Attack of the VOCs

They’re lurking in every home: air pollutants. And what’s inside can often be more toxic than what’s outside. The worst is “volatile organic compounds” or VOCs. In this post, we’ll explain these pollutants and how the right HVAC system can help you get rid of them.


A volatile organic compound (VOC) is a chemical containing carbon that can turn into a gas. They are in paints and solvents, personal care products, and plastics. Some new items even emit VOCs at a higher rate. Think of that “new car smell” or the fresh scent of anything. These things take a few days to air out and lose their scent.


VOCs are emitted slowly and can be a health issue if you and your family are exposed to them over an extended period of time. Here are some common VOCs and how they could impact your health:

  • Benzene has a sweet smell and is flammable. It’s commonly used in manufacturing things like resin, fiber, plastics, lubricants, detergents, rubber, and dyes. In other words, it’s in many of the things already in your home. Benzene is a carcinogen, which can negatively effect your immune and nervous system.
  • Formaldehyde is another common household chemical. It’s used for papers and resins, fertilizer, and can be a preservative for medicines, cosmetics, and even food. The human body also produces small amounts of formaldehyde. Exposure to too much formaldehyde can negatively impact your skin, lungs, and immune and digestive systems.
  • Acetone is also commonly used in the manufacturing process of fibers and plastic and is used to dissolve other substances. This makes it a common ingredient in things like nail polish remover. The body creates acetone to help breakdown fat. Too much exposure can affect your blood or nervous system.


As you can tell, VOCs are in many very common products that are in your home. As mentioned, the only way these products pose any danger is through excessive exposure. The good news is that a proper ventilation system goes a long way to reducing your risk. In fact, a good HVAC unit replaces the air that’s inside your house with air from outside your house. That’s the best way to reduce VOCs and other chemicals lingering in the air in your home.


The Bosworth Company can set you up with the right HVAC system to ensure proper ventilation for your home. Call us today at 432-570-5233, or schedule an appointment online. And don’t forget to ask about our state-of-the-art in-duct air purifiers! It’s Worth the Call. Always.