If you’ve ever lived in a city, you’ll be familiar with the feeling of stepping outside your door and feeling as though the air itself is unclean. A trip to the country often means our first step out of the car includes a deep breath of fresh, clean air. While people living in many parts of the world have cause to worry significantly about outdoor air quality, we here in Northern Arizona are fortunate to have a much higher air quality.
Whether you live in the Prescott, Clarkdale, Flagstaff areas or elsewhere, you need to know about indoor pollutants. There are a variety of indoor pollutants that can affect any home, so it’s important to know what they are so you can combat them.
5 Indoor Air Pollutants You Should Know About
- Particulate Matter
The most common indoor pollutant is particulate matter. This can be particulates like dust and dander from pets, carbon and VOCs from burning candles and incense, and pollen from indoor and outdoor plants. If your home’s air system does not effectively remove these particulates it can cause unnecessary stuffiness and lung irritation. Those with respiratory problems can find they are much worse when particulates are more abundant.
- VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
VOCs are common in many homes, especially new homes and those recently renovated. VOCs are chemicals released from a variety of sources, including cooking with oil, cleaning products, air fresheners, and typical building materials. High VOCs can cause nausea, headaches, eye irritation, and irritation of the nose and throat. Fortunately, manufacturers are now conscious of the harm VOCs can do, and so they are creating low-VOC products to reduce the occurrence of these compounds in the air. We use only EPA listed low/no-VOC products in our construction processes and every Mandaly home is Indoor airPLUS certified.
Mold is another common indoor pollutant, especially in areas (or homes) with high humidity. While Arizona tends to be on the dryer side, mold can still be an issue for some homeowners if indoor humidity is not controlled and the home is not designed for proper air circulation . While mold can grow on any porous surface, it’s most common in older used homes on exterior walls and around doors and windows, attics, in bathrooms and entryways where there is often a lot of moisture from drying towels and coats, near aquariums, and in laundry rooms.
New build homes should not have a problem unless there is excessive moisture being produced inside the home.
Mold can cause wheezing, coughing, and hay fever-like symptoms in the short term, and can cause lung disease (pulmonary fibrosis – which is scarring of the lungs) in cases of long-term exposure.
Radon is a gas that occurs naturally all around the world, but the nature of our homes means it can become trapped inside. Radon is a radioactive gas and is a carcinogen, and can be deadly in extreme cases. Radon levels are tracked nationally and a good home ventilation system should move radon gas out of your home ensuring that it does not build up over time. If concerned, you can order a home radon test kit to test your levels.
- Carbon Monoxide
Having a carbon monoxide detector is essential. Carbon monoxide can be produced by malfunctioning gas and heating systems, and other combustion sources (such as car engines). Carbon monoxide is particularly dangerous because it is odorless and can kill in high concentrations. In lower concentrations, it can cause headaches, dizziness, feelings of paranoia, and even hallucinations. The good news is that a carbon monoxide detector will keep you safe, as will ensure your home’s heating and cooking equipment is in good working order.
Carbon Dioxide is also one that is specifically called out by the EPA and mitigated by fresh air ventilation.
Live Better in a Mandalay Home
As we said in the introduction, residents of Prescott Valley and Arizona can take some comfort in knowing that the outdoor air quality is usually very good. The state is known for its clear skies and low levels of pollution, and even the cities are spacious, allowing for more airflow to disperse harmful gasses and particles. This makes it much easier to maintain good indoor air quality.
For those who want to ensure there’s nothing lurking in their home’s air harming their health, a Mandalay Home can offer you the peace of mind you need. Our homes are engineered with a variety of features designed to mitigate many of the indoor air pollutants commonly found in homes. These include cutting-edge technologies and building techniques to ensure the highest level of indoor air quality (IAQ).
- Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs)
Every Mandalay Home comes standard with an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV). ERVs offer balanced ventilation, which not only improves air quality but also helps maintain relative humidity levels in homes. These units continually replace stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air, reducing the concentration of pollutants inside your home.
- Low or No-VOC Materials
Here at Mandalay Homes, we use materials that are listed by the EPA as low or no-VOC, including paints and adhesives. Volatile Organic Compounds can cause a variety of health issues, and we’ve made it our mission to minimize their presence in our homes. This commitment to health and sustainability has earned us the EPA Indoor AirPlus Leader Award annually since 2015.
- REME HALO Air Purification
Further improving indoor air quality, our iON PLUS and iON ZERO homes includethe REME HALO, a high-end ozone free UV-C air purifier that significantly reduces bacteria, viruses, odors, and mold spores in the air and on surfaces. This helps keep your family healthy and the air inside your home feeling and smelling clean and fresh. It’s one of the most effective purifiers on the market, offering you an additional layer of protection against airborne pollutants.
- High MERV Filters
All Mandalay homes incorporate high MERV filters into their design. MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, measures the effectiveness of air filters. A higher MERV rating means a higher resistance to particles, which results in cleaner air for you and your family. These filters are effective at capturing even the smallest particles, including dust, pollen, mold spores, and other potential allergens.
- Tight Home Construction
Our building process involves tight home construction, a method that minimizes the infiltration of outside particles. This means that pollutants from outside the home are significantly less likely to make their way indoors unless a door or window is actively being opened or closed. It’s another way we ensure that the air inside a Mandalay Home stays clean and fresh.
- Mitigating Post-Construction VOCs
At Mandalay Homes, we recognize that many VOCs are introduced after construction through furniture, cleaning products, rugs, and decor. Our homes are not only built clean but also designed to help mitigate these common contributors to poor IAQ. We build with the future in mind, creating homes that continue to protect their inhabitants long after the final coat of paint has dried.
With a Mandalay Home, you can breathe easy knowing that we’ve taken every measure to ensure the air inside your home is as clean and safe as possible. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with living in a home that’s built with your health as a top priority. If clean air is a priority for you, explore our Arizona communities here.