What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?

What is Indoor Air Quality?

Indoor Air Quality, or IAQ, is described essentially as the quality of air within a building. This could be in homes, office buildings, schools, hospitals and more. Poor indoor air quality is caused by a variety of factors, almost all of which create indoor air pollution.

Indoor air pollution is a key health concern, particularly for people who have asthma and allergies; but IAQ is not something that is typically on most people’s minds. Even if there are clear indicators, such as ill health effects, poor IAQ can be difficult to detect, as symptoms of indoor air quality mimic those of colds, seasonal allergies, and more. The effects of actual indoor air pollution, though, can be far more hazardous than a common cold. Poor IAQ can cause respiratory or other health issues and could potentially lead to cancer.

It’s smart to be mindful of what creates poor air quality and indoor air pollution. Below we list the most common causes of poor IAQ.

Asbestos:

This building material is no longer used in home construction but can certainly be found in older homes. If your home has asbestos it can create a variety of health problems, such as mesothelioma, lung cancer and other serious complications.

Pets:

Our furry friends offer a lot of great companionship, but they also can contribute to poor IAQ if not properly cared for and clean up after. Bathe and groom your pet as directed by your veterinarian to prevent dander buildup on your pets skin. Dander is simply a term for the microscopic particles of skin that flake from your pets during normal activity. Buildup up dander in the home can cause issues for everyone, not just pet allergy sufferers. Clean your home regularly to rid it of pet debris, and consider upgrading your HVAC air filter to a HEPA filter.

Gas Stoves:

They produce wonderful food, but they can potentially be compromising your indoor air quality by leaking harmful chemicals throughout your home. If you have a gas powered space heater, avoid using this as well for the same reason.

Formaldehyde:

Formaldehyde is one of the most common indoor air pollutants, and cause severe health problems for those exposed to it for long periods of time. Symptoms of formaldehyde exposure include throat irritation, itchy and red eyes, dry nose, and other allergy-like symptoms. Long term exposure can lead to cancer.

Tobacco Smoke:

If you or anyone else in your household smokes indoors, your indoor air quality is suffering. The smoke can cause a variety of health concerns from respiratory irritation to lung cancer. The smartest thing you can do for the health of your indoor air is to quit smoking. If this isn’t possible, then designate your home as a smoke-free zone and take it outdoors—ideally 25 feet away from your place of residence.

Consider an Air Purifier for Better IAQ

Once you have conquered all the indoor air pollutants listed above, consider adding an air purifier to your home. At Cal Air, we offer the Carrier Infinity Air Purifier System, which can remarkably improve the quality of your home’s indoor air. Live in the Green Valley area and want to learn more about this incredible system? Call us at 702-550-1435.

Top Houseplants for Improving Your Home’s IAQ

Indoor Air Quality, or IAQ, is important to your health and well-being—especially if you’re like most people in the US and you spend a good deal of your time indoors. Poor IAQ can lead to a variety of issues from common complaints, such as headaches or runny nose, to more serious health complications. Fortunately, houseplants can help!

During the 1980’s, NASA conducted a 2-year long research study aimed at finding ways to create a healthy atmosphere for astronauts traveling in outer space. Through this study they found that certain plants have the ability to actually filter out harmful pollutants from the air. Read on to learn more about some of the top plants that this study found to help purify a home’s indoor air.

Best Houseplants for Indoor Air Quality

 

Best Houseplants for Indoor Air Quality

Another smart way to improve your home’s IAQ is by having your home’s ducts sealed. At Cal Air, we have expert technicians that can perform air duct sealing that will stop excess cooling loss from your A/C, as well as prevent contaminants from entering and building up in your ductwork. Call us today to find out how we can help improve your home’s IAQ, as well as help you save money on your home’s energy bills, with Aeroseal air duct sealing: 702-550-1435.

4 Ways to Combat Indoor Air Pollution

It’s important to understand how indoor air pollution can impact the health of you and your loved ones. Indoor air pollution creates poor indoor air quality, and since most of us spend a great deal of time indoors, having bad air quality indoors can cause health problems that you don’t want to ignore. From watery eyes to longer term health problems, having bad indoor air quality can be quite problematic for those living within a polluted indoor environment. Read on for four easy and effective ways to combat indoor air pollution in your home.

