Contributed by Stacie Campbell Aguesse, solar energy expert and green living aficionado
Cabin fever may be making you ready for a change to your interiors. But for the sake of your indoor air quality, you may want to save your improvements for the springtime. Paint, new furniture, and new surfaces like carpet are major culprits for reduced IAQ.
February is a great time to collect your ideas for home improvements and make room in your home the new. As spring sets in, and your windows open with the warmer weather, you’ll be ready to make the changes with a reduced impact on your home’s indoor air quality.
If you're planning to paint, choose a paint marked "Low" or "No VOC", which means it releases fewer harmful chemicals into the air. Keep windows open as much as possible during the painting and for at least a week after painting is complete. If you're changing carpeting or furniture at the same time, paint first. Not only does this help eliminate unwanted splatters on your new surfaces, but absorbent materials can collect paint fumes and re-release them over time.
For changes to your furnishings, look for items marked with the new Greenguard label from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) which are certified to have lower VOC levels. Always unwrap new furniture outdoors and let them off-gas for several hours before moving them indoors. And for a double-green action - buy used furniture! The majority of off-gassing occurs when furniture is brand new, which means that used furniture will not only be better for your indoor air quality, but also help recycle existing items.
Posted: 2/17/2013 12:00:04 AM by
Heather Wallace | with 0 comments