September 19, 2022
Poor Indoor Air Quality Problems and Solutions
Most people think that indoor air is cleaner and purer compared to outdoor air. However, without proper measures in place to clean and purify indoor air, the quality of indoor air can be much worse than the air outside. This is because there are many items and features within your home that may release particulates and other forms of impurities into your home’s atmosphere. This includes water heaters, fireplaces, furnaces, ovens, stoves, and space heaters, among others.
We have prepared a guide below on everything you need to know about the air pollutants that compromise indoor air quality and how to upgrade and clean the air within your home. Check it out below.
What Are the Effects of Indoor Air Pollution
If you want to know whether your home has poor air quality, it’s important to watch for health-related signs of bad indoor air. You may have observed that you or the people living in your home suffer from the following symptoms frequently:
- Eye irritation
- Throat irritation
- Nose irritation
The long-term side effects of living in a home with poor indoor air quality include:
- Respiratory diseases
- Heart disease
Although it is not clear what amount of exposure or concentration of indoor air impurities and pollutants are enough to cause the above harmful health effects, it is crucial that you upgrade the quality of indoor air in your home.
What Are the Main Indoor Air Pollutants?
Knowing the main pollutants of indoor air in your home can help you know which air purifiers, air filters, or air sensors to install with the help of an HVAC expert. The following covers some of the most common indoor air pollutants.
Mildew and Mold
Mildew and mold are usually found in areas with excess moisture. If your HVAC system has poor humidity control, then you will likely find mold in moist areas within your home, such as air ducts and bathroom walls. Depending on the type of mold growing in your home, it can be toxic or non-toxic. Black mold, for instance, can be toxic when touched or inhaled. Mold releases microscopic spores into the atmosphere of your home. When you inhale the mold spores into your system, they can cause allergies or trigger asthma attacks.
Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are another common type of indoor air pollutant. VOCs are normally found in aerosol sprays, disinfectants, and different forms of household cleaning agents. As a result of poor ventilation, the concentration of volatile organic compounds is normally higher indoors compared to outdoors.
Prolonged exposure to volatile organic compounds can lead to the following symptoms:
- Loss of coordination
- Eye, throat, and nose irritation
The above symptoms can be long-term or short-term depending on the duration of concentration and exposure.
Carbon monoxide is a dangerous colorless and odorless gas that is fatal to human beings in high concentrations. Faulty gas appliances such as gas stoves, water heaters, and boilers increase the risk of the presence of carbon monoxide in your home’s atmosphere. Carbon monoxide is released into the air when there is an incomplete process of carbon oxidation. Carbon monoxide is very dangerous to humans because it deprives body organs of oxygen.
Second-hand smoke refers to the smoke particles that affect non-smokers who reside in the same home as a smoker. If you are exposed to second-hand smoke for a long period of time, you may suffer from the same effects of smoking as an active smoker. Some of the common side effects of prolonged exposure to second-hand smoke include:
- High amount of phlegm
- Shortness of breath
- Lung cancer
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
If you want to eliminate the smoke particles from your home, we recommend implementing strict measures that prohibit smoking inside the house.
In large concentrations, carbon dioxide can compromise the air quality of your home. Carbon dioxide is a colorless and odorless gas that we emit as human beings during our metabolic process. If your home has poor ventilation and there are many people living within your limited space, then the levels of carbon dioxide can be higher in your home compared to outdoors. Exposure to high amounts of carbon dioxide can lead to the following effects:
Did you know that ozone can also be produced at ground level and may be a major air pollutant in your home? Electrical devices like air ionizers can generate ozone into your home’s atmosphere, putting your health at risk.
Additionally, ozone can be produced as a byproduct of other air pollutants like volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxide. When these air pollutants are exposed to stagnant air or UV rays from the sun, they react to form ozone particles. Some of the symptoms of inhaling ozone within your home include:
- Aggravated asthma
- Shortness of breath
- Painful breathing
- Sore throat
Dust Mites and Dust
One of the most common air pollutants that you cannot miss in your home is dust. Dust particles usually float in the atmosphere, making it easy to inhale them without your knowledge. Dust mites are also common in dusty places, and they mainly feed on skin cells shed by humans.
Dust mites are commonly found in the following areas:
If you inhale dust mites and dust within your home, they are likely to trigger asthma and other allergic reactions.
Pet dander is a common air pollutant produced by the skin that is shed by your pets. If you live with a cat or a dog, pet dander can trigger allergic reactions for those with sensitivities.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
The best way to improve the air quality in your home is to consult an HVAC company. Once you hire HVAC services, the HVAC professional will come and run various tests on your home’s atmosphere to determine the type of impurities present in the air. The HVAC expert may then recommend installing the following devices in your home.
If your home has excess humidity that is promoting the growth of mold, then the HVAC expert may recommend installing a dehumidifier. The dehumidifier will draw the excess moisture from your home’s atmosphere, thereby eliminating pollutants such as dust mites, mildew, and mold spores.
Another way to upgrade your home’s air quality is by installing high-quality air purifiers that contain HEPA filters with the help of an HVAC professional. Keep in mind that although air purifiers help to extract the impurities from your indoor air, the devices can release the contaminants back into the atmosphere if the air filters are not cleaned regularly.
Air purifiers can help to remove VOCs, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, second-hand smoke, and ozone particles from your home’s atmosphere. Ensure that you bring in an HVAC expert to clean, maintain, and replace the air filters regularly.
Get Started With Scott-Lee Heating Company Today
Are you ready to work with a fast and reliable HVAC company that will help you determine whether your home has clean air? Scott-Lee Heating Company is a top HVAC company to work with in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area. We provide top-tier air quality services all year long.
Some of the air filtration and purifying solutions that you can expect from us include:
- Air cleaners
- Energy recovery ventilators
- Air purification systems
In addition to providing indoor air quality services and products, our team repairs, installs, and maintains heating and cooling systems, including furnaces, air conditioners, and ductless mini-split units. Call Scott-Lee Heating Company today to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.