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How To Protect Your Home From Outside Air Pollutants

Posted in Air Quality, on January 25, 2016

Are you struggling to keep outdoor pollutants from your home? These great tips will protect your investment. Populations living around and in urban areas experience outdoor pollution, which can be a significant contributor to the indoor air quality, particularly in highly ventilated houses or those near sources of pollution. Sources of outdoor pollution differ and comprise both man-made and natural ones. Natural pollutants include oxides of nitrogen and sulfur from volcanoes and forest fires. If you're wondering how to protect your home from outside pollutants, here's how.

Protecting your Home from Particle Pollution

Particle pollutants are a complex blend of small liquid droplets and solid particles found in the air. These pollutants originate from dust storms, wild fires, and volcanic eruptions. Human activities such as burning wood and cooking can also emit numerous particles. These pollutants may originate outdoors and you can prevent them from entering your home in these ways:

  • Remove shoes at your doorway and use doormats
  • Close doors and windows during high levels of outdoor particles. Make sure you examine your city's forecasted and current air quality levels.
  • Use a high or medium-efficiency filter in your central air system to eliminate airborne particles that penetrate your home. If you lack a central system, use high-efficiency portable cleaners that don't release ozone. Make sure you follow the producer's instructions when changing filters.
  • Maintain a clean house to prevent re-suspension of particles from floors and carpets. Use a high-efficiency or a whole-house vacuum cleaner. You should also use a damp mop on hard floors frequently.

Protecting Your Home from Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that forms during incomplete combustion of fuels. The pollutant originates from burning carbon-based materials. You'll discover that unvented or vented appliances often release these pollutants into the home. Common outdoor sources include industrial processes, vehicle exhaust, and fuel combustion in boilers and incinerators. You can protect your home in these ways:

  • Ensure you have constant fresh air to allow for safe fuel burning. You can do so by opening a window slightly.
  • Vehicle exhaust systems can be dangerous, particularly in the winter when you operate your car with closed windows. Make sure you open the doors in the enclosure or garage where a vehicle is running.
  • Restrict the amount of time a running vehicle is in the garage. It's also vital to note that the gas can accumulate in the vehicle while running if leaks exist in the exhaust system.

Other Ways To Protect Your Home

Increase Ventilation

While this advice may sound simple, enhancing ventilation involves more than simply opening a window. Bear in mind that outdoor air may still comprise pollution, which shouldn't be in your living space. Instead, consider the installation of trickle vents to cycle and purify the air you inhale indoors. A trickle vent is a small opening in windows that permit fresh air ventilation while keeping out external pollutants. It's important to note that opening a window may worsen things as more pollutants penetrate your home. However, a trickle vent can help ensure the external pollutants remain outside.

Seal Gaps

For smaller gaps such as those between walls and pipes, expanding foam or silicone caulk will do. However, some applications may be necessary for a perfect seal. If the gap is bigger, like missing drywall or insulation pieces, you may have to complete the job started by the builder. Remember various points of entry may exist. Therefore, make sure you seal the gaps as you locate them. This approach may protect your home against pollutants such as secondhand smoke.

While most people recognize the health risks associated with outdoor pollutants, many don't know how to protect their homes from the same. Fortunately, these strategies will prove invaluable. If you need assistance with issues associated with air quality, kindly contact us so we can help (416) 414-5690

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