Learn About Household VOCs and Their Sources
Volatile organic compounds are emitted into the air as gases released from chemicals present in many solid and liquid products we use in our Clemson, SC homes. VOCs can cause health problems ranging from shortness of breath to damage to the central nervous system. Some VOCs are toxic by themselves. Others combine with other airborne chemicals to create harmful pollutants.
Sources of Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile organic compounds are present both indoors and outdoors. Indoor concentrations may be up to 10 times higher than outdoor concentrations. There are ways to lower VOC levels in your living space and reduce their potential health effects. VOCs can be found in many common household products, including pesticides, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, aerosols, craft products, and paint. They are also emitted from building materials, carpets, upholstery, printers, copiers, wood-burning stoves, and cooking.
Health effects vary and depend on several factors, including the type of pollutant and the length and level of exposure. Short-term effects include headaches, dizziness, nausea, or respiratory irritation. Long-term effects can damage organs, cause memory loss or cause cancer.
Ways To Minimize Indoor Concentrations of VOCs
The American Lung Association recommends looking for products labeled “low VOCs” and using VOCs outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. If you must use VOC-emitting products, increase ventilation by opening windows and doors and using a fan to reduce the concentration of pollutants. If you buy new carpet or building products, keep them outdoors for several days to release VOCs.
Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning contractor can also help. Although we usually think of air conditioning companies as indoor comfort specialists, they also are trained in improving indoor air quality. Lovingood Heating Company has provided HVAC services to the Upstate area of South Carolina since 1946. We offer indoor air quality products that work with your air conditioner to help keep the air circulating in your home clean and fresh. Products include:
- Whole-home ventilation systems
- Improved filtration for furnaces and air conditioners
- Ultraviolet lights installed in ducts that inactivate pathogens before they reach your living space
- Humidity control devices that keep indoor humidity within recommended levels
- Air cleaners that remove gases and other indoor air pollutants
Contact Lovingood Heating Company Today
If you are concerned about the quality of the air in your home or business, call Lovingood Heating Company for assistance. We take the time to do things right, and we treat our customers like family.