing, working from home, or remote learning, here are a few top air quality concerns that became prevalent during the pandemic and the HVAC solutions that can help address them.
3 Air Quality Concerns That Arise When You’re Home More Often
1. Carbon Dioxide Pollution
Carbon dioxide is a natural gas people exhale whenever they breathe. While this gas isn’t usually harmful indoors, it can affect air quality if many people share an enclosed space or a home isn’t well ventilated. When carbon dioxide levels are too high, the substance displaces oxygen, making it more difficult to breathe. In some cases, high concentrations can also contribute to increased fatigue, eye redness, and headaches.
By circulating air in and out of the home, HVAC systems can promote ventilation to increase oxygen and reduce carbon dioxide indoors. To ensure your system is effectively removing pollutants and providing fresh air, have a professional conduct an annual tuneup. Replacing the air filters at least every 90 days will also ensure a cleaner environment.
2. Cooking Contaminants
During the pandemic, Americans dramatically increased the amount of time they cooked at home. However, cooking with heat is known to introduce fine particulate matter into the atmosphere. In high concentrations, these particles can cause respiratory issues and increase the risk of heart problems.
While you don’t have to give up cooking, you can keep fine particulate matter to a minimum by prioritizing ventilation, grilling outside when the weather is warm, or preparing meals that don’t require the stove. Choosing electric appliances over gas-powered equipment can also reduce fine particulate matter levels.
3. Cleaning Chemicals
Although many cleaning products can effectively eliminate airborne pathogens — such as the coronavirus — they emit chemicals that can impair air quality, cause irritation, complicate breathing, and introduce possible carcinogens. People are encouraged to avoid cleaning with bleach or other products that can lead to the formation of toxic compounds — such as those with chlorate, peroxide, or perchlorate chemicals. When cleaning, always increase ventilation by opening doors and windows to allow chemicals to escape.
If you want to breathe easier, Tin Man Heating & Cooling has the resources to optimize your home’s indoor air quality. Serving Bowling Green, OH, this HVAC contractor installs state-of-the-art appliances that effectively increase ventilation and filter out common pollutants. They also maintain and repair existing systems to ensure they’re operating for cleanliness and efficiency. Visit this heating and cooling specialist online to learn more about these services, or call (419) 353-4448 to schedule a convenient service appointment.
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