The quality of the air you breathe matters. Don’t become a victim of poor IAQ! Instead, follow these simple guidelines for keeping your home’s air healthy and your loved ones happy.

Combat Air Pollution

 

Combat Indoor Air Pollution

For more information on to further improve your indoor air quality, give us a call. We can help you determine the best IAQ solutions for your home as well as make sure your current HVAC system is functioning at its very best. Call: (702) 550-1435

Las Vegas Indoor Air Quality Report: What Homeowners Need to Know

The average American spends approximately 90% of their time indoors, whether at work, school or home. That means that the quality of the indoor air matters. Indoor Air Quality, or IAQ, is an important aspect of the home that many homeowners overlook. Understanding how IAQ affects the health of you and your family can help to reduce illnesses due to polluted indoor air. With poor indoor air quality in the home, you and your family may be vulnerable to health issues that could appear quite soon after initial exposure, or sometimes even months or years later depending on the type of airborne contaminants in your home.

Every geographic area is different when it comes to the types of pollutants that can make their way into your home. It’s important for those living in Las Vegas to understand the specific IAQ issues they may face so that they can work to improve the quality of their indoor air. Below, we’ll dive a little deeper into what Las Vegas homeowners need to know about indoor air quality.

Las Vegas Indoor Air Quality: What You Need to Know

In Las Vegas, smog is reported at dangerous levels, resulting in a poor IAQ rating from the American Lung Association. The air outdoors can sneak in and accumulate indoor, which causes your home’s indoor air quality to suffer. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to asthma, heart conditions, and other health risks that could cause serious illness or potentially death, especially for more vulnerable household members such as the elderly or small children.

The aim should be to achieve excellent indoor air quality, as it the healthiest option for you and your family. Here are a few simple steps you can take to improve your home’s IAQ:

  • Change your HVAC system’s air filter. Since filters vary, you’ll want to change it as frequently as the manufacturer suggests. We recommend checking your filter about once every month and replacing the filter once it appears unclean. If you live with pets, consider getting a HEPA filter.
  • Look for any mold or mildew in your home. This is especially important to look for in the basement, garage, and other areas where the environment may be damp. Remove any standing water in your home, and if you suspect mold or mildew, call in a professional so they can combat this contaminant at its source.  
  • Have your home tested for radon. Radon is an unsafe radioactive gas which can cause severe health effects. The air outside of your home usually has very low levels of radon, but this substance can build up indoors in hazardous concentrations.
  • Get your ducts sealed. Getting your air ducts sealed helps reduce the buildup of pollutants in your home, and it can also prevent your HVAC system from leaking cool or warm air. This will not only improve your indoor air quality, but it will also improve the efficiency of your HVAC system.
  • Consider getting an air purifier. Your indoor air quality can be greatly improved with a Carrier Infinity air filter, which is also known as a whole house air purifier. Give us a call today for more information on how this device can reduce pollutants in your home’s air: 702-550-1435

Cal Air cares about you and your loved ones’ health. That’s why we aim to help you achieve better indoor air quality in your home. Don’t forget the role your HVAC system plays in your indoor air! Have your HVAC system checked out regularly. We recommend an HVAC tune-up twice per year to make sure that your system is running smoothly and efficiently. Check out our Preventative Maintenance for residents and business owners, and learn how we can help improve the quality of your Las Vegas indoor air.

 

Healthy Home Living: Tips for Creating a Healthier Home Environment for Your Family

Did you know that the air inside of our homes is often just as polluted as the air outside? Though we like to think of our homes as safe and healthy spaces for our families, the truth is that we need to make small changes in order to keep our homes healthy in the long-run. Use the simple tips below to create a healthier home environment.

Healthy Home Living Tips

Maintaining a healthy home doesn’t have to be hard. Here are five of our top tips for creating a healthier home environment for you and your family:

  1. Ventilate your space.

Adequate ventilation is important in your home environment both for your family’s comfort and health. Proper ventilation works to continuously rid the air of common indoor pollutants, such as built up gases, cooking odors, and smoke. Proper ventilation will also prevent excess moisture in the air from settling into your home’s insulation.

An easy way to improve ventilation in your home is to open the windows slightly when cooking, cleaning, and bathing. At least once a week, turn off your HVAC system and open all the windows and allow your space to “breathe” for about an hour, even during the cooler months. Another easy solution is to allow as many interior doors as possible to remain open. This will help your indoor air circulate effortlessly throughout your home and prevent “stale air” buildup within certain rooms.

