Can My AC System Help with VOCs and Improve My Indoor Air Quality?

smiling elderly grandmother breathe enjoy healthy air quality under AC system at home

Do you know about VOCs and the negative impact they can have on the indoor air quality (IAQ) inside your Savannah home? Abbreviated for volatile organic compounds, VOCs are harmful chemicals in the air. If you want clean and healthy air to circulate throughout your home, you need to know about VOCs and the different actions you can take to reduce your exposure to them.

Our Old Coast Heating & Air Conditioning experts are proud to keep you informed about the steps you can take to remain not only comfortable but safe inside your Georgia home. From addressing your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) concerns to improving your indoor air quality, we are here to enhance your indoor living.

What Exactly Are VOCs?

VOCs are emitted gases that pollute your indoor air. Some of the most common sources of VOCs include wood materials, paints, aerosol sprays, cleansers, disinfectants, air fresheners, cosmetics, fuel, glue, and tobacco.

How Are VOCs Harmful?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports concentrations of many VOCs can be up to ten times higher inside than outside. This is concerning since we spend approximately 90 percent of our time indoors. Exposure to VOCs can negatively impact your health too easily.

There are both short-term and long-term effects of exposure to VOCs. Health effects can range from headaches, nausea, and irritation of the eye, nose, and throat all the way to issues with your liver, kidneys, and central nervous system. Some VOCs have been found to cause cancer in animals while others may do the same in humans.

Can My Air Conditioning System Help?

Your air conditioning (AC) system won’t completely reduce the VOCs in the air inside your Savannah home all on its own, but it can offer some protection against the harmful effects. If there are products you use regularly that emit VOCs, an air conditioner with efficient circulation could reduce your exposure to the VOCs. The more your air conditioning system circulates air, the less exposure you’ll have to the VOCs.

Be sure to turn on your air conditioning system and ensure nothing is obstructing airflow, especially if you use products known to release VOCs or are working on a major home project or renovation. You can also open the windows and doors for more ventilation, helping to reduce your exposure to the indoor air pollution even more.

If your air conditioning system is compatible, consider upgrading to a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. With a HEPA filter, 99.97 percent of some of the smallest particles in the air can be destroyed. HEPA filters and filters with high minimum efficiency report value (MERV) ratings are ideal for combatting high amounts of VOCs in your indoor air.

Keep in mind that not all air conditioners are designed to work with HEPA and high MERV rating filters. If yours is not compatible, you could end up restricting airflow—and doing the opposite of what you want. Reach out to our Old Coast professionals to find out which filter works best with your air conditioning system. We are always happy to offer our assistance.

What Else Can I Do to Reduce VOCs and Improve My Indoor Air Quality?

Some additional ways you can limit your exposure to VOCs inside your home and promote ideal indoor air quality include:

  • Minimizing or completely discontinuing the use of products that emit VOCs 
  • Adhering to instructions and warnings on products that emit VOCs
  • Disposing of products safely and appropriately
  • Ensuring products can’t be reached by children and/or pets

Call Our HVAC and Indoor Air Quality Professionals

When you’re looking for optimal indoor comfort, place your trust in our team of professionals at Old Coast Heating & Air Conditioning. Whether you have heating, cooling, or indoor air quality needs for your Savannah, GA, home, we can help. Call us today at 912-250-5771 or request service online.