Most of us tend to think of air pollution as something that occurs outdoors where car exhaust and factory fumes proliferate, but there’s such a thing as indoor air pollution, too. Since the 1950s, the number of synthetic chemicals used in home products have increased drastically, while homes have become much tighter and better insulated. As a result, the EPA estimates that Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often two to five times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.
Luckily, there are many ways to reduce indoor air pollution. We all know that buying organic and natural home materials and cleaning supplies can improve the air quality in our homes, but there are several other measures you can take as well.
How pollutants get into our homes
Potentially toxic ingredients are found in many materials throughout the home, and they leach out into the air as Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs. If you open a can of paint, you can probably smell those VOCs. Mold is a VOC that can build up in the dampest parts of your home like the laundry room or crawl spaces. Another example is the “new car smell” that seems to dissipate after a while, but VOCs can “off-gas” for a long time, even after a noticeable smell is gone.
Many materials used to build a home contain chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, ethanol, and acetone, and even lead. VOCs can also be in the form of pet dander or dust. Fortunately, VOCs from building materials dissipate over time. For that reason, the highest levels of VOCs are usually found in new homes or remodels. If you are concerned about VOCs, there are several products you can buy that are either low- or no-VOC. You can also have your home professionally tested.
How to reduce VOCs in your home
Choose your building materials wisely
- – Use tile or solid wood for flooring—hardwood, bamboo, or cork
- – Choose solid wood or outdoor-quality plywood that uses a less toxic form of formaldehyde.
- – Choose low-VOC or VOC-free paints and finishes
Purify the air
- – Make sure your rooms have adequate ventilation, air out newly renovated areas for at least a week
- – Clean ductwork and furnace filters regularly
- – Install air cleaners if needed
- – Use only environmentally responsible cleaning chemicals
- – Plants are a natural solution to help clean the air
- – Air out freshly dry-cleaned clothes or choose a “green” cleaner
Pick the right carpet
- – Choose “Green Label” carpeting or a natural fiber such as wool or sisal
- – Use nails instead of glue to secure carpet
- – Install carpet LAST after completing painting projects or wall coverings
- – Air out newly carpeted areas before using
- – Use a HEPA vacuum or a central vac system that vents outdoors
- – Clean up water leaks fast
- – Keep humidity below 60 percent, using dehumidifiers if necessary
- – Refrain from carpeting rooms that stay damp
- – Insulate pipes, crawl spaces, and windows to eliminate condensation
- – Use one-half cup of bleach per gallon of water to kill mold in its early stages
If you would like to learn more about VOCs and indoor air quality, please visit http://www.epa.gov/iaq/.
This beautiful home, at 1540 Edenbridge Dr in Windsor located in the desirable Windshire subdivision, is a must-see! With three large living spaces, there is room for everyone! The large kitchen features granite countertops, custom painted cabinets, a gas range and all appliances included. Relax in your own theater room including a 120-inch screen and projector! Entertain indoors with a full wet bar, wine fridge, and microwave, or take in some sun on the patio while cooking at the outdoor kitchen. Don’t miss the chance to find your move-in ready dream home! Contact Jacqueline Feil at (970) 402-7509 for your private showing for more information or click the link below for more details.
Beautiful ranch style home at 403 Meadow Drive on a large corner lot in Windsor‘s Governors Farm neighborhood! Featuring an open floor plan with vaulted ceilings, gas fireplace, and two master suites, your new home is move-in ready. Tons of upgrades, to include a new roof, and newer exterior paint, furnace, AC, tankless water heater, gas range and complete solar set-up that covers most of the Sellers’ electrical costs. A newly finished basement includes a wet bar, second master suite and theatre with 120+ inch screen and high-quality surround sound. Close to shopping, dining, local schools and most everything this great community has to offer! Contact Jon Holsten at (970) 237-2752 for your private showing for more information or click the link below for more details.
A beautiful home at 153 Halibut Drive in Water Valley South in Windsor awaits. This home boasts an open floor plan with vaulted ceilings, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen and a front room that can be an office or a formal sitting room. Enjoy the back yard with the built-in fireplace off the patio and two garden boxes on the side of the home. The oversized 2 car garage leaves plenty of room for the golf cart. Buyers can take advantage of being only one block from Eagle Lake and Park. Bring your paddleboards, kayaks and fishing rods to enjoy everything the lake has to offer without paying waterfront prices! Contact Rondi DuPont at (970) 420-0123 for your private showing for more information or click the link below for more details.
This beautiful home at 881 Shirttail Peak Drive in Windsor‘s popular Winter Farm neighborhood features wood floors and special touches throughout. Your new home boasts a tastefully finished great room with gas fireplace, vaulted ceilings, kitchen with granite and stainless steel appliances, and a brand new roof. Large bedrooms with a fantastic master suite on the main level. Two additional bedrooms, bathroom, and a huge rec room in the finished basement. Enjoy the beautifully landscaped backyard with a classy patio cover! Contact Jon Holsten at (970) 237-2752 for your private showing for more information or click the link below for more details.
Lovely 3 bed, 3 bath home at 172 Halibut Drive in Windsor has been updated throughout with lighting, tile, paint, new carpet & more! The open floor plan with high ceilings allows natural light to wash over the main level. Escape downstairs to relax in the large finished basement with a wet bar. Enjoy the evenings in the back yard under the covered patio. Contact Rondi duPont at (970) 401-0123 for your private showing for more information or click the link below for more details.
Friendly, quiet Windsor neighborhood. 1115 Nantucket Street in Windsor is a great opportunity for first time home buyers or investors. Enjoy the large, fully fenced backyard from the upper deck or from the walk out basement. All appliances stay and 1-year home warranty is included. Contact Maria Dellota at (970) 215-1013 for your private showing for more information or click the link below for more details.
Your new gorgeous home at 1586 Grand Avenue in Windsor features an additional main level office and a great room concept with hardwood flooring throughout. Enjoy the beautiful kitchen with granite counter-tops, stainless steel appliances and plenty of storage. The upper level boasts even more elbow room with a loft and all three bedrooms, including a sprawling master suite. Stunning backyard with extended covered patio and fantastic landscaping for relaxing and entertaining. Unfinished basement for future expansion. Contact Jon Holsten at (970) 237-2752 for your private showing for more information or click the link below for more details.
This spectacular home at 5802 Bromborough Drive with an open floor plan works with the way you live with two bedrooms, a dining room and office all on the main floor surrounding the kitchen and great room. The finished walkout basement backs to Hole 11 and offers amazing views of the green. Complete with a wet bar, rec room and 2 bedrooms, one of which has been converted to the perfect workout space! Contact Anali Roath at (970) 829-8818 for your private showing for more information or click the link below for more details.
Terrific home in the popular Windsor Village neighborhood! 140 Ivy Court is located on a quite cul-de-sac, this home features an updated kitchen and functional floor plan. Relax in the large, private back yard with mature trees and landscaping. Extra space for parking a camper or your toys. Close to shopping and schools. New roof and furnace to be installed prior to closing. No HOA! Contact Jon Holsten at (970) 237-2752 for your private showing for more information or click the link below for more details.