Home air quality unfortunately, is not something that you can visibly see as an indication of good or bad conditions. There are no colorful puff of pink and blue clouds as indications that toxins or microbes are present which can immediately signal to us that the air we are breathing is in the danger zone. (There are however, devices that can let you know of certain dangers which will be mentioned later on.) What’s more, air quality can fluctuate throughout the day and differ per the room you’re in. Sometimes you can feel the effects profoundly and other times it may be passed off. Unfortunately, that may provide us with a false sense of security. If prolonged enough however, these can pose some serious health risks, especially if you have children in the home.
In order to get better air quality in your home, you must first be aware of what contaminates and factors can affect your indoor air quality. Once you make the necessary changes, you can further make adjustments in your home with home additions that can detect or purify your home’s air quality.
What affects indoor air quality?
- Pollen and Allergens
- Suspended Particles
How does indoor air pollution affect health?
If you already have asthma or allergies, than these can become more irritated and aggravated with poor home air quality. As each room has separate micro-environments, certain people can feel it’s affects more than others that are stationed in different rooms in your home. Consider for example that your HVAC ducts can have filters that are more clean in certain of your home versus others, some rooms have windows while some don’t or some rooms may have higher humidity (like restrooms) versus others.
What are the symptoms of poor air quality?
- Sinus congestion
- Coughing and sneezing
- Short breath
- Respiratory infections
- Irritated throat (dry, itchy or sore,) skin (rashes,)
nose (runny or dry) and eyes (redness, itchiness, watery)
What causes poor indoor air quality?
- Not incorporating outside air ventilation by cracking a window or door open.
- Indoor micro-environments: humidity, ventilation system problems,, poor air circulation, poor temperatures.
- Indoor air pollutants or contaminants.
What are common indoor air pollutants?
- *Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs:) off-gas emissions, vapors, cleaners, solvents, glues, disinfectants, pesticides as well as odours from paints, furniture and carpets
*If children are exposed to VOCs at a high level, they are four times more likely to develop asthma.
- Combustion Pollutants: nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide from improper burning or fuel burning appliances such as indoor heaters, gas stoves, fireplaces and more
- Occupant Influence: tobacco smoke, carbon dioxide, perfume, body odours
- Building Material: fiberglass, gases, dust, asbestos, formaldehyde
- Ozone: electric motors, photocopiers, electrostatic air cleaners
- Dust Mites: carpets and fabrics
- Damp Areas: mold, bacteria, microbial contaminants
How can I improve the air quality in my home?
Indoor Air Quality Tips
- Home air quality analysis devices: air quality monitors, radon detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, air purifiers, natural gas detectors
- Inspect your HVAC systems for clean Indoor Air Quality
- Install a whole house air humidifier (regional climate dependent)
- Change your air filters regularly
- Check your roof ventilation systems by making sure your soffits and attic don’t need repairs (Roof Repair in NC)
- Add air cleaning houseplants
- Only smoke outdoors like on your porch, balcony or backyard (close the doors into your residence)
- Limit highly chemical cleaning products or at least be sure to incorporate outside ventilation during use
Benefits of Good Air Quality
- Better night’s sleep
- Improved heath
- Better concentration
- More oxygen in the air means better mood
- Stop condensation (which leads to mold and rot)
- Balanced humidity
- Lower energy costs
Even with little adjustments you make you’ll be able to feel the difference in your home air quality! Remember, a little goes a long way and perhaps you’ll even be inspired to make other improvements in your home! The first step to improvement is to be aware of what factors lie out there which can negatively affect your home. Only then, it’s just a matter of preference and how much effort you’re willing to put into changes to prevent bad home air quality. With the wide possibilities of suggestions given to you, feel free to pick and choose what is more pragmatic for your home. Once you’re done, take a breath of fresh air and notice the differences! Immediate or not, in the long run, your health and those of other occupants will benefit from the improvements you’ve made!
For cleaner home air quality in Charlotte, NC call 704-964-8375 with All Climate Heating and Cooling!