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Why Odors and Indoor Air Quality Aren’t Necessarily Related

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  • Posted 3 years ago
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Why Odors and Indoor Air Quality Aren’t Necessarily Related

odor and indoor air qualityMany times, people believe that indoor air quality and odor are directly related. In fact, it’s not at all uncommon that people will make decisions regarding indoor environmental safety solely based on their olfactory senses. The reality, though, is that these two things aren’t necessarily related at all. In fact, according to statements by the EPA, “Odor is not a reliable test for the quality of indoor air.”

The reasons for this are many. For starters, odors can elicit different responses from different people. In some cases, they emanate from specific chemicals that can arouse bad physical reactions in people who are sensitive to them. And it’s difficult to anticipate which types of odors can cause these reactions. For example, if someone is allergic to pine trees, their allergy may or may not be triggered by a pine-scented air freshener.

Although the odor in question may be unpleasant — possibly to the point that people are complaining about it — the smell in question may not pose any immediate threat to indoor environmental safety. Vinegar, for instance, can arouse strong reactions from people who smell it, but it is generally pretty harmless. Carbon Monoxide, on the other hand, is odorless but it can cause grave harm to those who inhale it.

Subsequently, you should¬†pay attention to your home’s indoor air quality even if you aren’t experiencing odor issues. Take steps to limit or eliminate the use of products that can cause indoor air quality problems — note that even if a product is “odor-free” or “unscented,” it can still cause air quality issues for some individuals. Also, be sure to keep your indoor environments free from moisture and otherwise dry to stop mold growth and other unpleasant odors from happening. And, as we’ve noted in previous posts, be sure to regularly change your air filters, so that your HVAC system can do much of the work when it comes to eliminating dust and airborne particles.

Ultimately, the keys to improving your Savannah home’s indoor air quality are vigilance and ventilation. Your home’s HVAC system can do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to improving the quality of your air, but it requires some conscientiousness and maintenance on your part. After all, a fine-tuned HVAC system keeps your IAQ better, and good IAQ helps to keep your system running more efficiently. The two things affect one another.

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