  1. Dust regularly.

Excess dust and debris can result in poor indoor air quality, so it’s a good idea to dust and vacuum your home regularly to prevent dust buildup. Be sure when vacuuming to clean out your air vents and registers, as dust and debris often lingers in these hard to see areas.

When dusting and vacuuming some amount of residual dust will get kicked up and eventually will settle back down onto surfaces throughout your home. By switching on your thermostat’s “FAN ON” function, you’ll be able to filter out a significant amount of this residual dust. Only run this setting for about 15 minutes, and then switch back to your “AUTO” setting.

  1. Change your HVAC air filter.

We cannot recommend enough that you frequently change your HVAC system’s air filter. This is a task that needs to be done more often than annually. Ideally, you should check your air filter once per month, and get to know what a clean filter looks like versus a dirty filter. Once your system’s air filter becomes dirty, it’s time to replace it. Depending on whether or not you have pets, whether you engage in projects that kick up a lot of dust, or how often you run your heating or cooling units, you may need to change your filter more often than the manufacturer’s recommendations.

  1. Avoid toxic chemicals when cleaning and repelling pests.

You can easily improve your home environment by switching your cleaning products to eco-friendlier versions. Many of these “green solutions” are also easy to DIY: use diluted vinegar for cleaning mirrors and glass, diluted lemon juice for bathrooms and kitchen countertops, and baking soda + seltzer for stubborn areas such as sinks or removing stains from upholstery.

When purchasing pest repellants, seek out non-toxic options whenever possible. Look for traps and other methods that are non-toxic, so you can keep your home pest free while ensuring your home is healthy for you and your loved ones.

  1. Add houseplants.

Houseplants not only add a touch of nature to your home environment, but they are also excellent to have around for indoor air quality. As plants take in the CO2 from the air, they release oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. This natural boost of oxygen makes the air easier for you to breathe, creating a healthier environment for both mind and body.

Some plants that are simple to care for are Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, English Ivy, Rubber Plants, and Spider Plants. Place them around your home depending on their individual light requirements. Every room can benefit from having a houseplant or two. Just don’t forget to water!

For more ideas on home improvement, air quality and more, subscribe to our blog. Each month we post new and informative content for Las Vegas homeowners.

Are Plants Good for Indoor Air Quality? (and Other Commonly Asked IAQ Questions)

If you’re like most people, you spend about 90% of your time indoors; therefore, the quality of the indoor air you breathe is pretty important. Pollutants can enter into your home’s air and cause headaches, dizziness, nausea as well as ear, nose and throat irritations. Below, we offer advice on some of the most commonly asked questions about IAQ and how you can improve the quality of air within your home or office space.

Commonly Asked IAQ Questions

Here are answers to some of the top questions about indoor air quality:

Q: I’ve heard that certain houseplants can be beneficial for indoor air? Is it true that plants are really that helpful for indoor air quality?

A: Yep, it’s true! Not only will adding a few houseplants to your home increase the aesthetic appeal of a room, but by doing so, you will also improve your home’s air quality.

The way it works is simple: Plants absorb particulates from the air through their leaves and roots while they are taking in carbon dioxide. During photosynthesis, the carbon dioxide and other gases are converted into oxygen, which gets released back into your home’s indoor air. Basically, plants act as living air filters by taking in the air’s pollutants and releasing them as clean oxygen.

In addition, beneficial micro-organisms are present in your plant’s potting soil, and these little guys are also valuable to the air you breathe. The microbiomes that exist within your plant’s soil help to stabilize your home’s air by increasing biodiversity, which helps prohibit the outbreak of pathogens within the air.

Q: Which houseplants should I choose to improve the air quality in my home or office space?

A: For best air cleaning abilities, choose leafy green houseplants, such as:

Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, or the “Snake Plant” is a perfect starter plant as they are super hardy, thrive in a variety of environments, and—according to NASA—remove several air pollutants including benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene. If you’re forgetful, this plant is a great choice, as it thrives on relatively infrequent watering.

Spider Plants are especially great for plant novices since they require little care, and can survive a missed watering or two. They are not only easy to grow, they also remove both formaldehyde and xylene from your home’s air.

