With every breath you take in your home, you are inhaling more than pure air. You are also inhaling anything else that’s suspending in the air – including a wide range of gases, chemicals and other substances. That is because indoor environments are filled with potential pollutants, making indoor air quality (IAQ) a serious concern. Understanding and controlling these indoor pollutants can help reduce your risk of indoor health issues.
Exposure to low indoor air quality can result in a range of serious concerns. Depending on the type of pollutants and duration of exposure, poor air quality can cause short-term effects like fatigue, dizziness, headaches, nausea, confusion and irritation of the throat, nose and eyes. It can also have long-term risks like mood changes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, cancer, neurological disorders, etc.
In some cases, poor indoor air quality may cause death. Each year, about 4 million people die prematurely from illness caused by household air pollution from inefficient use of solid fuels and kerosene for cooking. Among these deaths, 27% die due to pneumonia, 27% ischemic heart disease, 20% COPD, 18% stroke, and 8% from lung cancer, according to a WHO report.
Other than the health concerns, there’s the issue of HVAC systems. Particulate matter that hangs around your home can clog up filters, accumulate inside air ducts, and cling to coils and other HVAC system components. This affects heat transfer and airflow, eventually impacting HVAC’s performance and threatening its reliability.
That’s why it is essential to ensure your home’s air quality is as good as it can be.
In this article, we will discuss air quality and its importance. We’ll also tell you why working with an air quality specialist like Aquarius, is your best shot at achieving a clean home.
Understanding Indoor Air Quality
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about pollutants? If you are like most people, you probably think about the outdoors – the waterways, factory emissions, spilled chemicals, etc. However, experts say that the air you breathe in your house could be more hazardous to your wellbeing than the outdoor air in the most polluted cities. This is particularly true during the cold months when you shut doors and windows to conserve energy.
Indoor air quality is the air quality within and around your home, especially as it relates to your health and comfort. Unless poor IAQ is suspected or determined, you and your loved ones may continue to inhale toxins and allergens, and suffer from the resulting issues.
Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
Indoor chemicals and gases
Your home, like many others, may be a potential source of an excessive amount of different hazardous pollutants: formaldehyde, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, asbestos, sulfur dioxide, or radon. It may also be chockfull of chemicals from paints, oven cleaners, deodorants, hairsprays, glue, furniture and floor polishes, laundry aids, pesticides, and even air fresheners.
Indoor air allergens
Bacteria, fungi, insect detritus, animal dander, dust mite allergen, fiberglass, cockroach allergen, pollen and fibers are also common biological contaminants in homes. These result from inadequate housekeeping, maintenance and humidity control, condensation, water spills, or come in through ventilation, infiltration or occupants. Other common sources of indoor air allergens include bedding, stuffed toys, damp areas, wall-to-wall carpet, mattresses that aren’t in allergy covers and bedding that can’t be washed in hot water.
Luckily, there are different ways to get rid of indoor air allergens. Using cleaning devices to eliminate the sources of irritants and allergens from your home is a great example. You can also take steps to reduce and avoid contact with allergens – like increasing the flow of outdoor air into your house or minimizing humidity.
Why Indoor Air Quality Matters
The fact that there’s a higher level of dangerous substances indoors than outdoors is heart-wrenching. This is because people spend about 90% of their time indoors – with most of that time spent at home, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Most of the things that cause poor IAQ are odorless. So, in many cases, there’s nothing to alert you to the issue. There’s nothing other than the symptoms that these toxins trigger –like dizziness, digestive issues or asthma flare-ups. In this case, you’ll know you have air problems. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to improve air quality inside your home, like cleaning, changing filters, investing in an air purifier, letting fresh air in, and keeping greenery out. Working with experts can also help out.
When your indoor air is clean, you enjoy the following benefits.
Absence of Indoor Air Allergens
A good IAQ means the absence of air pollutants that you or your loved ones would otherwise inhale. When the air is clean, there won’t be dust, radon, or smoke to cause any health hazards or distress. There will be fewer dust mites, mold growths and pollen translating to fewer allergy and asthma triggers.
Improves your Health
As we mentioned earlier, poor IAQ can cause a range of short and long-term illnesses. But when your home is in top-notch condition, you limit exposure to toxins and therefore improve health.
Low IAQ can cause shortness of breath. This puts lots of stress on your body, particularly your lungs and heart making even talking or going upstairs a physically tiring task. Clean air allows complete breaths that provides your body with adequate oxygen.
The absence of allergens and toxins means less irritation on the respiratory systems. This translates to less sleep-disordered breathing issues like sleep apnea.
Good IAQ means a right balance of humidity and consequently, normal breathing. It also means not worrying about dust mites and molds and pests that come with an increased amount of water in the air.
Working with Air Quality Specialist
If you feel stuffy, or notice that you and your loved ones are having back-to-back respiratory problems, there’s a good chance IAQ is the culprit. In this case, you’ll need to hire a professional air quality specialist like Aquarius to help improve the situation. When you work with an Aquarius expert, you get:
Safe and secure system cleaning: they will safely clean your ductwork and other areas of the system in a way that you won’t be able to do. They will also identify and fix any issues in the ductwork.
Spot danger signs: they will detect differences in air pressure or accumulation on machinery parts. They can check the air quality in space, and inform you about the best way to maintain equipment, protect the safety and health of your loved ones and protect your air handling system.
A sure thing: when you work with specialists, you get more qualified support. You are also confident about them getting the job done right the first time. And since they are licensed and insured, you’ll rest easy knowing you’ll be covered by proper financial security agreements should anything happen on your property.
Experts: specialists have the right technologies to detect pollution levels. They’re also trained to handle this type of work and will help you achieve the best indoor air quality.
Indoor air quality continues to be a significant concern that needs immediate action from homeowners. Working with experts is a great way to put an end to IAQ problems and their associated costs.