Installing new carpeting? Repainting your walls? Buying new furniture? It's likely that your upgrades will come complete with volatile organic compounds—or VOCs. As these chemicals break down, they release gas into the air that can cause headaches, sore throats, and more. Minimize the effects of off-gassing by ventilating a newly furnished room for at least a week after installation and always buying no- or low-VOC products when possible.