Off-gassing is common and VOCs are in your home. Should you be concerned?
In the age of healthy homes, you may have heard about off-gassing. Specifically, how many homeowners are trying to limit the amount of off-gassing in their homes.
But, what exactly is off-gassing? And what causes it? Today, we’ll be covering those questions, as well as break down some helpful tips for reducing the amount of off-gassing that may be present in your home.
What is Off-Gassing?
Off-gassing is what we call the releasing of airborne chemicals (called volatile organic compounds [VOCs]) that come from ordinary products you can find throughout your home.
For example, the most prevalent VOCs include benzene, ammonia, toluene, and formaldehyde, all of which can be emitted from everyday items in a home.
Here is a list of the most common sources of off-gassing:
- Carpets – new carpeting can produce off-gassing for 5+ years.
- Furniture – Couches and mattresses, along with other types of furniture, have been known to be big offenders when it comes to off-gassing.
- Particleboard and plywood: Both particleboard and plywood can be big off-gassers, as the glue that often holds them together contains formaldehyde.
- Dryer sheets – Yes, even dryer sheets—despite their pleasant smell—are off-gas offenders. In fact, they have even been known to cause skin irritation.
- Other miscellaneous off-gas producers – paints and varnishes, nail polish remover, household cleaners, air fresheners, toys, cabinetry, vinyl, adhesives, wood-burning stoves, and more.
How to Reduce Off-Gassing in Your Home
While it’ll likely be impossible to completely get rid of all off-gassing in your home, here are a few tactics for at least reducing the amount of VOCs in your home.
Purchase Clean Cabinetry
While regular cabinetry is a hotbed for VOC toxins, clean cabinetry like the cabinets we offer at Puustelli are just the opposite.
Our authentic Scandinavian Cabinets not only look terrific with a combination of minimalist design and warm, natural tones, but they also DO NOT contain MDF, chipboard, or formaldehyde-based glues. At Puustelli, we believe it’s on the creators of these common household products to be free of potentially harmful VOCs. That’s why we created these ecological, healthy, and sustainable cabinets.
To learn more about Puustelli, contact us today! We’re looking forward to hearing from you!
Allow For Fresh Air Circulation
One reason why off-gassing may be worse in one home when compared to another is that the homeowners aren’t allowing for enough airflow. Think about it; the biggest problem with off-gassing is that the VOCs have nowhere to go. They are emitted into the air and are then contained in a small space. But, if you open windows, clear air vents out regularly, or install under door vents, you can reduce the density of the VOCs.
Purchase More Used Furniture and Other Products
Used products have already gone through their highest off-gassing rates. Therefore, the newer the piece of furniture is that you bring into your home, the more VOCs it is likely to give off. So, for that reason, not only is it smart to look for vintage furniture and other products because it is sustainable and cheaper, but it can keep your home cleaner too because it will give off less VOCs.
Another good tip—if you have trouble finding the right used piece of furniture, you can see if it’s possible to buy a floor model. Floor models will have been out of their packaging for a while and will then emit less off-gassing when placed in your home.
Air it Out
Weather permitting, and if you have space in the garage, you should always try and air out products for at least a couple of days (if not a few weeks) before permanently placing them in your home. It may be a bit of a pain at first, but it can keep your home much cleaner in the long run.
If you are one of the many homeowners trying to limit the amount of airborne chemicals in your home, make sure to consider the off-gassing tips we talked about today.
Remember the most common sources of off-gassing are carpets, furniture, and cabinetry. While we may not be able to help with the carpets, Puustelli offers healthy and sustainable cabinets that would match beautifully with your kitchen.
Want to learn more about non-toxic furniture? Check out our blog post about 6 sustainable and healthy options for your home.