Indoor Air Pollution
How can homeowners identify indoor air pollution?
Air pollution in homes is most noticeable from the dust that accumulates in homes. This dust carries several types of allergens. Additionally, it signals that pollution is also able to enter the home through the same channels.
Pollution can be detected also by the physical health of the home’s occupants. Runny noses and eyes, as well as labored breathing can be associated with poor indoor air quality. Many of the common household cleaners as well as paints with moderate to high amounts of VOCs also add to poor indoor air quality. Ill health effects are compounded in people that already suffer from breathing maladies.
Different seasons can also signify that poor air quality can be an issue. Pollens and certain other natural elements are more abundant depending on the season and region of the country. These problems can be anticipated and made more bearable by the action of the homeowners.
There are five actions that homeowners can take to keep their homes free of pollutants, and the health of their families unaffected by poor air quality. Some of these actions include employing a reputable HVAC company to install or service some issues related to air quality and HVAC systems.
Indoor Air Pollution Solutions
When it comes to reducing air pollution in an indoor environment, or removing pollution altogether, there are a few different methods available to a homeowner or commercial establishment. While many solutions may require a professional service company in order to effectively remove pollution from the air, some simple fixes can be accomplished by yourself at home.
- Proper Ventilation – One should always ensure there is proper ventilation within an indoor environment. The air should be cleaned and circulated using natural air from the outdoors. Windows, doors, and fans can help push fresh air inside and stale air outside.
- Replace Filters – If you are using a vent system indoors, proper maintenance and cleaning will be required. You should regularly check air filters, replacing them if they are old. Cleaning the system once per month, or every few months, should be at the top of your chore list.
- Remove Moisture – Mold requires moisture in order to grow and spread throughout an indoor environment. Mold will directly affect the quality of the air, so ensuring moisture is reduced to minimum levels inside is vital.
After exploring solutions, you’re probably curious to know what the most common causes of indoor air quality problems are?
Most people think of air pollution as car emissions or smog from factories. This is outdoor air pollution, which is dangerous enough. Indoor air pollution, however, has a direct effect on our health after being directly introduced to the pollutants.
The most likely causes of indoor air pollution include particles and gasses that spread and contaminate the air in an indoor location. These pollutants are known to cause respiratory diseases and various forms of cancer – specifically lung cancer.
Some of the most common causes include asbestos, formaldehyde, radon, tobacco smoke, mildew, mold, dust mites, carbon monoxide, and household cleaning products in large quantities in a confined environment. Each of these can be killer on the human immune system, causing various diseases and health complications that will require a visit to the doctor or an emergency room of ingested in large quantities. Should you discover any of these common causes within your own home, contact an air quality service as soon as possible.
Indoor Air Pollution Health Effects
The effects on the human body from air pollution have been researched extensively in the past. There are short-term and long-term issues that tend to affect the body once air pollution has begun to set in, including respiratory disease and cancer, which are the two biggest issues. According to federal scientists, indoor air pollution is one of the largest environmental issues plaguing the United States currently.
Some symptoms to watch for include:
- Teary Eyes
- Respiratory Congestion
More severe symptoms include:
- Eye Irritation
- Hearing Loss
Should you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a friend/family member, speak with a doctor first and foremost. Second, call an air quality service to ensure whatever the problem may be is fixed in a timely manner before worsening conditions occur. A trained technician can locate the problem and take the necessary steps to solve the issue.
If you begin to notice symptoms, the first question you may consider is how to test for indoor air quality problems?
There are a wide variety of options to choose from when testing the air quality in an indoor environment. You can purchase testing kits from various stores – both online and physical storefronts. These kits can be costly, in some cases, but will test for various air pollution sources, such as mold, formaldehyde, and over 500 different volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Some kits, upon registering the air pollutant inside, can even suggest various solutions to improve the overall quality of the air in the area.
Another option is to call in a professional, who can test the air quality throughout the entire household and pinpoint the source of the air pollution plaguing the home. After discovering the pollutant’s type and home, the professional technician can work to remedy the issue and ensure the air quality is up to standards once more. This option could cost more, depending on the service being used, your area, and the nature of the job at hand.
What are 5 of the best ways to prevent indoor air pollution?
The most appropriate action that a homeowner can take to mitigate these issues is to utilize the highest quality air filters in all of the appropriate places throughout the HVAC system. The Hepa-style filters can trap almost all of the allergens that circulate throughout the air in a home.
The next step is to employ a comprehensive HVAC company to clean certain parts of the exterior system. This can reduce the amount of polluted air that is actually entering the system and making it into the home.
Additionally, many HVAC companies now offer duct and register cleaning by certain procedures that render these HVAC system parts free of dust and the allergens that are produced from its presence. This removes an additive to indoor air pollution completely.
There are HVAC appliances that clean the air at a very high rate. These appliances can be more appropriately discussed with an HVAC company. However, these devices are very effective and render the air pollutant free. They do require routine maintenance from HVAC professionals.
Lastly, Homeowners should employ reputable HVAC companies for routine maintenance. This is the best method for keeping the HVAC system functioning efficiently and properly. HAVC systems that function properly keep many allergens from the interior air space.