Another helpful houseplant is the Peace Lily. These beautiful plants will flower for most of the year if kept in low light with moist, but not overwatered, soil. They are not only easy on the eyes, but also easy on the air as they remove ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.

Q: What other ways can I improve my home’s indoor air quality?

A: Here are just a few ways:

  • Change your HVAC system’s air filter regularly. Check your filter at least monthly and replace with a clean air filter when it becomes dirty. A clean air filter is essential in keeping pollutants from circulating around in your home’s air.
  • Vacuum registers, vents, and any other hidden dusty spots, such as behind large appliances. Keeping your home free of standing dust and debris is an easy way to keep your home’s air cleaner and healthier.
  • Consider a Whole House Air Filter—this type of filter provides more protection than a standard HVAC air filter. We are proud to offer the Carrier Infinity Air Purifier, which is designed to eliminate airborne irritants such as dust, mold, and allergens. If you’re curious as to how this state-of-the-art air filter can help you achieve excellent indoor air quality, then give us a call: (702) 550-1435

Benefits of Controlling Indoor Air Quality

Air quality has a huge impact on your indoor environment, both at home and in the workplace. In turn, the quality of your indoor air depends largely on the health of your household or commercial HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system. A well-maintained system provides several distinct benefits, especially when it comes to your ability to stay healthy.

HVACs and Air Quality

An HVAC system is designed to heat and cool the air inside a sealed indoor environment. When running during any part of the year, the system acts as the main portal for essentially all of the air passing in and out of your home or workplace. This is especially true in many office buildings, which have windows that don’t open. When indoor pollutants (e.g., dust, cigarette smoke and toxic gases) accumulate, your HVAC system plays a crucial role in removing these hazards from the air and preserving air quality. In addition, if not properly maintained, your HVAC system has the potential to actively introduce air quality problems in the form of disease-carrying microorganisms or toxic gases.

Air Quality Benefits

The chief benefits of controlling indoor air quality are all health-related. For example, you have smaller chances of getting sick if the air you breathe at home or on the job doesn’t contain high levels of bacteria, mold, fungi or other microorganisms. Similarly, you have smaller chances of experiencing asthma symptoms or developing some sort of allergic reaction if the air you breathe doesn’t contain lots of mold, pollen, dust or pet dander. An indoor environment free from carbon monoxide and secondhand cigarette smoke is substantially less likely to promote the potentially fatal short- and long-term health conditions associated with exposure to those substances.

Getting the Best From Your HVAC System

There are quite a few things you can do to get the best out of your HVAC system’s ability to control indoor air quality. The most basic step is setting up a regular maintenance program that involves steps such as changing out dirty filters and checking for leaks and wet insulation (a perfect environment for the growth of many dangerous microbes). An HVAC professional can help you develop an effective maintenance routine, in addition to carrying out all aspects of that routine. An HVAC professional can also equip your system with an air-purifying unit designed to eliminate the vast majority of possible airborne pollutants, as well as a monitor designed to check for the buildup of carbon monoxide, formaldehyde or any other common toxic gas. In addition, a heating and cooling specialist can install devices that support high ongoing air quality by checking temperature and humidity levels inside your home or place of business.

Make sure to bookmark this blog and check back often for more information on the best ways to preserve your indoor air quality.

Your Gas Furnace & Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide PoisoningYou may be wondering what exactly is carbon monoxide and how can it affect your home? Carbon monoxide is a gas that is colorless, odorless, and toxic. Carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete combustion of solids, liquids, and gaseous fuels. Any appliances that are fueled with gas, oil, kerosene, or wood are capable of producing carbon monoxide. Our team here at Cal Air want to provide you with all the information involving carbon monoxide and your gas furnace that you need to know in order to keep both you and your family safe.

Where does Carbon Monoxide come from?

Carbon monoxide comes from devices that burn fuels such as a furnace. When your furnace is kept in good working condition it will produce very little carbon monoxide. By improperly operating or improperly venting your furnace it can produce high amounts of carbon monoxide sometimes even fatal amounts into your home. It is very important that you take proper furnace safety precautions to ensure that your home does not get large amounts of carbon monoxide flowing throughout the air.

What is the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Any person or even an animal that is living in a space that contains a furnace should be considered at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide exposures have a significant affect on unborn babies, infants, and people that have anemia or a history of heart disease. Just buy breathing in low levels of carbon monoxide it can cause fatigue and increase chest pain in people who have chronic heart disease.

