Many people spend the majority of their time indoors. Whether inside your home or at the office, concentrations of some pollutants are often up to five times higher than what you’d measure outside. People who are most susceptible to the harmful effects of pollution include older adults, babies and those with respiratory diseases. Read on to learn why indoor air quality matters to your health.
Indoor Pollutants are Everywhere
Most pollutants that impact indoor air quality originate from a source inside your property, including building materials, cleaning supplies and combustion sources. Here are some tips to improve your home’s air quality and breathe easier:
- Use natural cleaners to avoid the spread of volatile organic compounds
- Balance home humidity between 40 and 60 percent to prevent microbial growth.
- Change the HVAC filter every 30 to 90 days to prevent dirty air from recirculating.
- Don’t let anyone smoke tobacco products in your home.
- Avoid using paints that contain more than 5 g/l of VOCs in them.
The Air Exchange Rate Matters
Your home’s air exchange rate with the outdoors matters when determining the concentration of indoor air pollution. The design and construction of your home impacts the air exchange rate, and most modern homes are built for energy efficiency. As a result, they’re tightly sealed to prevent conditioned air from escaping or to stop outdoor air from entering. While this improves energy efficiency, it decreases indoor air quality.
Adequate ventilation is vital to maintaining good IAQ. That should include:
- Opening windows and doors when the outdoor temperatures allow.
- Using the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom when cooking or showering.
- Installing an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) in your home.
Poor IAQ is a Health Hazard
Headaches, dizziness and fatigue are just a few of the health effects you could experience because of poor indoor air quality. Indoor air pollutants can also trigger asthma, contribute to certain cancers and result in health disease. If you experience allergy-like symptoms when entering a building, and they diminish after you leave it, it’s likely that you’re dealing with poor indoor air quality and suffering from sick building syndrome.
Do you want to schedule an IAQ assessment to determine if your home has good indoor air quality? Contact Authorized Heating & Air Conditioning at (864) 416-4013 right away.