We all know that outdoor air pollution is a thing, but did you know that indoor air pollution is a thing too? It’s a thing we should be worried about but it’s also a thing we can do something about. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) gives a good description of what Indoor air pollution is. “Indoor air pollution, or indoor air quality refers to the quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. Understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce your risk of indoor health concerns.” We don’t know about you, but we want my health and comfort level to be very high as often as possible. So, let’s look into a few areas where indoor air pollution can come from and a few areas where we can help to improve our indoor air quality.
The EPA stated, “Indoor air pollutants have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health. (YIKES! (that was us, not the EPA)) The problems they cause can be subtle and do not always produce easily recognized or immediate impacts on health.” Poor air quality in general can cause both short-term and long term-health problems. Poor indoor air quality can cause the following short-term problems, headaches, tiredness, dizziness, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. These minor but annoying symptoms can usually be treated when the source of the pollution is removed from the home. The long-term symptoms are definitely more severe and can include respiratory diseases, heart problems, and even cancer (YIKES! AGAIN!).
Research shows that indoor air problems come from three main categories (We are glad that number isn’t any higher, three seems manageable, three hundred would force an immediate nap and a high percentage that we would just burn our houses down and start over…...just us?!?!). Let’s dive into the three main sources of the problem and see what we can do about them.
Sources of Pollution is an obvious problem, but what exactly are the sources we should be looking for? The very most common pollution sources are particles or gases (women, talk with the men in your life. You know why….) that are released into the air. A few other pollution sources include dust particles from old furniture, mold, and toxic products used for household cleaning. The hardest part about these sources, most of these particles and gases are invisible. As homeowners, we are usually unaware of an indoor air quality problem. You can look into hiring a professional or buy a home air quality test to find out if you have any problems with the air in your home. If you find that you have an indoor air quality problem, remove the pollution sources as soon as possible. The EPA says, “The most effective way to improve indoor air is to eliminate individual sources or reduce their emissions.” Removing these pollutants can range from eliminating indoor smoking to cleaning up mold to getting rid of toxic cleaning products. It will definitely be worth it!
Inadequate Ventilation is another problem that causes poor air quality. The U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health stated, “Improper ventilation is another leading cause of indoor air quality problems. If outdoor air is not coming in to freshen old air and lower indoor pollutant levels, indoor air will quickly become filled with unhealthy pollutants.” The American Lung Association suggests, “Make sure the ventilation system is working correctly and that air flow is not blocked.” Spring is definitely in the air, well some days it is and other days it is the dead of winter. But, on those spring days get those windows open and let that fresh air in and circulate through your home. We tend to believe this suggestion does wonders for an attitude boost as well, we’re always more motivated and nicer to people when the sun is up and the air is fresh! Try it, let us know! If you don’t trust us, the EPA has stated, “When weather permits, open windows and doors, or run an air conditioner with the vent control open. Bathroom and kitchen fans that exhaust to the outdoors also increase ventilation and help remove pollutants.” The EPA also recommends changing air filters regularly to remove dust and other pollutants from the air. Lucky for you all, Air is in the business of air filters and not JUST air filters but delivering air filters right to your front door exactly when you need them. You don’t need to thank us, but we did just help your indoor air quality and your overall wellbeing. You’re welcome (just in case you did want to thank us)!The last category that has been found to have negative effects on indoor air quality is high humidity levels. High humidity levels can make the air moist (gross), which increases the risk of mold. Indoor humidity levels should be kept between 30-50%. You can use a humidity gauge to make sure your humidity is at a healthy level. Simple ways to decrease humidity is to open windows or turning on your air conditioning. Basically, keep the air moving! The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission wrote, “Indoor air pollution is one risk you can do something about.” At Air, we believe the same thing! We are proud of the service we offer and truly believe that changing your air filter will improve the overall quality of the air you and your loved one’s breath. Take proactive steps to remove pollution sources and maintain ventilation (and good attitudes) and humidity levels in order to protect the quality of indoor air.