VOCs or volatile organic compounds are present in most homes. While small amounts are unavoidable, high levels can affect the health and comfort of your household, especially if you have members with sensitive lungs. Here are five ways you can reduce VOCs in your Carrollton, Texas home.
One of the best ways to prevent VOCs from getting into your home is to properly seal up sources. Common sources of VOCs include open paint cans, gas, aerosol containers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, and other chemicals. While we aren’t suggesting you don’t use these items at all, it is important to keep them sealed up as much as possible. Avoid keeping open containers in your home and ensure that any of these items that are in your home are completely and totally sealed to prevent leakage.
Alternate storage is another great way to keep these items out of your home. Many of the VOC heavy products can be stored outside in a separate shed or in a garage that’s been properly sealed off from your home. Keeping them away from your home can dramatically lower the amount of VOCs in your home.
In that separate storage area, be sure that your items are still properly sealed. Improperly sealed containers in a small space can lead to a buildup of VOCs that can make you feel sick when you enter it. Plus, if that area is attached to your home, like your garage, you need to be sure to test the insulation around the garage door to make sure those airborne chemicals can’t leak back into your home.
Many home cleaners include a damaging amount of VOCs. VOCs are vapors that cleaning products and other chemicals leave in the air. These remaining particles are what contain harmful chemicals that can irritate sensitive lungs and are linked to serious health concerns like cancer and asthma.
Luckily, it’s fairly easy to find low VOC cleaners nowadays and many companies are putting out cleaners for more sensitive homeowners. You can also create your own VOC-free cleaners in your home, which is a great way to not only reduce VOCs but also customize your cleaners with fun organic scents. Common household items that work well as cleaners include baking soda and vinegar. Making this switch can lower VOC levels and improve your overall air quality.
Ventilation is vital for indoor air quality and the reduction of VOCs. Whether you’re using a ventilator or opening the windows, ventilation helps by replacing VOC-laden air with fresh clean air and therefore improve your home environment. Any time that you use VOC products in your home, including craft supplies, cleaners, and pesticides, be sure to crack open a window or activate your home’s ventilation system.
Your HVAC system may also help regulate those levels so keeping it running will improve your VOC levels as well. This can also help keep humidity levels in your home low, which is important because VOCs can attach themselves to moist air and make the buildup more noticeable.
Many homeowners try to mask the scent of VOCs with chemical house fresheners, but these oftentimes also include VOCs which leads to even higher levels in your home. Aerosol fresheners and plug-in scents can both lead to an increase in VOCs so the use of these should be limited if not completely restricted. There are plenty of ways to make your home smell nice without resorting to chemical options. Diffusers, candles, and homemade aromatherapy solutions can improve the smell of your home without affecting your air quality.
A popular, scent-free way to reduce home smells is using baking sodas, charcoal, or coffee beans. You can also consider using houseplants to keep the air in your home clean so long as you don’t have any household members who may be sensitive to plants in the home. Ferns, spider plants, and fig plants make great air cleaners.