Life is good for residents here in San Diego. With some of the best weather, beaches, and food in the world and the city’s relaxed vibe, it’s easy to see why so many people choose to live here. But there’s one downside to San Diego life, and that’s air pollution.

San Diego smog is among the worst in the nation. If you live or work in the heart of the city, you’ll be no stranger to the grey haze that hangs over us during the summer months. And that air pollution doesn’t stay outside. It gets into your home, too. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside our homes can be up to 100 times as polluted as the air outside. Now that’s really something to think about, isn’t it?

Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer from the health conditions and discomfort that poor air quality can bring. There are plenty of solutions available that will have you breathing fresher, cleaner air in your home. In this article, we’ll take a look at the effect our city’s air pollution can have and the positive steps you can take to combat it.

Common Outdoor Air Pollutants

According to the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute of Environmental Health Services, there are several types of outdoor pollution.

Toxic Gasses

When it comes to toxic gasses in the atmosphere, the city is full of them. From sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide to carbon monoxide and ozone, there are many natural and man-made gasses present in our environment. Most of these come from burning fuel for energy. From our cars to public transport and manufacturing plants, humans and our daily lives contribute to a lot of the toxic gases in the atmosphere today. Ozone, on the other hand, is produced by lightning and while it’s beneficial to earth’s upper atmosphere, it’s the ground-level ozone (where we live) that can be harmful.

Fine Particles

Fine particles are usually created by the burning of fossil fuels and wood for energy. They can include exhaust from a car’s tailpipe or smoke from a factory or processing plant. You can usually see these fine particles in the air.

Tobacco Smoke

Tobacco smoke gets a listing all on its own as it’s quite common in the atmosphere, especially in highly populated areas. Nicotine and the byproducts of burning tobacco can all contribute to health concerns in adults and children.

How Outdoor Air Enters Your Home

Even with your window and doors closed, outdoor air can make its way into your home. The air from outside flows in through joints and cracks in floors, walls, and ceilings, and also around windows and doors. It can also come in through outdoor-vented fans, such as those installed in some bathrooms and kitchens, and through your HVAC system. And of course, if you do have your doors and windows open regularly, you’ll get even more indoor air entering. You can’t see the pollutants and contaminants that outdoor air contains but you might start to suffer from the effects after a while.

Allergies? Immunocompromised?

Do you have somebody in your family that suffers from allergies or asthma? Polluted air inside your home can aggravate these conditions making the symptoms worse. Smog, pollen, and dust, are just some of the contaminants that can infiltrate your home. During the summer when pollution is at its highest in the city, you might notice that respiratory conditions worsen.

How Can I Reduce the Risk of Outdoor Pollution?

No matter where you are in San Diego, the risk of exposure to airborne pollutants will be present. Fortunately, there are many ways you can reduce the risk to you and your family. Here are some tips, and we’d be delighted to tell you more about how we can help.

Monitor Your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

As we’ve mentioned above, you can’t see the contaminants in your indoor air. You’ll need to arrange professional testing to get a good handle on what is going on. Our air quality testing team can help. We use cutting-edge lazer technology to measure real-time air pollution levels in your home. IAQ testing allows us to make the most accurate recommendations for solving the problem.

Control Pollution From Indoor Sources

There are many pollutants outside the home, but did you know they can also originate indoors? Dust mites, tobacco smoke, mold, cooking and heating gases, and pet dander can all contribute towards your indoor air quality problems.

You can limit these indoor sources by doing the following:
  • Keep your indoor humidity levels to around 40% to prevent mold
  • Never smoke indoors
  • Use a range hood over your stove

Many of us spend 80% or more of our time indoors on a typical day. Making a few small adjustments to your indoor environment and daily habits can make such a different to the air that you breathe.

Ventilate Your Home Wisely

While it might sound counterproductive when there is pollution outside, you should still open your windows and use your fans at regular intervals. This will help to disperse indoor pollutants that have built up, especially during and after cooking where high levels of pollutants can build up quickly in one area. However, if pollution levels in the city have risen to unsafe levels (keep an eye on the daily weather report), keep your windows and doors closed until the situation improves.

Use a Whole-Home Air Quality System

It’s inevitable that indoor air will become polluted by outdoor air by some means. There is no way you can prevent outdoor air getting in completely. Because you are not able to control the source of the problem, you need an effective solution that removes polluted air once it’s got inside your home. A whole-house air purification system uses filtration technology that is able to remove up to 99.5% of pollutant particles. These are installed alongside your HVAC system and will bring fresher air into every room in your home. You might also want to consider a UV lights system that neutralizes contaminants in the air and on surfaces.

How We Can Help Chase the Pollution Away

You can’t control the air pollution outside your home, but you can take control inside. At Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air, we offer a wide selection of indoor air quality services and solutions, including air purifiers, UV light systems, dehumidifiers and humidifiers, air scrubbers, and more. We can also assist with indoor air quality testing. If you think you have a problem with pollution in the home, we can carry out thorough testing that will measure the level of pollution and the source.

We’d be delighted to tell you more about our indoor air quality services and to recommend the ideal IAQ system to suit your needs. Our team of technicians will install your system to the highest standard and test it thoroughly to make sure it is doing the job it’s designed to do. We only carry IAQ products from the leading names in the industry. We want you to be delighted with the service we give you and will go the extra mile to make you happy.

Speak to the team here at Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air today and tell us about your indoor air quality concerns. We’re here to keep your air clean, fresh, and healthy to breathe. Why not call us today to find out more about our systems and for a free estimate?

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