Sneezing a lot? Your first instinct may be to blame outdoor allergens, but did you know that your sniffles may be caused by poor indoor air quality? With Americans spending 90 percent of their lives indoors, this is actually the more likely scenario. If you want to breathe easier at home, you'll want to deal with your indoor air pollution culprits.
What Are Some Indoor Air Pollution Culprits?
According to the EPA, indoor pollutant levels may be two to five times greater than outdoor levels – and in some instances more than 100 times higher. Here are some of the most common types of indoor allergens that impact the air quality at home:
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): Carpets, furniture, cabinetry, building materials, paint and other man-made items within a home can release harmful VOCs.
Household chemicals: Cleaning products, air-fresheners, personal care products such as hairspray and cosmetics, and even glues used in hobbies and crafts can all be respiratory irritants.
Combustion: Use of oil, gas, kerosene, coal or wood to heat a home can generate pollutants ranging from smoke to carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
Tobacco use: Cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products release airborne contaminants.
For people with severe allergies or asthma, these nasty air particles can be especially dangerous. In order to protect yourself, you need to make sure that your air is regularly being cleansed of these microscopic menaces.
How To Banish Those Indoor Air Pollution Culprits? Try Clean Air Filters!
To do so, it's important to select the correct filter for your home. Every HVAC filter has a MERV rating, which measures how efficiently the filter captures pollutants that pass through your heating and cooling system. MERV ratings range from 1 (least efficient) to 16 (extremely efficient). Some studies show that medium-efficiency filters — in the MERV 7 to 12 range — strike the best balance between allergen removal and filter cost. Learn more about MERV ratings in this article.
Home Air Filters: The Lungs of Your Home
Home air filters are the virtual "lungs of your home." The average HVAC system circulates the air in your home--and any contaminants--roughly five to seven times each day. As air enters your system, the filter catches contaminants that can trigger common chronic health conditions, such as asthma or other severe allergies. When your air filter is clogged, it will strain harder to remove these contaminants, increasing your utility bills and shortening your HVAC equipment’s life. At this point it’s time to replace your filter.
What if you forget to change your air filter? Unfortunately, it’s often easy to forget. For one, it’s often hidden in some dark corner of your home, making it easy to ignore. And, even if you have a good memory, you probably end up guessing when it’s the right time to change it.
Breathe Easier at Home With Clean Air Filters
Products like the new CleanAlert FILTERSCAN WiFi® tell you exactly when to change your filter by monitoring air pressure differences in your heating/cooling system. After the pressure reaches a certain predetermined level, the monitor will send a filter servicing reminder to your Smartphone or tablet, meaning you won’t have to ever guess again.
With a properly maintained air filter, you’ll know indoor air polution culprits can't prevent you from breathing easier at home.
Have clean home air filters helped you breathe more easily at home? Let us know in the comments.