Atlanta, Georgia – Do you or a member of your family seem to constantly battle allergies? Stop blaming the pollen and look to another source. The air you are breathing in your home just might be the culprit.

 The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average American spends ninety percent of their time indoors. That’s a lot of time to be breathing in air that could be making you sick.

 Types of Air Pollutants Commonly Found in Homes

“Every home has some degree of indoor air pollutant,” says Phil Montgomery, owner of Mr. Cool Mr. Heat, Inc., an Atlanta air conditioning service and repair company. “Running central air conditioning and heating units doesn’t always help the situation, but it’s important for homeowners to understand the types of pollutants commonly found in homes.”

 Biological pollutants commonly include pet dancer, dust mites, mold and bacteria. Tobacco smoke can leave behind formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, and simply running a gas furnace in the winter can result in carbon monoxide being released into the air.

 Most homeowners also employ the use of scented candles or air fresheners to keep their homes smelling clean. Those products, along with other such as degreasers, disinfectants and other consumer products, contain volatile organic compounds. VOCs can significantly contribute to indoor air pollution, and because they are found at much higher rates indoors than out, can be harmful to one’s health.

 But Atlanta residents can fight back to be sure the home in their air stays clean and keeps them healthy. The first, and easiest step, is to be sure air filters are changed regularly.

 “Filters are meant to trap pollutants before they can reach a home’s airstream,” says Montgomery, whose Atlanta HVAC company has served the area for more than 40 years. “Filters should be changed every one to three months to ensure effectiveness.”

 The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioner Engineers has a rating system for air filters, known as its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Most air filters that can be purchased at local home improvement stores have a MERV of one to four. These filters are effective at trapping dust mites, pollen and other microscopic pollutants and are good for the average homeowner to use. Homes with pets or residents who smoke need to look for a MERV of eight to eleven to trap pet dander and smoke effectively.

“Homeowners should purchase air filters with an appropriate MERV for their home,” says Montgomery, whose licensed technicians provide air conditioner repair throughout the Atlanta area. “But homeowners need to remember that if they do not change the filter regularly, it won’t work effectively, and the air conditioning or heating unit won’t either.”

Eliminating the sources of pollution is the most effective way for a homeowner to improve their air quality. Sources of pollutants, such as those with asbestos, should be sealed or closed to prevent the contaminant from reaching the air. In homes that use gas stoves, they should be properly adjusted to decrease the emissions. Improving a home’s ventilation is also an easy way to reduce contaminants in the air. In nice weather, windows and doors can be opened to allow more outdoor air into a home.

Another way to improve the air quality in a home is by purchasing an air cleaner. There are many on the market, so homeowners should be sure they research the effectiveness of an air cleaner before purchasing. For instance, one that is great at collecting air but has a low circulation rate won’t effectively clean a home’s air.

For homeowners who suffer from allergy-like symptoms, they should eliminate air pollutants from their homes by monitoring the chemical and cleaning supplies used, regularly changing air filters, and airing out the home as much as possible. It may also be necessary to have a home’s heating or air conditioning unit professionally cleaned and serviced.

The experts at Mr. Cool Mr. Heat are available 24 hours a day to help homeowners get their AC units in proper working order, and can even help homeowners choose the right air cleaner for their home. Call today to arrange a maintenance appointment.

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