How Important is Indoor Air Quality?

vent in wall with dust

How bad is indoor air quality?

What may not seem that long ago, there was a time we would open the windows to get some fresh air. Then with the increase in air pollution, the general consensus was that the indoor air quality was better than the “fresh” air outside.  

It is funny how things change, including where better air quality can be found. Fortunately, with technology today, there are Indoor air quality options that we utilize to improve the indoor air quality in our homes and offices. 

The indoor air quality we breathe today in our homes or offices can be hazardous to our health, more than the outdoor air quality in cities. During the winter months, this is even more so because we have the doors and windows closed and sealed up. The indoor air quality today has been associated with the following adverse health effects: 

  • Allergies
  • Asthma 
  • Chronic coughs
  • Dizziness
  • Eye irritation
  • Frequent colds
  • Headaches
  • Heart disease
  • Lethargy
  • Lung disease 
  • Respiratory problems
  • Skin rashes

The long-term effect of breathing in poor indoor air quality can include memory loss and cancer risk. For young children, chronically ill, and the elderly, poor indoor air quality can irritate, even cause chronic ailments. 

How is indoor air quality measured?

It is common for homeowners and commercial structural owners to overlook the significance of the indoor air quality. Simply because poor indoor air quality isn’t visible, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Poor indoor air quality has an effect on those that live in the home occupy the structure, some of which we listed above.  Look at these facts 

  • Almost 4 million people die each year around the world from poor indoor air quality. 
  • Many respiratory ailments are caused by particulate matter that is found indoors today like asthma, cancer, decreased lung function, and respiratory inflammation.
  • Productivity is reduced by low-quality air.

Indoor air quality is measured by sensors that detect the input in the environment, like light, motion, and temperature, then transmits the information in a signal that measures and transmits electronically particular pollutants.

There are a variety of sensors available today that can measure a variety of things for indoor air quality. Because of advanced technology, they are more affordable than before. With strategic placement around your home or office, the results are reliable, enabling you find How to improve air quality in the best way possible. Following the 10,000 square foot to one sensor set up as suggested by the EPA, basic categories for sensor measurements are:

  • Bioaerosols 
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Humidity
  • Methane
  • Particulate matter
  • Radon
  • VOCs

What is the standard for indoor air quality?

Carbon dioxide exposure can produce several health effects from dizziness, headaches, restlessness, a pins and  needles feeling, tinging, breathing difficulties and more. Indoor air quality checks are important to maintain a healthy level at home or in the office.  

A normal outdoor air quality level is between 250-350 ppm. Typical level for good indoor air quality is between 350-1,000 ppm.  When levels reach between 1,000 to 2,000 ppm level, complaints of drowsiness and other issues become frequent. 

What are the symptoms of bad air quality in the home? 

In addition to the physical symptoms that we’ve discussed earlier, there are other symptoms around the home or office that are indications that the indoor air quality should be professionally checked: 

  • Significant Increase of Dust on Surfaces and Around Vents
    Excess dust buildup around your home and the air vents are indication of poor indoor air quality. This build up includes dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and more allergenic particulates that can aggravate allergies.
  • Air Distribution Inconsistent
    Inconsistent cold and warm spots are often indicative of issues with the air distribution system and poor indoor air quality. Having your HVAC checked out by your HVAC professional is recommended in addition to changing the filter.  
  • Humidity
    Proper relative humidity is between 35 to 50% for ideal comfort and the prevention of microorganism growth. When the humidity is too little, your skin becomes dry and itchy. When the humidity is too much, the furniture and window frames warp.  
  • Mildew and Mold Growth
    Mildew and mold growth accompany a high relative humidity level and poor indoor air quality. This is recognized by a musty smell, mold issues, and black and green mold spots around the sinks and tubs.
  • Unpleasant Smells
    Unpleasant smells from mildew and mold growth, decomposition of debris, dirt, dust on the surfaces around your home indicate poor indoor air quality issue.
dusty air vent being cleaned

How can I improve indoor air quality?

Eliminating all the possible allergens in your home isn’t possible, but with a few changes around the home or office, you can improve the indoor air quality. 

  • Keep the home and office clean. A clean home or office is healthier because you’re removing the animal dander and dust.  Vacuum once or twice a week, clean the bedding and drapes on a regular basis. Keep clutter minimal.  
  • Keep the plants outdoors. Indoor plants can give a home or office a special look, but they also foster mold growth. Do indoor plants improve air quality? Yes, indoor plants are said to clean the air, but it can be a balancing act. 
  • Change the filters. Replace your current filter with an electrostatic filter or be sure to change the filters every 30 days.

Which Is Better To Improve Indoor Air Quality? 

When it comes to House plants vs air purifier to improve your indoor air quality, which is better? Both offer  something to your home or office. House plants absorb pollutant with phytoremediation while and air purifier filter pollutant with filter or static electricity. 

The air turns more frequent with an air purifier but doesn’t capture the same amount of VOC’s. Whereas a plant absorbs more variety of pollutants like VOC’s, but they don’t move the air. Call 704-964-8375 today for indoor air quality testing in Charlotte, NC.