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Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can have a significant negative effect on your family’s health and your indoor air quality in the Sumter, South Carolina, area. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines volatile organic compounds as compounds containing carbon that can evaporate into a vapor at normal temperatures and indoor conditions. According to the experts at the American Lung Association, these chemical compounds can cause a number of negative effects on health:

  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Damage to the central nervous system
  • Nausea and gastrointestinal upset
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Cancers of the lungs and other organs and systems
  • Skin irritation

Finding ways to reduce the concentration of volatile organic compounds inside your home can help you to improve your indoor air quality. Here are four proven strategies for limiting the buildup of VOCs inside your Sumter, South Carolina, home.

Reduce Your Use

A fairly long list of household products can produce VOCs inside your home. Limiting your use of these products or taking steps to choose options without harmful VOCs can reduce your risk of serious health issues that have been associated with long-term exposure to these chemicals. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, some of the most common products to avoid include the following:

  • Solvents, adhesives and glues
  • Paints and paint thinners
  • Pesticides, including moth repellents
  • Toner for copiers
  • Preservatives for wood, leather and vinyl
  • Tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars and pipes
  • Air fresheners and household cleaners

By limiting your use of these items at home, you can ensure the best indoor air quality for yourself and your family. When these items are needed, buy them in the smallest practical quantities to reduce the number of leftover materials and to limit the amount of VOCs released by these substances.

Practice Safe Storage

Making sure that the chemicals, paints and thinners you do use are stored in your shed or other outbuilding can reduce their impact on your home’s indoor air. In many cases, partially used paint cans and thinner containers can be disposed of through a community drop-off point for hazardous or potentially toxic materials. This can help you to keep your home organized and can prevent accidents and other issues that could arise because of the presence of these materials in your garage or other areas of your home.

Increase Ventilation

Another way to limit the concentration of volatile organic compunds in your residence is to upgrade your ventilation system to increase the amount of fresh air inside your living spaces. Adding fresh outdoor air can reduce the concentration of volatile organic compounds and other pollutants inside your home. Modern air handling systems can incorporate ventilation solutions that are specifically designed to improve the air quality of office buildings, private residences and public spaces. By upgrading your HVAC system to incorporate these ventilation options, you can provide a healthier environment for yourself and your family inside your home.

Purchase Wisely

Some furniture and carpeting may be treated with chemical solutions that could potentially release VOCs into your Sumter home. Research the products you plan to buy to determine whether they could be sources of VOCs. By opting for VOC-free products, you can improve the quality of your indoor air and protect the health and safety of your family at home.

The friendly and courteous technicians at Air Solutions Heating and Cooling can provide you with expert advice to improve the quality of your indoor air. We offer professional maintenance and repair for HVAC systems and the most advanced solutions for air filtration and ventilation in our area. To learn more about our indoor air quality solutions and how they can help your family to breathe easier, call us today. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.