Source control refers to improving indoor air quality by reducing or eliminating the source of the pollutants. Our homes have various sources of pollutants such as construction materials, furniture, decor, cleaning supplies, cooking, and breathing (don’t stop breathing). With good practices and minor adjustments, you can reduce poor indoor air quality from the source.
The effect of humidity on IAQ
Humidity is an essential factor in IAQ because when the humidity is too high, it allows for an optimal environment for microbial growth and dust mites. And when humidity is too low, you may experience dry skin or static electricity shocks. Use an exhaust fan when showering or cooking to help control humidity levels. Learn more about humidity control.
The effect of candles and fragrances on IAQ
Candles and other fragrances often release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your home. You can either reduce the use of candles and air fresheners, find alternative, non-toxic solutions, or eliminate their use. Another option is to ventilate your home to dilute the concentrations. Learn more about ventilation.
The effect of cleaning supplies on IAQ
Everyday cleaning supplies release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your home. When cleaning, properly ventilate your home and consider buying eco-friendly cleaning supplies that do not produce harmful VOCs and other toxins. Learn more about ventilation.
The effect of building materials on IAQ
Building materials can often release VOCs. VOCs and even microscopic fiberglass insulation can make their way into the home in a poorly sealed attic that reaches high temperatures. Additionally, paint can release VOCs in warm temperatures. Ensuring your home stays cool will help reduce the release of VOCs from paint and building materials. It is essential to measure the IAQ in your home to check when VOCs and other particulate matter levels are high. Learn more about ventilation and filtration.
The effect of furniture on IAQ
Furniture has an impact on the IAQ. Some furniture quickly collects dust and is hard to clean due to the material and design. Furniture also releases VOCs. To help reduce VOCs from furniture, off-gas the furniture before bringing it inside, regulate the home's indoor temperatures, and have good ventilation in your home. Learn more about ventilation.
The effect of personal Practices on IAQ
Personal practices also play a role in the IAQ of your home. In your kitchen, consider purchasing an induction cooktop and always turn on your exhaust fan to reduce the number of pollutants. When showering, turn on the exhaust fan to help control the humidity levels in the bathroom and avoid microbial growth. Outdoor shoes are unsanitary and bring dust, dirt, debris, and other bacteria. Avoid wearing your outdoor shoes at home. And finally, be sure to clean your home regularly to prevent the build-up of dust mites, dead skin cells, and hair.
The effect of breathing on IAQ
When breathing, we release carbon dioxide as a byproduct. It is inevitable, and there is not much we can do about that. Carbon dioxide can build up in the home and is a source of poor air quality. Ventilation will bring fresh air from the outdoors, diluting the carbon dioxide levels in your home. Learn more about ventilation.
The bottom line
It is impossible to remove all of the sources of poor air quality in our homes. However, we can help significantly minimize them. Some good practices are to: Always turn on the exhaust fan when cooking and showering. Eliminate the use of candles, fragrances, and cleaning supplies that release VOCs in the home. Remove your shoes when you arrive home. Have good ventilation and filtration to dilute and remove high concentrations of airborne pollutants. Ensure you have a properly sealed attic to reduce infiltration to your home. Use a smart thermostat to maintain safe temperatures indoors. Control your home's humidity levels to limit microbial growth and dust mites.