They’re all around us, they come from the most surprising places and they’re really not good for us. Whether or not you’ve heard of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), they’re in the air you breathe every time you come home.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency1, VOCs can have these health effects:

• Eye, nose and throat irritation
• Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea
• Damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system
• Some organics can cause cancer in animals, some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.

Where do these chemicals come from? All sorts of places:

Household products, including:
• paints, paint strippers and other solvents
• wood preservatives
• aerosol sprays
• cleansers and disinfectants
• moth repellents and air fresheners
• stored fuels and automotive products
• hobby supplies
• dry-cleaned clothing
• pesticide

Other products, including:
• building materials and furnishings
• office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper

With so many sources of VOCs in our homes, getting rid of them is a tall order. What we can do, though, is reduce the concentration of VOCs by making sure our homes are constantly refreshed with cleaner, filtered air.

HRV home ventilation is one way to do that. HRV home ventilation draws drier air from your roof space, filters it and delivers it to your living areas. That means stale, often damp air is forced out, along with many of the VOCs and other contaminants it might be carrying.

Of course, opening a window or door will help with ventilation too. That’s fine when you’re home on a summer’s day, but when you’re away or trying to keep your home warm in winter, it’s not such a good option. HRV home ventilation fills your home with fresh air, even when all the doors and windows are closed.

So that’s the ABCs of VOCs. Want to know more? Talk to HRV!