Did you know that the air in your home or office could be up to 5 times more polluted than the air outside? More airtight building techniques combined with the growing number of chemicals and toxins in our daily lives are just two reasons for this indoor air quality issue.
The Consequences of Poor Indoor Air Quality
Between time at home and time spent at work or school, the average person spends up to 90% of their time indoors. This large amount of time spent indoors means greater exposure to indoor air pollutants. In the United States, approximately 25 million people suffer from asthma and 50 million suffer from allergies. The people most vulnerable to the effects of indoor air pollutants are children, people with chronic illnesses (including respiratory illnesses) and the elderly.
What is Polluting Indoor Air?
You might be wondering what exactly is polluting the air indoors and where those pollutants are coming from. The list of possible culprits of indoor air pollutants can vary from place to place but a few of the most common include:
- Radon gas
- Secondhand smoke
- Pet dander and fur
- Molds and mildew
- Dust mites
- Pollens and other allergens
- Carbon Monoxide - CO (Every home should have working and frequently tested CO detectors!)
- Infectious agents such as bacteria, fungi and viruses
- Toxins from cleaning supplies and air fresheners
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such as fumes from paints, varnishes, carpet glue and formaldehyde (used in furniture construction)
- Dry-cleaned clothes
- Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces
- Kerosene-fueled heaters
Solutions to Improve Indoor Air Quality
The good news is you don't have to live or work with poor indoor air quality. There are a number of ways to improve indoor air quality.
1. Control the Source - Avoid and remove as many of the common indoor air pollutants as possible. Avoid dry-cleaning clothing, don't use wood-burning stoves or fireplaces, switch cleaning supplies to non-toxic options and don't use air fresheners to name just a few.
2. Improve ventilation - Remove any items in the home from in front of air vents and intakes, clean dust and debris from vents or have a professional install an additional ventilation unit to help with airflow.
3. Purify the air - An indoor air purifier filters and cleans the air as it cycles through your HVAC system. Investing in an indoor air purification unit is the best way to clean the air coming from your vents into your home.
Thankfully, the indoor air quality experts at Carolina Comfort Systems can help you assess the factors impacting the air you breathe at your home or business and recommend options to help you and your loved ones breathe cleaner and easier.