Is Your Indoor Air Polluted? What You Need to Know

August 11th, 2020

Those Hawaiian trade winds do more than keep you cool on sizzling summer days. They also bring you clean and fresh air!

Living in Kona or on Kauai gives you access to some of the healthiest air in the country – possibly even the world. 

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for indoor air quality. In fact, many common activities – even frying an egg for your loco moco – can trigger elevated pollution levels inside your home.

By staying mindful of your surroundings and taking a few precautions, you can remove indoor air pollution and ensure your home’s air stays clean and healthy. 

Air Conditioner on the wall

Investing in a new air conditioning installation can make a stark impact on air quality too. Our expert technicians in Kona and across Kauai and Oahu can help you select the most efficient system for your home’s size. 

What are the Most Common Sources of Pollutants in Your Home?

Even before coronavirus struck the world, people spent an estimated 90% of their day indoors working, sleeping, or enjoying time with their families. 

Did you know pollution levels are up to 5x higher inside your home? 

Your daily activities, outdoor contaminants, and even merely existing can all introduce pollution into your home’s precious air.

  • Combustion Pollutants: Toasters, water heaters, tobacco smoke, and gas appliances can all release tiny contaminants into the air you breathe. 
  • Toxic Products: Cleaning products like bleach, bug bombs, or insecticide sprays all linger in your home’s valuable air. Many personal care products like soaps, nail polish, and perfumes can also seep into the air.
  • Building Materials: Surprisingly, many energy-efficient building materials also contain volatile organic compounds that contaminate the air.
  • Outdoor Pollutants: Naturally occurring radon, lead, dust, and smoke can all make their way into your home. In Kona especially, Mount Kilauea produces noxious chemicals, vog, and acid rain.
  • Mold: Hawaii in general and Kauai specifically are naturally humid, which can promote mold growth and pollute your indoor air.

Why Does Indoor Air Pollution Matter?

Breathing toxic air filled with mold and contaminants can worsen any health problems and trigger new ones.

It’s important to stay vigilant if you or anyone in your household suffers from a breathing condition like the ones below:

  • Asthma
  • Allergies 
  • COPD
  • A recent acute respiratory infection like COVID-19, the seasonal flu, or pneumonia 

The World Health Organization estimates that 4.2 million premature deaths are directly linked to poor air quality. Radon pollution is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

People often think all pollution-linked deaths stem from breathing problems, but that’s not the case. Yes, toxins enter your bloodstream through lung tissue. However, they also travel to other locations throughout your body like your brain and heart. 

In fact, air pollution is responsible for a quarter of all deaths from stroke and ischemic heart disease.

What Can You Do to Keep Your Home’s Air Healthy?

Outdoors, we rely on government regulations to keep Big Business in check and prevent air pollution.

Living near an active volcano, while mesmerizing, also means contending with air pollution from sulfates, heavy metals, and byproducts like volcanic smog. 

Fortunately, you can take a few steps to keep your home’s precious air clean.

Use a High-Quality A/C Filter to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

Choosing an HEPA filter is hands-down the best decision you can make to reduce indoor air pollution. 

Toxic particles from gasses, mold, and viruses are microscopic. You need a filter specially designed to trap these tiny particles before they’re blown back into your home. 

HEPA filters remove 99.97% of these airborne particles.

Contact the experts at Island Comfort to learn more about HEPA filters and expert air conditioning installation to improve air quality!

Switch to Natural Cleaning Products and Insecticides

Using natural alternatives for the following items (as much as possible) can reduce some indoor air pollution:

  • Aerosol sprays
  • Air fresheners
  • Dish soap
  • Bleach 
  • Furniture polish
  • Bug bombs
  • Roach traps
  • Bug sprays

Plus, many green alternatives are safer for pets too! Keep in mind that even plant-based items can produce irritants so an HEPA filter is vital.

Choose a Mini-Spit System to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

A mini-split system requires no ductwork. This alone can reduce indoor air pollution by eliminating hard-to-clean ducts where dust, debris, dead insects, mold, and toxins accumulate. 

Their small size means mini-split systems can reduce energy costs as well. 

While convenient, window units don’t filter air very effectively. A mini-split system gives you the air filtration benefit of central air with the compact size of a window unit. 

Call our expert team to learn more about how mini-split systems work!

Consider a New Air Conditioning Installation to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

An old A/C won’t filter your home’s air properly simply because it’s not running efficiently. 

Likewise, an HVAC system too big or small for your home’s square footage won’t support adequate airflow. 

If your system is more than ten years old, it might be worth investing in a new air conditioning installation. Call our knowledgeable team at Island Comfort to discuss your family’s unique needs!

Keep Your Home’s Humidity Levels Low

Humidity is a challenge across the islands. Unfortunately, heightened humidity levels in your home can encourage bacteria and mold growth. 

Always use an HEPA filter to remove current indoor air pollution. If your home is consistently humid despite running the A/C, you may want to consider a new air conditioning installation. The wrong size HVAC system won’t run properly which can lead to chronically high humidity levels. 

Expert Air Conditioning Installation and Upgrades in Kona, Kauai, and Oahu 

New air conditioning installation or upgrading your A/C can give your indoor air quality an instant boost. An efficient HVAC system sized correctly for your home will process all the air inside your home through the high-quality filter. 

Our expert technicians at Island Comfort can help you choose the perfect system and filter for your home based on your family’s unique needs. 

The expertise of the person installing your system matters just as much as the unit itself. Island Comfort technicians take several factors into account when installing your A/C such as square footage, insulation, and your home’s location on the island. We also continuously train our technicians so we can provide the best possible service to our beloved Hawaii residents. 

You can trust the experts at Island Comfort will take every measure to reduce your indoor air pollution and stay safe during COVID-19. Call today at 888-781-0364!