When we talk about pollutants, we often refer to those found outside, whether in the air, the ground, or waterways. Indoor air quality is vital to our day-to-day lives and health, more so when we talk about taking care of our home.
The pollutants found inside should concern us just as much, if not more. Based on researches, indoors can be a place where pollutants are probably two to five times more concentrated than those outdoors.
Indoor air can have allergens like pet dander, dust, and mold. Dust mite levels could be higher because of humidity; particles are released into the air by furnaces, wood-burning fires, and candles. When you are cooking, it sends oil and fat particulates into the air. Newly installed floors and furniture can release chemicals.
According to the EPA, an average American spends 90% of their time indoors, and with stay-at-home orders because of a global pandemic from the new COVID-19 going on, the rate of people staying indoors has increased. Having good indoor air quality is an essential part of living safety through this time. So it would be best if you leaped into making sure your home has a safe atmosphere for your family. Indoor air quality can improve by reducing the sources of pollutants and allergens.
What are the immediate and long term effects of neglected indoor air quality?
Some health effects are evident shortly after a single exposure to such pollutants. The result includes irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, headache, dizziness, and fatigue. Immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Sometimes, the treatment eliminates the person’s exposure to the pollution source if known immediately. After exposure to some indoor air pollutants, some diseases such as asthma may show up, be aggravated, or worsen.
Other health effects may be visible either year after exposure has occurred or only after long or repeated periods of exposure. These effects, including respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer, can be severely debilitating or fatal. It is prudent to improve the indoor air quality in your home even if symptoms are not noticeable. But how?
Below are ways you can reduce the sources of pollutants and allergens throughout your home:
- Establish regular cleaning routines.
- Measure your home’s humidity levels and keep them below 50%. If you reside in a wet climate, a dehumidifier could much help.
- During peak pollen times or times of high outdoor pollution, keep your windows closed.
- Get rid of strong scents like candles and harsh cleaners.
- Use a trusted air cleaner and recommended air filters.
Indoor air quality can be incredibly detrimental if neglected, so it is vital to assess your home’s current state. Making strides towards better indoor air quality only shows that the health and safety of those in your home is your top priority. Even if it occurs to you that it would be possible for your space to have low indoor air quality, getting energy, and a professional audit would make your mind at ease. Working with a professional company that offers HVAC expertise will allow you to mitigate potential risks associated with bad indoor air quality.