While thoroughly cleaning your home may seem like a foolproof way to improve your indoor air quality, it might be doing just the opposite.
Many cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that when released into the air can cause serious health problems. Ingredients such as ammonia, chlorine and bleach can be especially harmful.
If you do not choose your cleaning products wisely, your glistening countertops or freshly polished hardwood floors may result in irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, chest tightness, headaches and other symptoms. Overtime, exposure to VOCs could cause long-term health issues.
Potentially Harmful Cleaning Products
– Aerosol spray products
– Furniture and floor polish
– Air fresheners
– Chlorine bleach
– Rug and upholstery cleaners
– Oven cleaners
– Detergent and dishwashing liquid
– Dry cleaning chemicals
How to Avoid Harmful Cleaning Products
Read labels. Always read labels to check for harmful ingredients before purchasing cleaning products. You can cut down on VOCs by choosing products that say “low VOC” or “no VOC.” Many VOCs comes from the fragrances in cleaning products, so choosing fragrance-free products can also help.
Ditch the sprays. Cleaning products that come in spray bottles release more chemicals into the air. Using liquids or pastes instead of sprays will allow you to concentrate on the area in need of cleaning, dispersing fewer harmful particles into the air.
Go natural. Although a cleaning product may be labeled “green” or “natural,” it could still contain components that cause health problems. In many cases, a simple mix of soap and water can adequately clean a surface. Other alternatives include baking soda for scrubbing and white vinegar for cleaning glass.
Ventilate. When using household cleaners, be sure to keep your home well ventilated. Open windows and doors to allow for airflow and try to limit the use of cleaning products in small, enclosed spaces.
Ensuring your air conditioning system is properly ventilated is another must. Have professional technician check your home’s ventilation. It’s also a good idea to have your air ducts professionally cleaned at least once a year and to change or clean your air filters every month.
Take Control of Your Indoor Air Quality!
In conjunction with making smart cleaning product purchasing decisions, having quality controlling devices installed in your HVAC system can greatly improve your family’s respiratory health. For more tips, see our post on how to improve your home’s indoor air quality.
At Climate Design, we strive to help you and your family breathe clean, safe air. Call today to discuss how our technicians can improve your home’s indoor air quality!