Your home is supposed to be a safe and happy place for you and your children. But what if it’s not? What if there are health risks hidden throughout your home – health risks you can’t always see? It’s time to start taking indoor air quality seriously.
Last year, a study was published in the journal Science of the Total Environment. The study, which was conducted by a team of scientists from Australia and Europe, found that greater effort needs to be given to monitoring indoor air quality in real time. However, even they may have been surprised by the results.
“When we think of the term 'air pollution,' we tend to think of car exhausts or factory fumes expelling gray smoke," the study’s co-author Prashant Kumar says. “However, there are actually various sources of pollution that have a negative effect on air quality, many of which are found inside our homes and offices. From cooking residue to paints, varnishes and fungal spores, the air we breathe indoors is often more polluted than that outside.”
Did you catch that last part? It’s possible that the air inside your home is more dangerous to your family’s health than the polluted air outside. However, there is a positive side to this unsavory finding. Unlike outdoor air pollution, which requires a collective commitment from millions of citizens, industries, companies, and governments in order to improve, indoor air pollution is totally within your control.
Before you can make the effort to improve the air quality inside of your home, you have to understand the problem. What’s causing poor indoor air quality and how can you eliminate these unhealthy factors? Well, here are a few of the most common elements that lead to unhealthy air. Learn more about them and consider if they’re present in your home.
Let’s start with one of the single most dangerous elements found in some homes: radon. This highly toxic gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. What makes it so scary is that, unlike the leading cause – smoking – victims are oblivious to the fact that they’re exposed to radon. It’s a colorless, odorless gas that naturally occurs from rocks and dirt. When outdoors, radon tends to be diluted to a low enough concentration that it doesn’t affect people. However, it can get trapped inside of homes and lead to long-term health issues.
Another extremely dangerous material, one that you’re probably more familiar with, is asbestos. Also a naturally occurring substance, many older homes have trace levels of asbestos in building materials. And while researchers say it’s fine if left undisturbed, inhaling asbestos fibers can lead to mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other serious health issues years down the road.
In humid environments, the growth of mold and mildew is often a problem. Typically, you’ll see mold in bathrooms – specifically in and around showers and tubs. However, it can also grow in the kitchen or other rooms where water is present. Mildew frequently builds up on wood and may be found around windows and doors.
Do you have dogs or cats in your home? For all of the joy that a pet brings, they often contribute to poor indoor air quality. Things like pet dander, saliva, and shedding can all create a high concentration of allergens inside the home.
You may think you’re doing your home a service by using various commercial cleaning products to wipe down floors, countertops, windows, mirrors, and bathroom fixtures. However, many of the ingredients found in these cleaning products are toxic. It’s almost always better to make your own household cleaners with organic ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon.
The heating sources found inside your home keep you warm, but do they emit dangerous CO, nitrogen dioxide, VOCs, and other particulate matter? If you have gas or wood fireplaces, gas or oil furnaces, or gas water heaters, then you’ll want to be aware of how these systems are used and where they’re located.
The final one is a no-brainer, but smoking inside the home is a leading cause of poor indoor quality. Even smoking outside and then entering the home is dangerous. Some of the smoke that’s absorbed by your skin, hair, and clothing will inevitably be released into the air.
Being unaware that your home’s air quality is poor is one thing. Knowing and not doing anything about it is something entirely different. Now that you’re aware of the various factors that contribute to poor indoor air quality, it’s time to do something about it.
The first step is to purge your home of any and all elements that could be contributing to poor air quality. This may include toxic chemicals and air fresheners, disturbed asbestos, mold and mildew, and cigarette smoke.
Then, once the root causes are removed, you should focus on cleaning your house from top to bottom. Finally, in addition to regularly maintaining a clean house, you should invest in an air purifier system and regularly change out furnace filters.
If you follow these three steps, there will be a noticeable difference in the quality of your home’s air. It’ll take time, effort, and perhaps a little bit of elbow grease, but your commitment to protecting your family won’t go unrewarded.
When it comes to keeping your home’s air safe and healthy for the entire family, you need to make sure you’re filtering out the all of the toxins and microscopic elements that hurt your health and immune system over time.
At Atomic Filter, we’re here to provide families like yours with the leading air filters and air purifiers for your home’s various systems. Atomic has leading brands and compatibles for Carrier, Lennox, and Whirlpool, but they’re heavily discounted and delivered to your doorstep without delay.
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Getting the right filter for your furnace is not as easy as it used to be as new and old homes alike are switching to more sophisticated systems to protect the air quality in our homes. Originally HVAC filters were designed to protect the expensive equipment from dust and debris that could damage the systems and reduce performance. As indoor air quality in our homes has become a greater concern Companies like Lennox and Carrier have designed highly efficient systems to purify the air in your home. The more sophisticated Lennox PureAir systems, for instance, require replacement of both high-efficiency furnace filters and ultraviolet bulbs and catalytic filters. The fact is these new HVAC systems are providing ultra high-quality air in our homes to help protect the health of families, but often replacement parts and filters can seem to be costly if you do not know insider secrets.
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Many furnace filters are can easily be replaced with another brand and you may be able to get equal quality air filtration at a significantly lower price. But just because a filter has the same size printed on it as your current filter does not mean it is a suitable replacement. The Nominal size the filters may have printed on the filter and found in the title of the product is often different from the actual size of the filter. This Totaline P102-1625 has a nominal size of 16x25x1 but the printing on the filter also shows the actual size as "Size". This filter also lists compatible model numbers: M1-1056, AMP-M1-1056, P102-1625 and 918395.
When you are buying your air filter online most important thing to know is Air Filters have two sizes that you need to understand the Nominal size and the Actual Size. Not understanding these numbers often leads to consumers purchasing a filter that does not fit their Furnace or HVAC system.
Not understanding the Nominal Filter Size is the primary culprit for incorrectly purchased filters.The Nominal Size is the usually the dimensions used to Label the filter. For instance 16x20x1. These dimensions are a rounded value on the filters actual measurements. The actual measurements on this filter may be 15.5x19.5x.75, but that could vary by brand and manufacturer. So in order to make sure you have the correct size filter, especially if you are replacing with a different brand it is important to confirm the actual size on the filter. When purchasing filters on the internet the Nominal size is usually found in the product title.
The actual size as you might have guessed are the actual dimensions of the filter by length, width and thickness. This size is often on the filter right below the Nominal size and is usually labeled as the actual size. When you are buying a filter online the actual size is sometime in the product bullet point or the product description. If your filter does not have actual dimensions on the outside of the filter, you can measure you filter to get the correct dimensions. Some brands have a foam gasket on the outside of the filter, in this case, you will want to make sure you have a compatible actual size and that it also has the foam to ensure a snug fit.
|Size||Example 1||Example 2|
Furnace filters should fit securely but should not have to be forced into position. If you have to force the filter into its slot, then it is probably too big. Forcing an improper filter size in a filter can cause it to buckle, damaging the filter or reducing its ability to function properly. Filters are a smaller than their slot to allow for easy replacement. Some HVAC units may need a filter with dimensions that are unique or uncommon. In these cases, a custom filter needs to be ordered.