Ensuring Clean Air and Water in Your Home
These days, both an indoor air quality monitor and a home water filtration system are no longer just “nice to have”; they are a necessity. The quality of our natural resources is increasingly under threat. Just one example is the prevalence of wildfires here in California and how they affect indoor air quality. It is more important than ever to ensure you have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink.
In this post we take a look at:
- The importance of clean air and water
- What causes poor indoor air quality
- Tips for improving indoor air quality
- What causes poor water quality
- Tips for ensuring clean water
- The Ongaro & Sons commitment to indoor air quality and clean water
The Importance of Clean Air and Water
Our bodies are incredibly sensitive to the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink.
Air pollutants can trigger allergies, asthma, and other respiratory diseases, as well as harm our cardiovascular system. Water contamination can cause gastrointestinal illnesses and neurological disorders.
What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality
If you have an indoor air quality monitor that is detecting a problem, it is likely you have one or more these contaminants in your home:
- Smoke from tobacco products, wildfires, or combustion-based appliances such as fireplaces and woodburning stoves
- Air residue from household cleaners
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde used in furniture, floating materials, paints and varnishes
- Mold, bacteria, viruses, dust mites
- Deteriorated asbestos insulation
All these contaminants contribute to poor indoor air quality. If you don’t have an indoor air quality monitor, you won’t even notice if these contaminants are in your air. Most likely they are, if only because your home and furniture contain chemicals that contribute to poor air quality, not to mention polluted outside air.
Tips for Improving Indoor Air Quality
Here are a few things you can do to improve your indoor air quality:
- Perform HVAC maintenance. A well-maintained HVAC system that is regularly cleaned with filters replaced, so it is operating at peak efficiency, significantly improves your indoor air quality.
- Install higher rated air filters to your ventilation system. Look at the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) of your air filtration system. The MERV rating you want depends in part on the design of your HVAC system. A professional HVAC contractor can tell you which is best. A general rule of thumb is that whatever type of air filter comes with your system is the one you should use. However, if you or a family member have asthma or some other respiratory issue, you may opt for a higher rated filter or perhaps install additional filters.
- Install an air purifier. An air purifying system is not the same as air filtration. Air filters trap certain dust and dirt particles, while an air purifier uses ionization to remove particles and other airborne contaminants that most air filtration systems cannot. Again, if you or anyone living in your home has a respiratory issue, an air purifying system can help.
- Use green cleaning products. Opt for eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products to reduce the level of chemical pollutants in your home.
- Get more plants. Indoor plants can act as natural air purifiers, removing certain toxins from the air.
- Use an indoor air quality monitor. These devices determine how much pollution is in your home and send real-time notifications to your handheld device or desktop computer.
Types of Indoor Air Quality Monitors
There are basically two types of indoor air quality monitors:
- Particle monitors. As the name implies, this type of indoor air quality monitor measures dust, pollen, smog, and other particulate matter present in your home.
- Gas monitor. Again, as the name suggests, this type of indoor air quality monitor detects gaseous pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulfur-dioxide, and ground-level ozone.
What Causes Poor Quality Water
Your tap is drawn from surface water (reservoirs, streams, lakes, rivers) and groundwater (underground aquifers). This water is contaminated with bacteria, viruses, minerals, sediment, animal feces, and other particulates. Public water services treat your water to remove pathogens, chemicals, and other harmful substances; nonetheless, some of these contaminants can still enter your home’s water.
For example, an aging piping infrastructure can introduce contaminants after water leaves the treatment facility for distribution. And the treatment itself is often part of the problem. Almost all public water systems disinfect water with chlorine. However, chlorination can cause byproducts such as Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) and Haloacetic Acids (HAA5) in the water. And although chlorine is effective at killing lingering bacteria in water, it alters the taste and dries out your skin and hair after showering or bathing.
Tips for Improving Water Quality
There is no analogous tool to an indoor air quality monitor for determining water quality. There are, however, independent testing services that can assess your water quality.
If you get a poor test result, or if your water tastes or smells odd, the best way to improve your water is to install a water filtration system. There are basically two options. One is to install individual water filters at each tap or the plumbing beneath it. However, in most cases, the better option is a whole-house water filtration system. A whole-house filter installed at your home’s main water line removes minerals and contaminants from water before it runs through your plumbing and out of your faucets. There are various kinds of filters that remove different kinds of contaminants.
Which water filtration is best for your home depends on what is contained in your tap water. For example, suppose you have discolored water, but the water doesn’t taste odd. In this case, the best water filtration cartridge is one that captures the sediments causing the discoloration. On the other hand, if your water tastes funny and has an unpleasant odor, but the water is crystal clear coming out of the faucet, it’s possible you don’t need water filtration at all. Instead, the solution may be a water softener. Water softeners employ an ion exchange to replace calcium and manganese ions in your water with sodium ones. Some water softeners use activated carbon to remove chlorine and ammonia.
The Ongaro & Sons Commitment
Health is your most valuable asset. Protecting it requires conscious effort to ensure the quality of your indoor air and water. At Ongaro & Sons, we’re committed to helping you make that effort successful. With our expertise and high-quality systems, you can breathe easier and drink water with confidence, knowing that you’re doing everything you can to safeguard your health and the health of your loved ones.
Our air filtration and purification systems remove airborne contaminants, including allergens, bacteria, and viruses, providing you with cleaner, fresher air. Our water filtration systems eliminate harmful substances from your water supply, providing you with safe, clean water for drinking, cooking, and bathing.
Contact Ongaro & Sons today to schedule a quality consultation about your indoor air quality and water filtration needs.