How Volatile Organic Compounds Can Affect Indoor Air Quality

How Volatile Organic Compounds Can Affect Indoor Air QualityYou may not know it, but your home is host to a wide variety of airborne particulates that can cause physical distress, from allergies to headaches, nausea and more. Among the worst of these particles are volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. VOCs are organic chemicals that turn to vapor at room temperature.

Both manmade and naturally occurring, they are everywhere, and while you can’t get rid of them totally, you can do a lot to control them and improve your indoor air quality.

Sources of VOCs

One of the best ways to control VOCs is to keep them from entering your home. So here are some of the sources for VOCs, which you may want to think about eliminating or containing in your home.

  • paint
  • adhesives and glue
  • carpets and textiles
  • dry cleaned clothing
  • cleaners
  • pesticides
  • stored fuels
  • disinfectants
  • aerosols
  • perfume
  • pressed wood products

Putting the Lid on VOCs

Here are some ways to contain or keep VOCs out of your home.

  1. Cap all chemicals tightly. Store them in cabinets, or better, away from the living space, in the garage.
  2. Air out carpets, textiles, drapes, pressed-wood products and dry-cleaned clothing for a few hours or longer before bringing these items into your home.
  3. Buy natural products whenever possible. Avoid pressed wood or particle board, as they give off formaldehyde. You can also look for alternative items with low VOC emissions.
  4. Open windows when working with cleaners and other chemicals.
  5. Install a dedicated ventilation system. Most homes are airtight these days, so it’s sometimes challenging to get as much fresh air as you need. We can’t always open the windows in Broken Arrow, due to dust and cold winds, so to add fresh air to your home, you may want to install a dedicated ventilation system.
  6. An air purifier with an activated carbon filter can do wonders to absorb not only odors but some VOCs in your home.

Curious about other tips on controlling volatile organic compounds in your home? Contact Air Assurance of Broken Arrow. We have been providing quality service since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about VOCs and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 918-217-8273.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Stephanie Lirette/Shutterstock”