Improving the Indoor Air Quality in Your Home

indoor air quality

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air can be even 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. Buildings are more tightly sealed than in the past, so pollutants and excess moisture are trapped inside. Since we spend so much time indoors, identifying sources of indoor air pollution, and taking steps to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) are critical for maintaining good health.

Causes of Poor Indoor Air

There are unfortunately more factors that reduce the quality of our indoor air than we might even realize. These sources originate outside as well as inside our home.

  • Combustion fumes from fuel-burning equipment such as your furnace can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde are off-gassed from building materials, carpeting, paint, and furniture. Other harmful chemicals are released from everyday cleaning, maintenance, laundry, craft, and personal care products used and stored in a home.
  • Allergens such as pet hair and dander, dust mites and outdoor plant pollen end up circulating throughout your indoor air.
  • High humidity and condensation indoors present ideal conditions for molds to thrive.
  • Radon gas can seep in through small cracks in the foundation or crawl space and then infiltrate the living areas. This odorless gas is created as uranium and other elements break down in the soil, and is a leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Poor indoor air affects everyone, but especially those who already have respiratory or other medical problems. You and your family members may experience symptoms such as itchy eyes, sore throat, nasal congestion, fatigue, and coughing.

Improving Indoor Air Quality

There are a number of easy-to-implement steps that effectively improve your indoor air quality, and help protect the health of everyone in your household:

  • Opening windows helps to get stagnant, polluted air out and introduce cleaner outdoor air. However, this isn't practical when you're operating the HVAC system. Investing in a whole-house ventilation system is one solution.
  • Service all combustion equipment annually to reduce your risk of exposure to harmful exhaust fumes and lethal carbon monoxide.
  • Help prevent mold growth and control humidity by using kitchen and bath exhaust fans to eliminate excess moisture during cooking and bathing.
  • Reduce VOCs by using low-VOC or green products in your home as much as possible. Ensure there is enough ventilation when using products containing harmful chemicals.
  • Bathe pets regularly to control dander. Vacuum often, and use a damp cloth for dusting. Launder bedding weekly in hot water to control dust mites.

    To learn more about identifying and remedying the negative effects of poor indoor air quality in your Tallahassee home, contact Air Control Heating & Cooling, Inc. today at 850-391-4300.

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