Sources and Potential Effects of Combustion Pollutants

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air in your Lock Haven, PA home or business. Poor indoor air quality can come from combustible pollutants that release gases and particulates. Although pollutants may be present, there are effective and simple ways to keep indoor air clean. A licensed HVAC professional can recommend indoor air quality products and practices to improve the air you breathe.

What Are Combustion Pollutants?

Everyday household products and activities create indoor pollutants. Gas cooking ranges, woodburning stoves, gas and oil furnaces, and other appliances that use combustible fuels create gases and release particulates into the air. When fuels do not burn properly, they emit toxic gases, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. In addition, many cleaning products, building materials, paints, personal care products, and household textiles emit volatile organic chemicals that interact with naturally occurring ozone in the air and create formaldehyde, a toxic airborne pollutant. Formaldehyde is also present in tobacco smoke.

What Are the Health Effects of Combustion Pollutants?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that can cause severe health problems and even death. Depending on the level of exposure, symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea, loss of muscle control, and mental confusion. Poor ventilation, improperly operated appliances, and poor maintenance of home heating equipment can create high levels of carbon monoxide.

The EPA classifies formaldehyde as a probable carcinogen. High levels of formaldehyde can cause health problems, such as wheezing, watery eyes, nausea, skin irritation, and burning in the nose and throat. People exposed to high levels of formaldehyde for extended periods have a higher incidence of leukemia and cancers of the throat and nasal sinuses.

Combustion pollutants often bind with household dust and soil, which can be inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin. Exposure can aggravate allergies asthma, cause or aggravate respiratory problems, and cause cancer with long-term exposure.

Solutions for Cleaner Indoor Air

There are simple ways to reduce the levels of indoor airborne pollutants:

  • Keep heating, ventilation, and air conditioning filters clean
  • Never smoke indoors
  • Check gas appliances annually
  • Have seasonal HVAC tune-ups
  • Use smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
  • Increase ventilation

Triangle Heating & Cooling can help. After discussing your indoor air, we will recommend natural ways to improve ventilation and reduce pollutants. We may also recommend indoor air quality products, such as better filters, whole-house ventilation systems, and air purifiers.

For more information about keeping your indoor air clean, call Triangle Heating & Cooling. We serve communities in Central Pennsylvania.

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