Improve Your IAQ by Reducing Common Household VOCs

Keeping healthy, breathable air in your Sumter, South Carolina, home is crucial to lowering your risk of respiratory illness, and reducing your asthma and allergy symptoms. What you may be unaware of is that many of your household products can release dangerous, volatile air compounds in the air, making the air in your home far from ideal. Check out some of the most common VOCs you may have in your home.


Most people know that acetone is found in both nail polish and nail polish remover. You might not realize that it can also be found in furniture polish and wallpaper. While the wallpaper may require more work to eliminate, you can quickly reduce the amount of acetone in your home by using non-acetone nail polish and removers and opting for more natural water-based furniture spray.


Butanol is often found in sources that use heat. It can be emitted from cigarettes, burning candles, stoves, and barbeques. The first step to reducing butanol in your home is by making it a smoke-free zone. If you need to use a stove that emits butanol, make sure you use them outdoors. To help eliminate odors, use a natural air freshener made with citrus or consider burning soy-based or beeswax candles instead of traditional ones.


Dichlorobenzene is a common VOC that is often emitted in the home by mothballs and household deodorizers. If you have out of season clothing or blankets that you wish to prevent becoming damaged from moths, ditch the mothballs and instead pack them in airtight containers or garment bags with cedar chips in them. You also can add sachet packets of lavender. The smell will help keep moths at bay and even eliminate some of the odors in your home. For a more stubborn smell, sprinkle the area with baking soda, allow it to set for a couple of hours, and then vacuum it up.


Ethanol is found in many everyday household cleaning items. You will find it in many of your glass cleaners, dishwasher detergents, and laundry soaps. When using any cleaner that contains ethanol, you can reduce the amount of VOCs released into the air by opening the windows in the room they are being used. This will create some air filtration that will help to remove some of the released chemicals.


You may have heard about formaldehyde being used in funeral homes and biology classes, but you may be surprised to know that it could be contained in various places in your home. Formaldehyde can be found in molded plastics, flooring, and some furniture. When remodeling your home or putting in new flooring, you can choose furniture and flooring that is finished using less toxic water-based polyurethane finishes. When selecting items with model plastic, check the label to look for BPA-free plastics.


While air fresheners, scented soaps, and perfume can make your home and body smell better, it can release terpenes into your indoor air supply. For laundry detergent and soaps, use unscented natural or green options. To keep the air fresh in your home, create your air fresheners using citrus, lavender, or rosemary.


You can probably tell by the smell that paint emits that it is not good for the air in your home. Paint releases toluene in your air which can lead to headaches and other breathing problems. When adding fresh coats of paint, or remodeling areas of your home, look for paint with low VOCs and make sure to paint in an area that is adequately ventilated. If painting furniture, paint what you can outside or in an open garage. When you are done with the paint, make sure to tightly reseal it and store it out of your home.

Don’t let VOCs worsen your family’s asthma or allergies symptoms or ruin the indoor air quality in your home. Contact us at 803-753-4830 today to find out if an air purifier or air cleaner is the proper solution to your indoor air quality issue. One of our service technicians will help determine the best product to suit your needs.

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