Did you know that the average American spends about 90% of their time indoors where the concentration of indoor air pollution is two to five times higher than outdoor concentrations? Poor indoor air quality can lead to several health issues, especially for family members who suffer from asthma, allergies, and other respiratory illnesses.

In our most recent blog, the professionals at Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric discuss what homeowners and businesses in Chicago’s North Shore need to know about Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and how to make improvements to the quality of your home’s air supply.

Common Indoor Contaminants

Indoor air quality is compromised when contaminants are present. As all people are different, so too is their sensitivity to contaminants. But the very young or very old, those suffering from asthma or other respiratory ailments, or anyone with a specific sensitivity will be more susceptible to contaminants in the air.  Here are some common indoor air contaminants to look out for in your Chicagoland home:

How to Improve Poor Indoor Air Quality

Now that we’ve discussed common contaminants that can cause poor indoor air quality in your home, let’s discuss ways you can improve it, which will result in fewer health problems and can also preserve your home.

The following are some strategies to improve indoor air quality:

  1. No smoking. Perhaps the single most important thing for you to do is to prohibit smoking in your house. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, and second-hand smoke is especially unhealthy for children.
  2. Keep your floors clean. Many contaminants make themselves at home on your floors, and they can accumulate for decades. Start by putting floor mats at every door and have people wipe their shoes before entering your home. Better yet, have them take their shoes off. Vacuum the floor a few times a week with a vacuum cleaner that has strong suction, rotating brushes, and a HEPA filter. After you vacuum, mop to pick up the dust the vacuum cleaner did not get.
  3. Keep humidity between 30% and 50%. The best way to do this is to buy a whole-house dehumidifier in the summer when the air is filled with more moisture. Here are some other ways to keep humidity under control during the warm months: a. Crack a window when cooking, running the dishwasher or bathing b. Vent the clothes dryer to the outside c. Empty drip pans in your window air conditioner and dehumidifier d. Do not overwater plants e. Fix leaky plumbing to prevent mold
  4. Test for radon. Radon is a radioactive gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer. It generally enters the home through cracks and holes in the foundation. If your home has radon, contact a professional abatement company.
  5. Be careful with fragrances. Those lemon and pine scents in everything from laundry products to air fresheners may emit dozens of gasses. Here are some things you can do: a. Avoid aerosol sprays b. Buy fragrance-free or naturally scented laundry and household cleaning products c. Use mild cleaners that do not have artificial fragrances d. Use sliced lemons and baking soda to create a fresh scent…safely e. Open the windows to let in fresh air
  6. Clean and/or replace your furnace air filter. One-inch air filters should be cleaned or replaced monthly; thicker metal filters should be replaced every six months. 
  7. Install a recovery ventilator. This ventilation system constantly replaces a small percentage of the air in your home with fresh air from the outside.
  8. Install a whole-house air cleaner. A whole-house air cleaner attaches directly to your HVAC system and can remove up to 99.88% of contaminants and particulate matter in your home.

Contact Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric for Indoor Air Quality Services

Ravinia Plumbing offers a full supply of indoor air quality systems to keep your home healthy and comfortable, including whole-house air cleaners, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and recovery ventilators. Ravinia Plumbing has been in business since 1928, and we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the most trusted and reliable plumbing, sewer, HVAC, and electrical companies in Chicagoland. Contact Ravinia Plumbing today to schedule an appointment for indoor air quality installation or repair services.