How You Could Be Ruining Your Home’s Air Quality

Five paraffin votive candles in assorted colors photographed against black background

There are lots of hidden indoor pollutants that you would never even think of. From candles to new furniture, you may be ruining your indoor air quality in more ways than one.

HVAC cleaning in Arvada is often an overlooked service. But with so many health hazards circulating in your air, regular duct cleaning is more important than you think.

Let’s shed some light on these hidden dangers so you can take better care of your home’s air quality.

Signs of Indoor Air Hazards

There are some signs that your home’s air quality may be compromised. They include:

  • Strange odors
  • Stale and stuffy air
  • Lack of air movement
  • Damaged chimney or flue pipes
  • Excess humidity
  • Mildew and mold
  • Impact on health after moving, remodeling, adding new furniture, or using new household products
  • Feeling better outside your home than inside

Possible Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality

New Furniture

Furniture is a necessity in any home. But if you get the wrong furniture, it can damage the indoor air quality of your home.

Furniture that’s made out of particleboard or pressed wood slowly releases formaldehyde, a potential carcinogen. Scarily, funeral directors who use formaldehyde embalming fluid are three times more likely to develop ALS.

The issue with particle board is that it’s made up of small bits of wood glued together, and the glue releases formaldehyde.

When you’re buying new furniture, try to buy some that’s made out of solid wood.


When something smells bad, you often grab a candle in an attempt to improve the air quality of your home. But the scented candle might actually be hurting the air quality in your home.

Paraffin-based candles release microparticles into the air you breathe when you burn them. Other candles even emit formaldehyde while burning. Both of these can be toxic to your health.

If you love candles and enjoy the scent or aesthetic of them, consider beeswax candles with natural scents.

Cleaning Supplies

A lot of the cleaning supplies we use are quite harsh. Plenty of them contain fragrances that have volatile organic compounds in them.

VOCs can induce many health problems and even create negative long-term consequences.

Opt for all-natural, eco-friendly options. But don’t just look at the name of the product! Read the ingredients. The word “natural” isn’t regulated and can be put on any product.

Something else to consider when using cleaning supplies is to be careful not to mix the wrong ones. For example, never use bleach with ammonia-based cleaning supplies because it will create a toxic gas.

Ovens and Stoves

Besides the pollutants caused by cleaning supplies, you can also run into trouble when you cook with electric or gas stoves.

Formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and more can get released if you cook with natural gas. Likewise, both electric and gas stoves can release irritants depending on what you're cooking, such as if you cook with oil past its combustion point.

Keep your windows open while you cook to avoid a buildup of fumes.


It’s really easy to let dust pile up in your home. We all lead busy lives and it’s hard to make room in your schedule to dust the house.

But when you don’t regularly dust, or if you let too much build up, it can seriously diminish the air quality in your home.

Even after you remove the dust, it can stay in the air and circulate through your ducts again if you don’t replace your filter.

Aerosol Sprays

Aerosol sprays account for half of all outdoor VOC emissions. And they also create plenty of problems when it comes to indoor air quality.

When you inhale too many VOCs, you may experience inflamed lungs, problems with your skin or eyes, nausea, a headache, or even damage to your kidney and liver.

Because of this, it’s important to use aerosol sprays as sparsely as possible. Some common examples include disinfectants, air fresheners, and hairspray.


Smoking is well-known for its negative health consequences. There’s a reason that there are designated smoking areas, even outdoors. Smoking can wreak havoc on your lungs as it deposits tar and carcinogens.

Regardless of how long ago someone smoked in your home, the residue is still there and being released. It stays in the walls, carpets, furniture, and air ducts.


Humidifiers are great when you use them correctly. They can improve the humidity of your home if you live in a dry climate.

But if used incorrectly, humidifiers can cause the growth of mold and mildew in your walls and air ducts. High humidity can also cause an excess of dust mites.

If you use humidifiers, keep the humidity below 50%. That way, mold is unlikely to grow and pollen won’t build up.

Final Thoughts From Steve's Air Duct Cleaning

There are lots of things that can potentially worsen the air quality inside your home as we’ve discussed above, but there’s one thing you can do to improve it immeasurably- schedule regular air vent cleaning.

Air duct cleaning helps by creating better airflow in your home to properly ventilate and filter out these pollutants.

Steve’s Air Duct Cleaning has been providing HVAC cleaning to the greater Denver area for the past 44 years, so we know what we’re doing. We care about keeping our community safe from pollutants and would love to make sure your air is as clean as can be!

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