What Are VOCs and How It Can Affect Air Quality in Your Home


People would be surprised to know that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air can be up to 5 times dirtier than outdoor air, mostly because of cooking residue, varnishes or paints, pet dander, and mold and mildew, among a few. These can be considered health hazards, also known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs. 

Outdoor air is already dirty enough, so you should keep your indoor air quality at its best. A professional plumbing service can help improve indoor air quality and live a better life at home. But first, we need to know what VOCs are and how to improve indoor air quality. 

What are VOCs? 

Also known as Volatile Organic Compounds, VOCs refer to gases emitted from certain products and are considered health hazards. VOCs usually come from human-made products such as paint, cleaning, aerosols, and pesticides, among a few. These products typically contain VOC ingredients such as benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, ethylene glycol, etc. 

Exposure to VOCs can harm animals, humans, and the environment and cause throat irritation, allergic reactions, headaches, and cancer, in the worst cases. VOCs react with other chemicals that further pollute both outdoor and indoor air. You can test indoor air quality through DIY tests and professional methods. 

VOC levels are often measured in micrograms per cubic meter. More than 3 micrograms per cubic meter of naphthalene can put you at risk for cancer. On the other hand, more than 0.94 micrograms per cubic meter of formaldehyde can cause eye and nose irritation.

How to reduce VOCs at home 

Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce VOCs at home. The two best ways you can do so are by reducing exposure to VOCs and improving ventilation at home. 

For example, ensure your windows are open when cleaning, painting, or using products containing VOCs. You can also place a fan that will blow the indoor air outside. Keep your home ventilated even after doing your tasks. If you bought a carpet or rug recently, let it air out outside first to reduce VOC concentration. 

Look for products that have low or no VOC content. Natural products such as hardwood, bamboo, or cotton contain low VOC levels than polyester, plastic, engineered wood, and other synthetically-made products. Use only what is needed if you need to buy or use products containing VOCs. Avoid storing these products in your home to prevent further exposure to VOCs. 

Special filters can also help remove VOCs from the indoor air you breathe. Carbon air filters and purifiers can help improve indoor air quality at home. Adding ventilation in your home can also enhance and freshen indoor air quality. 

Meanwhile, your AC is to cool your room and condition indoor air. That means it helps remove moisture from your home. More water could produce bio growth in your AC and cause a weird smell coming from your AC when you turn it on. If you want to improve indoor air quality, better if you contact a professional plumbing service in Spring Hill, TN, today!


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