How Grilling Could Affect Your IAQ

How Grilling Could Affect Your IAQWhatever’s going on in the kitchen generally has some effects on IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) throughout the house. Indoor grilling is no exception. A tasty alternative when firing up the outdoor grill isn’t practical, indoor grill pans and folding contact grills are increasingly popular. However, byproducts of grilling can add substances to the home environment that may compromise healthy indoor air quality.

Here are some typical effects on IAQ:

Indoor grilling with approved electric or natural gas grilling appliances may release particulate matter (smoke), nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide and VOC’s (volatile organic compounds.) Because you’re grilling inside an enclosed structure, these airborne pollutants may become excessively concentrated. In fact, studies at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have shown that cooking-related nitrogen dioxide can accumulate indoors to levels that would be illegal outdoors by EPA standards. Eye and nose irritation, respiratory discomfort and a variety of other allergic reactions may be triggered in susceptible individuals.

Let’s Clear The Air

Ventilate instead of accumulate. Every kitchen should have a powered vent fan to exhaust smoke, water vapor and fumes through a duct to the outdoors. Even better for grilling purposes, however, is a range hood that incorporates powered ventilation. Grilling directly beneath a range hood helps ensure maximum capture and removal of particulates and fumes. According to the Berkley lab studies, range hoods could reduce the number of homes with excessive indoor cooking pollutants by 50%.

Filter effectively. Make sure your HVAC filter is efficient enough to capture tiny particulates and pollutants present in smoke produced by grilling. This requires upgrading to quality pleated cotton or polyester filters with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Rating Value) rating of at least 8. For optimum filtration performance, if your grill a lot change the filter every month.

Clean the cookware. Make sure grilling appliances are cleaned after each use. Grease and other cooking residue left behind generates smoke, nitrogen dioxide and other pollutant fumes the next time the grill is used.

For more ways to minimize grilling effects on IAQ, ask Paitson Bros. We’ve been helping safeguard indoor air quality for our customers since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859. 

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