Bad Indoor Air Quality & The Effects It Can Have
Your home’s indoor air quality probably isn’t something you think about on a day to day basis. But in the winter especially, it’s important to preserve the indoor air quality and take the safety of it into consideration. Years ago, air quality wasn’t as big of an issue as it is now, and some of that is because of the advances in building technology. The new changes and technology for buildings let us seal our homes for better energy efficiency to reduce the exchange of outdoor and indoor air. The indoor air can be polluted with toxins like fuel from the stove or fireplace, even household cleaners, building materials, HVAC systems, and furnishings. The indoor air quality can have lasting effects on your health, including allergic reactions, asthma, respiratory diseases, heart disease and some forms of cancer.
We’ve listed some ways you can improve the air quality in your home below:
Change Your A/C Filter – By simply changing your A/C filter, you can help your air conditioning system give the right temperature all year round, and improve the efficiency and quality of the system. Having a filter will help keep out some of those common air pollutants.
Change Out Other Air Filters – Not only do you want to change the A/C filter regularly, but you’ll also want to ensure the filters on your household appliances, like the vacuum, clothes dryer and kitchen vents are inspected and maintained every few months.
Inspect The Air Ducts – The air ducts help provide a comfortable climate in each room, circulating hot and cold air throughout the room. If the ducts are not maintained enough, contaminants can be distributed throughout the air from one room to another. It’s important to make sure your ducts are circulating fresh, clean air.
Utilize Cooking Vents – Indoor air pollutants can start in the kitchen, especially from gas stoves and electric burners. Gas stoves are known to release harmful contaminants, like carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide into the air. We recommend turning on your kitchen vents or opening a window to filter out the air, anytime you’re in the kitchen cooking.
Vacuum Your Floors Often – Vacuuming and keeping your rugs and carpets clean weekly will improve your air quality. Rugs and carpets are their own air filters, trapping dust and other particles in their fibers, that’s why it’s important to keep them as clean as you can.
Control The Humidity Inside – Humidity and moist conditions can cause mold and mildew to form and create respiratory issues. If your summers are really humid, it’s best to reduce the amount of moisture in the air, and introduce some dehumidifiers into the area. They can help maintain humidity levels and keep them consistent.
Introduce Indoor Plants – Houseplants have always been popular, and with the pandemic and everyone staying home, they’ve gained more popularity. Not only do they add some greenery to your home, but they can improve the indoor air quality as well. Plants like ferns and lilies and larger palm trees can help pull contaminants out of the air.
Other Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality
Of course, the above are all great, and simple ways to improve the air quality of your home, but you should also take into consideration some hidden causes that could be underlying. Mold and asbestos can affect your air quality, especially mold.
Mold can cause some unseen, and sometimes unknown problems. It can often lead to poor indoor air quality, airborne contamination and allergens affecting the health of individuals in the structure. Mold is an indoor air pollutant, just like carbon monoxide, asbestos and smoke. While there are short term effects to mold growth, like eye and nose irritation, headaches, and dizziness, there can be long term effects as like heart and respiratory diseases.
Mold is a type of fungus, meant to break down biodegradable materials in the environment. As mold continues to grow, it can develop new spores through reproduction and is essentially a never ending cycle. As mold spores spread, they can affect everyone, even pets.
Mold is the hardest type of property damage to clean and remove. You actually cannot completely remove mold, spores will always be in the air. Mold remediation will help control the spores, and with just a few in the air, your indoor air quality isn’t negatively affected and dangerous. It’s best to schedule a mold removal procedure with a local restoration company to remove the fungus from the building.
Although asbestos isn’t a health risk unless it’s disturbed and it’s likely not to affect your indoor air quality, friable asbestos can still break off and become airborne. If asbestos pipe insulation was used, and it’s deteriorating, the fibers can become friable and airborne, causing a problem. The asbestos pieces can be sucked into the HVAC system and released allowing them to be inhaled or ingested. Once the fibers enter your body, they can cause mesothelioma over time, a rare and aggressive cancer only caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos can cause a number of other diseases as well, like lung cancer, asbestosis, and can even affect individuals living with asthma or COPD.
Improving the air quality of your home or commercial building can be an easy task, but you should also keep in mind that an inspection from a trusted mold and asbestos abatement company couldn’t hurt either. You never know what underlying issues there might be. To learn more about our services or schedule an inspection, please contact us.Back To Blog