Indoor air quality (IAQ) is an essential aspect of our lives that we often overlook. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. With most of us spending over 90% of our time indoors, that’s concerning. It’s clear that keeping this air cleaner needs to be a priority – our health and mental well-being depend on it.

The Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality on Health

Poor indoor air quality and pollutants can cause a variety of challenges for you and your family such as irritation of the nose and eyes, sore throat, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, respiratory problems, heart disease, and even cancer. It can also make certain health conditions worse including:

  1. a black indoor air quality reader saying that the air quality is goodAsthma: Indoor air pollutants can trigger asthma symptoms and increase the risk of asthma attacks. Studies have shown that exposure to secondhand smoke, dust mites, and pet dander can worsen asthma symptoms.
  2. Allergies: Indoor air pollutants, such as pollen, dust, and mold, can trigger allergic reactions, leading to symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes.
  3. Respiratory Diseases: Long-term exposure to indoor air pollutants can cause respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bronchitis.
  4. Cardiovascular Diseases: Exposure to indoor air pollutants, such as particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide, can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke.
  5. Cancer: Long-term exposure to indoor air pollutants, such as radon and formaldehyde, can increase the risk of lung cancer.

Negative health effects caused by common indoor air pollutants such as radon, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, and legionella bacteria have been documented for quite some time and include associations to lung cancer, pneumonia, legionnaires’ disease, asthma attacks and even death. Knowing that indoor air quality plays such an important role in the health and wellness of your family, it is important to look for ways to increase the quality of the air in your home. 

What Affects Indoor Air Quality?

One of the most common indoor air pollutants is particulate matter. Particulate matter consists of tiny particles, such as dust, dirt, and pollen, that can easily enter our lungs and bloodstream, causing a range of health problems. Other common indoor air pollutants include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and mold.

Other factors that impact indoor air quality are the outdoor climate, air exchange rate, weather, and the behavior of the people living in the home. The air exchange rate is a combination of infiltration of air flowing into your home through cracks, etc., natural ventilation, and mechanical ventilation from your air conditioning or heating system.

The way that air moves in and out of your home also determines how different particulate matter also gets in and out. Weather conditions outside of your home influence indoor air quality because it can determine whether or not you open your windows often to increase ventilation, or if you strictly rely on your home’s HVAC system to control the climate.

The use of humidifiers can also impact air quality as it controls the amount of humidity in the air. If you pull too much humidity out of the air, you can end up with nosebleeds and other unwanted health issues. Indoor air quality can also be impacted by the things that people living in the home do such as smoking, having pets, or lack of cleanliness. 

Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

What can you, as a homeowner, do to improve air quality?

  1. a green-striped plant in a white planter on a leather shelfIncrease Ventilation: Proper ventilation can help reduce the concentration of indoor air pollutants. Opening windows and using exhaust fans can improve air circulation and remove pollutants.
  2. Use Air Purifiers: Air purifiers can remove pollutants from the air, improving indoor air quality. HEPA filters are highly effective in capturing airborne particles, such as pollen and dust.
  3. Control Humidity: High humidity levels can promote the growth of mold and dust mites. Using dehumidifiers and air conditioners can help control humidity levels.
  4. Avoid Smoking Indoors: Smoking indoors releases harmful chemicals into the air, causing immediate and long-term health effects. Avoid smoking indoors to improve indoor air quality.
  5. Regular Cleaning: Regular cleaning can help remove dust, dirt, and other pollutants from surfaces and improve indoor air quality.
  6. Brush Your Pets: Have pets in the home? Have them regularly groomed and brushed out to reduce the amount of hair circulating.

Here at Petitt Heating & Cooling, we can help with a range of indoor air quality needs. Reach out now to discuss your options.

Call Us for Quality Indoor Air Quality Solutions

If you are looking for ways to improve the indoor air quality of your home, give the professionals here at Pettit Heating & Cooling a call at 615-632-6423 to see how we can help. Our HVAC services help make your home more comfortable and enjoyable for your entire family.

Call now or reach out to us online today.