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Off Gassing: Everything You Need to Know

Most people these days have furniture items, electronic devices, clothing items, bedding, mattresses, and more.

In all these cases, one thing is common. It is the off-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Most materials in your house release VOCs that can pollute the indoor air. If you don’t have air purifiers for home, you are inhaling these VOCs. They can have adverse effects on your respiratory health.

But most people don’t even know about the off-gassing phenomenon that deteriorates indoor air quality. So, let’s learn about off-gassing, sources of off-gassing, and how you can reduce off-gassing and its effects.

Off-Gassing: What is it?

The slow release of VOCs from different items in your home or office spaces is known as off-gassing. The concentration of VOCs can increase drastically in the indoor air thus reducing the quality over time. 

Moreover, it has been noticed that off-gassing increases at higher temperatures such as during the summer.

Sources of Off-Gassing

  • Plywood or Particle Wood Furniture

If you have just bought a new furniture piece in your home, it will off-gas VOCs heavily.

Most plywood and particle wood furniture release formaldehyde, a major VOC into the indoor air. This can irritate the respiratory system and the eyes and is also a carcinogen.

However, if you have bought a vintage piece of furniture, it will off-gas less. Off-gassing slows down over time.

  • Electronic Devices

We all use electronic devices in our houses. Devices with insulation materials are known to release VOCs in the indoor air. Off-gassing in electronic devices will increase due to the heat in the surroundings and heat produced by the device itself.

  • Glue

If you have carpeted floors, you would have used specialized glue. This glue also off-gasses VOCs in the indoor air.

  • Paint

Whether you have recently painted your house or moved into a new house that has been recently painted, you will notice a peculiar smell.

The smell comes due to the off-gassing of VOCs from the fresh paint. Initially, the smell will be very strong. However, the short duration of exposure to VOCs can cause drastic health effects.

  • Couches, Carpets, and Mattresses

When you buy these items, they must air out efficiently. You must open all the windows of the room where these items will be installed. This will ensure the off-gassed VOCs don’t accumulate in the room. You can also install portable air purifiers to remove these VOCs efficiently.

Ways to Reduce the Accumulation of Off-Gassing VOCs

No matter what you do, you will be exposed to VOCs off-gassing in your home. But there are ways to help reduce the accumulation of VOCs off-gassed from different items in your house.

  • Increase Ventilation

It is not cost-effective to run your fans 24/7 to reduce the VOCs. However, if you use VOC measurement monitors, you will know how much VOCs have accumulated in your house.

This will help increase ventilation. Can you just increase ventilation by opening your house windows? Do you also need to open your house doors? How long should you run your fans to improve indoor air quality?

  • Remove the Source

This might not be possible all the time. You certainly can’t remove your new furniture or move houses. However, you can choose better options.

For example, you can choose to buy hardwood furniture rather than plywood furniture. You can ask to use low-VOC paints for your house.

  • Install an Air Purifier

The best way to get rid of VOCs released due to off-gassing is by installing an air purifier. Most air purifiers have HEPA filters, activated carbon filters, ionizers, and more. These filters are capable of filtering VOCs from the indoor air effectively, thus improving indoor air quality.

Explore more about our robust air purifiers that come with features like HEPA air filters, ionization, activated carbon filters, etc. in our blog.


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