Improving Indoor Air Quality: Common Pollutants and Solutions
Indoor air quality can cause health issues for both you and your family. By understanding what contributes to indoor air pollution, you can help eliminate it.
Getting your air ducts cleaned is one way to improve the air pollution in your home but there are other things you should also be aware of that can make you and your family sick. Indoor air quality is something we often overlook as homeowners and it is an important part to our health and wellbeing. We spend a lot of time inside our homes so it is important to understand the various factors that contribute to poor indoor air quality.
Bad IAQ can lead to various health conditions such as:
- Respiratory issues
To improve indoor air quality for you and your family, it’s important to identify the sources of the pollution in your home. Some of these are easy to find and fix on your own, while others pollutants will require professionals to remove or mitigate the problem with specialized equipment.
Impact on Health and Wellbeing
Indoor air quality refers to harmful indoor air pollutants that are circulating in the air we breathe in our home, workplace, or public spaces. These pollutants include carbon monoxide, tobacco smoke, mold, mildew, radon gases, volatile organic compounds, dust & allergens, and asbestos fibers.
Our home’s indoor air quality is typically 2-5 times more polluted than the air outdoors, and poor indoor air quality can lead to various health conditions, such as respiratory issues, dizziness, headaches, and fatigue. It is crucial to identify the sources of pollution in your home and take necessary steps to improve indoor air quality.
Causes and Effects of Poor IAQ
Poor ventilation causes indoor pollutants to accumulate and leads to higher levels of indoor pollution. In addition, high humidity levels can cause mold and other bacteria to grow, reducing indoor air quality. Tobacco smoke, building materials with VOCs, asbestos, dust, and allergens are also common contributors to poor indoor air quality. Radon and carbon monoxide leaks are silent killers and can cause severe health complications.
Proper ventilation and circulation of fresh air throughout your home is essential to maintain clean air. Ensure your exhaust fans and HVAC systems are in good working order, and open windows and doors in the summertime to improve indoor air quality.
Excessive moisture in your home can result in the air feeling stuffy and uncomfortable. High humidity levels also promote the growth of mold and other bacteria, reducing indoor air quality. Proper management of your whole-home humidifier and dehumidifier can help mitigate these issues.
Avoiding Tobacco Smoke
Smoking indoors contributes significantly to poor indoor air quality, releasing harmful chemicals that stick to furniture, walls, and carpets. Secondhand smoke can also cycle through your HVAC system and spread throughout your home, leading to respiratory issues and other health-related problems. Avoid smoking indoors to improve your home’s indoor air quality.
Volatile organic compounds release harmful chemical vapors into the air, and they can be found in many building materials in your home, including furniture, carpets, paint, and caulks. To reduce exposure to VOCs, choose products with low or no VOCs, and consider air purifiers that filter these pollutants.
Dealing with Asbestos
Asbestos was commonly used in building materials found in homes built up to 1979. Disturbing asbestos fibers can cause serious health complications, including lung cancer. If you find asbestos in your home, do not touch it and have it professionally remediated.
Controlling Dust and Allergens
The accumulation of dust, pet dander, pollen, and other allergens can cause allergies and asthma-like symptoms, contributing to poor indoor air quality. Regular cleaning of air ducts, carpets, and drapes can help reduce allergens and improve indoor air quality.
Addressing Radon Exposure
Radon is a natural radioactive gas that can contaminate indoor air, leading to lung cancer. It can seep into homes through cracks in the basement foundation. It is recommended to have a radon test done by a professional mitigation company and have a fan installed to remove these toxic gases.
Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is a silent killer that can leak from home appliances, including gas stoves, furnaces, fireplaces, and water heaters. Install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home and change the batteries every six months to prevent poisoning.
Maintaining HVAC Systems
The HVAC systems in your home should be regularly maintained to ensure they are functioning properly. Properly functioning heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems help control humidity levels and remove contaminants from the air.
Have them tuned up and examined each year by a professional HVAC company to ensure they are operating efficiently and not contributing to poor indoor air quality.
Improving Indoor Air Quality
To improve your home’s indoor air quality, it is important to identify and address the common factors we mentioned in this article. Take the necessary steps to improve the air quality in your home so you can avoid unnecessary health problems, respiratory issues, headaches, and fatigue.
If you are unable to fix the pollution levels in your home on your own, consider contacting one of the many trusted air quality control companies in the Milwaukee area to help you identify and mitigate indoor air pollutants.
By taking steps to improve your home’s indoor air quality, you can help ensure the health and wellbeing of you and your family.
Air duct & Ventilation Cleaning: Totally Clean Services
Mold Remediation Company: Mold Experts of Milwaukee
Asbestos Removal: DJK Environmental
HVAC Maintenance: Donovan & Jorgenson Heating & Cooling
Radon Mitigation: SWAT Environmental
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