Each year there are nearly five thousand people who are treated in the hospital emergency rooms for carbon monoxide poisoning.

How to prevent your furnace from releasing too much carbon monoxide

You should start out preventing carbon monoxide by regularly maintaining your furnace, ensuring it is installed properly, and used right. It is never a bad idea to give us a call here at Cal Air to come out and make sure your furnace is operating properly. After all proper installation of a furnace is crucial to ensure that no carbon monoxide is being released into your home. During the installation process you should make sure that your furnace is vented properly according to the manufactures instructions. You should next call one of our quality technicians to come out and perform regular maintenance on your furnace.

It is very important to us at Cal Air that your home is free of carbon monoxide so that you and your family will have a safe environment to live in. Never hesitate to give us a call to come out and check your furnace after all you should be one hundred percent sure that your furnace is not producing a lot of carbon monoxide to prevent both you and your family from getting carbon monoxide poisoning.

Overall HVAC Care

Your overall home comfort is easily cared for when you request service from our top rated company. We can provide you with residential and commercial options including indoor air quality, air duct sealing, repair service, maintenance, installation and more. Our team can provide you with every service needed to have a healthy and comfortable home year round. With over 30 years in the industry, Cal Air is ready to provide you with excellent support for your HVAC systems. Let us care for your household or business with our long list of service options. Contact our company today to learn more about the many services we provide or to schedule an appointment.

We are ready to serve you in Las Vegas! Contact us today!

Importance of Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air QualityWhile most home owners are focused on the indoor comfort of the home, the actual air quality should also be considered. At Cal Air Cooling & Heating, we understand that you enjoy cool air in the summer months and warm heat in the winter. But have you actually considered if the air in the home is of the highest quality? Perhaps you are comfortable in the home but are experiencing less than stellar quality air. It is important to breathe clean air so you can have a healthy home. At Cal Air, we can provide you with the service options you need to have a clean, breathable environment in the home.

What is Indoor Air Quality?

The air you breathe inside the home is provided by your heating and cooling system. The HVAC system will circulate the air of your home and provide you with the comfort you need. The filter of the system will remove the dirt, dust and allergens in the home so you can breathe easily. However, when a filtering system is not enough, you have containments and particles in the air that affect the way you breathe. You can have respiratory issues such as asthma flare-ups, allergy issues and more. You want to protect your family with proper air quality so you can have a healthy living environment.

How We Can Help

Our team at Cal Air is well-versed in indoor air quality. We can help you to improve the quality of air in the home as well as provide ongoing service so you can breathe a little easier. Our team of experts can provide you with air testing so that you can see just how contaminated the air in your home may actually be. Once you have the air tested, you will be able to determine what type of service or products will create a healthier environment in your home.

Carrier Infinity Air Purifier System

One way in which to provide your home with clean and breathable air is to install a new Carrier Infinity Air Purifier System. Each of our technicians has the ability to install such systems so that you can have clean air in the home and avoid the harmful effects of polluted air. A whole home filtering system is basically the equivalent of multiple home humidifying systems. You have the ability to filter air in every room of the home with an overall system rather than just clean the air, one room at a time.

We are ready and able to provide you with Whole Home Filtration systems so you can have nothing but clean air in the home. We know that you want your family members to be healthy and happy in the home. With the proper filtration system, you will have an excellent source of quality air so that you and your family are safe in the home.

Effects of Poor Air Filtration

As a home owner, you may be wondering just how poor air quality can affect you and your home. It is important to understand the harm that can come from poor filtration. While the outside of the home can be full of pollutants, the inside of the home can just as easily become a poor place to breathe. Keep your home air at the highest caliber and never put your health at risk with a new filtration system.

Contact our office today to learn more about the filtration options we have available for your home as well as to schedule an appointment for service.

Overall HVAC Care

Your overall home comfort is easily cared for when you request service from our top rated company. We can provide you with residential and commercial options including indoor air quality, air duct sealing, repair service, maintenance, installation and more. Our team can provide you with every service needed to have a healthy and comfortable home year round. With over 30 years in the industry, Cal Air is ready to provide you with excellent support for your HVAC systems. Let us care for your household or business with our long list of service options. Contact our company today to learn more about the many services we provide or to schedule an appointment.

We are ready to serve you in Las Vegas! Contact us today!