Indoor Air Quality | New York, NY | EZ Breathe Ventilation System

Better Air Quality For Your Home

Better Air Quality For Your Home

Jul 3, 2012 by Jaclyn Fitzgerald




Our homes are our sanctuary so we want to know that we are safe and healthy inside. An important part of that is our indoor air quality, especially since we spend hours at a time relaxing and playing in the home! Thankfully, there are plenty of things that you can do to ensure that you have the highest quality healthy and fresh air inside your home. Here are just a few of them. For more hints and tips for improving your indoor air, speak with a local ventilation specialist.

See how you can have better air quality with the EZ Breathe System.


This may sound simple but it’s actually key to improving your indoor air quality. Opening doors and windows or installing a ventilation system will let fresh, clean air into the home and flush out all those indoor pollutants such as fumes from cleaning products, gases emitted from paint/carpet/etc (these are called VOCs), carbon dioxide, airborne allergens, smoke and odours from cooking and so on. Of course, you don’t always want to ventilate your home! An excellent example of when to keep the doors and windows closed is when the outdoor air is worse than inside (smoky, lots of cars outside, etc).

Choosy Healthy Paints and Finishes

As anyone will tell you, it can be headache inducing or worse to live in a home that’s being painted, or that is having the floor stained or finished, thanks to the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contained within standard paints and finishes. The solution here is to look for natural paint or paints and finishes that are classified as being low fume or low VOC. If this isn’t possible, try not to live in your home for the first few days after painting or finishing and be sure to air it out as much as possible.

Be Cautious of Your Cleaning Products

One of the biggest sources for indoor air pollutants is actually the cleaning products that you use. Just think of what an average home uses – disinfectants, detergents, deodorisers, waxes, polishes, and cleaning agents and so on. These all emit fumes and harmful chemicals that can upset the health of the people living inside. At an absolute minimum, you should ensure that your windows and doors are wide open to let the fumes dissipate. Ideally though, you will use low fume or low VOC alternatives or even better, go natural with your cleaning products, such as using vinegar and bi carb. It’s not much more work at all, and they clean just as well if not better than the commercial alternatives!

Get Rid of Mould and Mildew

A huge health hazard in the home is the presence of mould and mildew, which especially loves wet, dark areas. Mould and mildew can cause respiratory problems and other illnesses and it also just plain looks terrible. Get rid of it and you may find that you all perk up instantly! Use a solution of bleach and water or mould killer or for a natural alternative, clove oil works well. To stop the mould coming back, be sure to address the moisture issues that cause it to grow in the first place.

Keep Track of Pets

Pets are part of the family so it’s only natural that they spend time indoors! However, you may find that they’re soon shedding all over everything, and generally leaving a mess. Use a good vacuum cleaner to pick up all the fluff and hair and to remove dander (a potential allergen) from carpets and upholstery. Also make sure to bathe your pets regularly and to groom them outside as much as possible.

Read more:


NEWSFLASH! Garages Are Polluting Our Homes!

NEWSFLASH: Garages are polluting our houses!

Wow, check out this most recent article on that talks about the relationship between our attached garages & our homes:

Stop Garage Fumes from Polluting Indoor Air

See how the EZ Breathe Garage Ventilation System works.

Attached garages are very convenient, but there is mounting evidence that they are responsible for negatively affecting indoor air quality. That’s because much of what we use our garages for (cars, mowers, paints, lubricants) contains or generates substances that are considered toxic. Once the toxic substances become airborne, they can easily migrate indoors.

It’s a bit ironic that we keep a floor mat by the door leading from the garage to the house so that shoe bottoms can be cleaned of largely nontoxic items like dirt, yet we often take no such preventative measures regarding the air.

Car exhaust, toxic chemicals and volatile organic compounds are present in almost all garages at least some of the time. And they can find their way into the house very easily through open doors, gaps around closed doors, ducts and other wall and ceiling penetrations.

There is scientific proof to back up this claim. A study involving 100 houses conducted by Health Canada found that those with attached garages had measurable quantities of benzene inside the house, while houses without attached garages had little if any benzene. Benzene is a gasoline-related pollutant. The study found similar results with other pollutants.

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), long-term exposure to benzene can affect bone marrow and blood production. Short-term exposure to high levels can cause drowsiness, dizziness, unconsciousness and death.

A survey of Minnesota houses during the winter of 1996-1997 found that 74 percent of homes with carbon monoxide (CO) detectors that went off were triggered by CO leaking in from the garage. Other studies from Iowa, Colorado and Alaska have found substantial evidence of garage-generated CO leaking into houses.

Nobody wants to breathe toxic pollutants, especially at home. Fortunately, there are a series of steps you can take to keep your indoor air quality something you need not worry about inhaling. Here are some tips:

  • Keep the garage air clean. Avoid running the car, motorcycle, chain saw or lawn mower any longer than absolutely necessary while in the garage. Avoid placing mechanical systems such as water heaters and furnaces in the garage.
  • Seal the gaps. Make sure the door leading from the garage into the house closes tightly and has proper weatherstripping applied. Seal all penetrations (ducts, wiring, etc.) leading into the house or the ceiling above the garage. Spray foam and caulk are good products for sealing these types of gaps.
  • Finish the walls and ceilings. In new houses it is not uncommon for the garage to be left with open walls or with drywall attached but the joints not finished. Either of these conditions allow garage pollutants to easily find their way inside. Garage walls and ceilings that are completely covered with drywall, with joints properly sealed with tape and compound, and with the surface primed and painted are much less likely to leak. They are also much more attractive. (See How To Install Drywall Like a Pro.)
  • Keep the door shut. Often you find yourself with full arms when entering the house from the garage. The result can be that the door remains open until you set the groceries down somewhere. Or maybe you or the kids simply forget to close the door, or fail to close it all the way. This can allow nasty fumes from the garage to enter the house quickly and easily. You can avoid this problem by installing a self-closing door.
  • Keep the door open. Never start your car or any other internal combustion engine while the garage door is closed. And when you do start the engine after the door has been opened, move it outside as soon as possible and shut the door to prevent exhaust fumes from floating back into the garage. When you pull your car into the garage, shut it off as soon as possible and leave the door open for a few minutes to clear the air.
  • Put a lid on it. Make sure all containers of potentially toxic items are sealed. Don’t let cans of paint thinner, solvents and other liquids sit uncovered.
  • Vent it outdoors. If you spend a lot of time in the garage working with chemicals, paints, wood finishes, combustion engines and other such items, consider installing an exhaust fan that sends the smells and fumes to the outdoors. A decent bathroom or kitchen fan will be sufficient.

If you are planning to build a new house or garage, give some thought to making the garage fully detached from the house. In addition to largely eliminating garage pollutants from migrating inside the house, here are some other benefits of a detached garage.

Finally, make sure your home has at least one CO detector mounted probably. And, if you are curious about the CO levels in your garage, go ahead and mount one out there, at least temporarily, to see if it goes off on a regular basis. Though it might be irritating, it could be educational to learn that the air you are breathing in that space contains a toxic substance.


To view this article in full, go to: