Research shows that indoor air pollution is over three times higher than outdoor air pollution levels. And at its peak, it can multiply up to 560 times. This means that there are high chances that you’re currently breathing polluted air inside your home. Fortunately, you don’t have to breathe in this unhealthy air. We, at Carney & Son 72 Degrees have put together this blog to help you take steps to improve indoor air quality and can help ensure that your family is breathing in clean, fresh, and healthy air.
Here’s what you should know:
The Importance of Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, particularly as it relates to the health and comfort of occupants. Maintaining good indoor air quality is crucial for several reasons:
Poor indoor air quality can contribute to various health issues, ranging from minor irritations to severe conditions. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), poor IAQ can cause symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and irritation of the eyes, nose, or throat. Long-term exposure to indoor air pollutants may also lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer.
Productivity and Comfort
In addition to health concerns, poor indoor air quality can negatively affect productivity and overall comfort. Unpleasant odors, stuffy air, and inadequate temperature or humidity control can create an uncomfortable living environment and make it difficult to focus on daily tasks.
Common Indoor Air Pollutants
A variety of pollutants can negatively impact indoor air quality, including:
Biological pollutants include mold, bacteria, viruses, pollen, pet dander, and dust mites. These contaminants can thrive in damp or humid conditions and may cause allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues.
Chemical pollutants consist of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by products like paints, cleaning supplies, and building materials. These compounds can cause short-term symptoms like headaches and dizziness, as well as long-term health effects with prolonged exposure.
Combustion pollutants, such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, are produced by burning fuels like natural gas, wood, or kerosene. These pollutants can cause a range of health issues, from mild discomfort to life-threatening conditions.
Strategies for Improving Indoor Air Quality
Now that we understand the importance of indoor air quality and common pollutants, let’s explore some effective strategies for improving the air you breathe at home:
Ventilation and Air Circulation
Proper ventilation and air circulation can help remove pollutants and maintain healthy indoor air quality. Some ways to improve ventilation include:
- Opening windows and doors to allow fresh outdoor air inside
- Using exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms to remove moisture and odors
- Installing an air exchange system to bring in fresh outdoor air while expelling stale indoor air
Air filtration systems, such as HEPA filters, can effectively remove contaminants like dust, pollen, and pet dander from the air. Be sure to change or clean your air filters regularly, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Maintaining an optimal humidity level (between 30% and 50%) can help prevent the growth of mold, bacteria, and dust mites. Use a humidifier or dehumidifier to regulate humidity levels, and be mindful of activities that generate moisture, such as cooking or showering.
Regular cleaning can minimize the accumulation of dust, pet dander, and other allergens in your home. Vacuum carpets and upholstered furniture regularly, and use a damp cloth to wipe down surfaces to avoid stirring up dust particles.
Minimizing the sources of indoor air pollution is crucial for maintaining good indoor air quality. Some strategies for source control include:
- Choosing low-VOC products, such as paints and cleaning supplies
- Properly maintaining fuel-burning appliances to minimize combustion pollutants
- Addressing water leaks and moisture issues promptly to prevent mold growth
Indoor Air Quality and Your HVAC System
Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system plays a significant role in maintaining indoor air quality. Here are some ways your HVAC system can help improve the air you breathe:
Many HVAC systems include air filters designed to remove dust, pollen, and other particles from the air. Ensuring your HVAC system has a high-quality filter and replacing it regularly is crucial for maintaining good indoor air quality.
HVAC systems can help regulate humidity levels by removing excess moisture during the cooling process. Additionally, some HVAC systems offer built-in humidifiers or dehumidifiers to maintain optimal humidity levels.
Regular maintenance of your HVAC system can help prevent the buildup of pollutants and ensure optimal performance. Schedule routine checkups with a professional HVAC technician to inspect and clean your system, as well as address any potential issues before they become major problems.
Reach Out to Carney & Son 72 Degrees For Your HVAC Repairs and Installation
Improving indoor air quality is essential for maintaining a healthy and comfortable living environment. By understanding common pollutants, implementing effective strategies, and ensuring your HVAC system is working optimally, you can breathe easier today and enjoy a healthier home.
Is it time for an HVAC checkup or an indoor air quality assessment? Reach out to Carney & Son 72 Degrees, your trusted source for excellent HVAC services in the Hampton Roads area. Our experienced technicians can inspect and clean your system, as well as install new air filtration systems or dehumidifiers if needed. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you improve the air quality of your home.