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Summer Renovations can Impair Your Indoor Air Quality

Are you doing some renovations on your home this summer?  See how your indoor air quality is impacted

Summer is a time that we tend to complete those indoor renovations like carpet and paint.  It’s nice to have the doors open for ventilation or take a break from the house and go outdoors.  As you complete those summer projects, it’s a good idea to check on how your indoor air quality will be impacted.  After all, we’re breathing that air as we sleep, eat, and relax from the heat.  There can be serious ramifications to IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) during renovation projects and immediately following installation. You know about radon gas, mold, and carbon monoxide, but here are other sources of pollutants and some actions you can take to address them.

Source: New carpeting

That “new carpet smell” actually consists of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) such as formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene that can cause headaches and respiratory diseases.

Action: Buy carpeting certified “Green Label Plus.”

Before new carpet is installed, ask to have it unrolled and aired-out in a space (like a warehouse) for 72 hours. If that’s not possible, try to stay elsewhere for the first 72 hours after installation.

Indoor air quality in summerSource: Old carpeting

It’s filled with household dust and particles you track in from outdoors with your body, shoes and clothing.

Action: Invest in a quality HEPA vacuum cleaner.

Consider having your home air ducts professionally cleaned.

Source: Cleaning products.

Products such as chlorine bleach, rug cleaners, ammonia, paraffin, and even dryer sheets also release VOCs.

Action: Use natural products such as hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, and baking soda.

Look for candles made of beeswax or vegetable oils. And don’t accept dry-cleaned clothes with a strong chemical odor.

Source: Gas kitchen stoves.

They emit nitrogen dioxide and need proper venting.

Action: Make sure the kitchen – and the rest of the house – is well ventilated.

For more information, go to www.epa.gov or you can view this “Tour of the Indoor Air Quality Demo House.”


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