Experts claim that nearly 20 percent of the population have higher-than-average chemical or allergen sensitivities. Add to this that COVID-19 has now heightened awareness on the importance of adequate ventilation and indoor air quality (IAQ) for healthier homes.
EPA studies show that levels of many indoor air pollutants can be two to five times higher than outdoor levels. And since most people spend close to 90% of their time indoors, keeping indoor pollution levels as low as possible is the right thing to do.
Measures that can be taken to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) and prevent indoor air pollution include:
Adding mold and moisture protection. Care should be taken to create continuous drainage planes and ensure proper site grading, adequate flashing and air sealing and sealing of capillary breaks.
Properly installing HVAC equipment and ducts. Whole-house and spot ventilation solutions can help minimize condensation problems, dilute and exhaust indoor pollutants, and filter air to remove airborne particulates. It is recommended that HVAC equipment keep relative humidity below 60% in our “warm-humid” climate zone. Other recommendations including avoiding the installation of air-handling equipment or ductwork in garages, using minimum MERV 8 filters, and venting clothes dryers to the outdoors.
Reducing potential exposure to combustion gases. Choose direct- or power-vented gas- and oil-fired equipment, be sure fireplaces are properly vented, fully seal garages from living spaces and install carbon monoxide alarms in each sleeping area.
Selecting materials that minimize IAQ risks. Avoid building products that are prone to moisture damage and choose wood products, paints, finishes and carpet products that are certified as low emission.
Reducing the use of pesticide. Combine physical barriers with proper pest management techniques.