Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Indoor Air Quality: An often-overlooked danger and what you can do about it.

The Environmental Protection Agency has a great resource on educating yourself about the quality level of your indoor air. It's called "The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality" and it covers all aspects including causes, identifying problems and measuring pollutant levels. It also provides a complete reference guide for certain types of pollutants such as radon, tobacco smoke and formaldehyde, as well as certain types of stoves and heaters.

Another article chocked full of explanations and references about indoor air quality is one that appeared on MSN Green recently by Barbara Card Atkinson entitled "Sweet Green Air." In the article, she sums up information published by the American Lung Association about how typical household products such as cleaning solutions, pesticides and paints contribute to having toxins in our living spaces. Trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene and formaldehyde seem to be the ones lurking most often in common products or building materials.

In the same article, Atkinson also lists the top 10 houseplants that naturally help fight off formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the air. They are:

Pot Mum -- Chrysantheium morifolium
Bamboo Palm -- Chamaedorea Seifritzii
Chinese Evergreen -- Aglaonema Modestum
English Ivy -- Hedera Helix
Gerbera Warneckii -- Dracaena "Warneckii"
Daisy -- Gerbera Jamesonii
Peace Lily -- Spathiphyllum
Janet Craig -- Dracaena "Janet Craig"
Marginata -- Dracaena Marginata
Mass Cane/Corn Plant -- Dracaena Massangeana

Marshall Mechanical can also help you improve your indoor air quality by taking simple measures of regularly cleaning air ducts, providing recommendations on the right air cleaner for your home's size, and ensuring that your heating and air conditioning systems are set up for optimum performance. It's yet another reason why scheduling regular preventive maintenance on your HVAC systems makes good sense.

If you believe you are experiencing problems with your indoor air quality, please contact Sean or Mike at 804.323.0189. We'll be happy to answer any questions you have and/or schedule an inspection visit at a time convenient for you.

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1 comment:

EV said...

This is a great tip for reducing toxins, but if you have pets make sure a plant is ok for them before adding it to your household. Lilies are poisonous to cats, something I very unfortunately learned from first-hand experience.