Surprising Things That Can Impact Indoor Air Quality

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What affects your indoor air quality? There are some obvious answers. Air purifiers make it better. Dust and pollen make it worse. But the answer to this question isn’t always so easy. Almost everything you bring into your house can affect the air quality. 

If you have noticed a change in air quality with no apparent explanation, look no further. We may have the secret here! 


Candles, especially scented candles, are a favourite of many. They leave behind a pleasant scent and create a nice atmosphere. Unfortunately, they also release some air-polluting compounds. Burning candles, especially those made from paraffin wax, can release tiny particles and soot into the air. These particles can be inhaled and may cause irritation for people with respiratory issues. Scented candles can be especially harmful as they contain synthetic fragrances and additives. These chemicals can contribute to indoor air pollution and cause discomfort or health issues for sensitive individuals.

Carpet and upholstery 

Carpets and upholstery are sneaky areas where plenty of scents and pollutants go to hide. Carpets and upholstery easily collect dust, dander, pet hair, and more. They also are a prime location for dust mites to live. Unfortunately, carpets and upholstery are often overlooked while cleaning. If your air quality is declining rapidly with no explanation, you might be sitting on it! Don’t worry. You can rent specialty upholstery cleaners from many home supply stores. 


Unfortunately, cooking can lower the air quality in your home. It’s pretty hard to avoid cooking, as reluctant chefs are sure to know. And we aren’t suggesting you stop cooking! It’s more about understanding why cooking can change air quality and how to handle it. Steam, oil, and even chemicals from nonstick pans all mix into the air while you cook. In turn, your home’s air quality can be impacted. The good news is that you can simply avoid many of the adverse effects by ventilating your kitchen area. Before you begin cooking, crack a window and turn on a fan. 

Construction materials

Renovating? Don’t discount the importance of keeping your indoor air safe. New construction or renovations can release volatile organic compounds from paints, varnishes, and building materials. It’s likely your contractors have safeguards in place, like tarps and plastic sheets. But you should still take care to air out your home during and directly after construction. 

Your pets

No, don’t kick them out! But as loveable as they are, your pets can be responsible for a decrease in indoor air quality. Pets who live in cages often have bedding. This bedding can swirl in the air, along with their fur, which can be irritating. Cats and dogs can pick up pollutants, dirt, and more during indoor and outdoor adventures. To keep these from changing your home’s air, be sure to clean any pet cages regularly. When your pet comes in from outside, wipe off their paws and face. You could even brush them to loosen up anything stuck in their fur. 

Beauty products

The air pollution left behind by beauty products isn’t so beautiful. Hair dyes, nail polishes, and nail polish removers may contain chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, and acetone, which can release harmful fumes when used indoors. These chemicals can have short and long term health effects on indoor air quality. Fragrances can trigger allergic reactions or exacerbate respiratory conditions in sensitive individuals. To mitigate the effects, use these products in well-ventilated rooms. If your bathroom has a fan, keep this on while you do your personal care routine. 

All of these things may be discreetly affecting your home’s air quality. But just because they do, it doesn’t mean you need to give them all up. It takes years for poor home air quality to build. With proper cleaning and some precautions, you should be able to avoid serious problems. 

One of the best ways to manage your home air quality is by getting regularly scheduled duct cleanings. Many of these potential irritants cycle through your home’s HVAC system and become stuck in ducts. If you keep up with duct cleaning, you won’t have to worry about scary build-up. 

Are you looking for Winnipeg HVAC support? Winnipeg duct cleaning from Whyte Ridge Furnace & Air Duct Cleaning is the answer for reliable and professional duct, heating, and air conditioning services in Winnipeg!