People are used to hearing about the quality of the air outside their home or office. Weather reports reference the dust and pollen counts during allergy season and, depending on what part of the country you live in, pollution from cars and businesses can be a problem that a person has to be aware of. The air quality of a person’s home is often overlooked. Indoor air quality is affected by several factors, and there are actions people can take to improve the quality of the air they breathe.
Air Quality, What It Is and Why It Is Important.
The Environmental Protection Agency defines indoor air quality as the quality of the air within and around buildings and structures as it relates to the health and comfort of its occupants. Room temperature, humidity levels, ventilation, chemical, and biological contaminants are all factors that impact the quality of the air in a person’s home or office. The quality of the air people breathe is important, and exposure to spaces with poor air quality can cause health issues like headaches, fatigue, and allergy symptoms like sneezing, coughing watery itchy eyes. In extreme cases, people can experience the most serious health effects like cancer, heart disease, and death.
Air Quality Issues
There are several issues that affect the air quality in a person’s home or office. People can contract an Indoor Air Quality service to measure the amounts of each that are present in a home or business.
- Poor air circulation can occur when a home is closed up all the time, which is common during the winter. Poor air circulation can cause dangerous chemicals and gasses to build up in the home.
- Mold and mildew caused by high humidity and moisture damage. If left unaddressed mold and mildew can cause respiratory issues, allergic reactions, and in extreme cases cause nervous system disorders.
- Dust mites and pet dander can cause allergic reactions.
- Radon is a radioactive gas formed when radioactive metals like uranium break down. Radioactive metals are naturally present in rocks, soil, and groundwater, and as they break down, the radon gas seeps into homes and businesses through cracks and gaps.
- Cleaning products and pesticides do not stay on the surfaces they are applied to. They release harmful chemicals into the air, and in any space without good ventilation, those chemicals will compound and cause allergic reactions to the people exposed.
- VOCs or volatile organic compounds are gases from certain products used in the construction of homes and day-to-day life. Exposure to VOCs can cause headaches, nausea, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat.
Steps to Improve Air Quality
There are several signs that can alert a person to poor indoor air quality. Itchy, watery eyes, headaches, and dizziness, excessive dust despite weekly cleaning, humidity issues, stuffy odors, and nausea are all indicators that a person may have air quality issues in their home. If a person finds that they are experiencing symptoms frequently, there are steps they can take to improve their indoor air quality.
Issues with air circulation can be improved by opening the windows periodically to allow fresh air into the home. Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom. If a person’s home does not have an exhaust fan installed in those areas, they should contact an Air Conditioning service to install them. Improving air circulation will help with dispersing the pollutants like radon, VOCs, and cleaning products and pesticides.
For issues like mold and mildew that are caused by high humidity levels, people can work with a Cooling Service to ensure their air conditioning system is operating optimally to reduce the humidity in the home. Air filtration can also be used to limit the level of mold spores and bacteria in the air.
HEPA filters can be installed in a home’s air conditioning unit to assist in eliminating 99% of all irritants. Upgrading the air filters in a home is one of the most cost-effective methods of reducing indoor allergens. Air Conditioning services can also be contacted to install a UV Germicidal Light System into the ductwork of the home. The UV light will sanitize the air, ductwork, and heating and cooling equipment UV light systems have been shown to reduce airborne microorganisms by 50% in 45 minutes of use.
Indoor air quality is a factor that affects a person’s life. Understanding the factors that cause issues with air quality will help a person determine the best actions to improve the quality of the air they breathe.
Gibber Services is a heating and air conditioning contractor serving Memphis, Tennessee, and the surrounding suburbs. Visit their website to see their listing of services.