Did you know that the air inside your home can be more polluted than the air outside? Poor indoor air quality is one of those things that most people do not realize they have. It has profound effects on many members of the family, young and old.
Poor air quality inside comes from several sources. You get all the pollen and dust from outside coming into the house through the doors and windows, as well as on people’s clothing. There are internal sources of pollution, such as pet dander, mold, dust mites, combustion gases and particulates, among others. Indoor and outdoor pollutants combine to make indoor air quality extremely poor.
There are distinct consequences for having poor air quality in your home:
Allergies and asthma only get worse in a home with poor indoor air quality. The pollutants in the air cause the airways to struggle to stay open. This can lead to shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing at night. Even people without any known allergies can start to experience breathing problems when exposed to bad indoor air. They can wake up with itchy eyes and a persistent sore throat.
Higher Levels of Illness
Dust, debris, mold and mildew sitting in your home’s ductwork can keep someone in your home feeling ill all the time. These fine particulates can irritate the nose, throat and lungs. It can lead to constant allergic symptoms. Headaches, even migraines, are quite common in homes with bad air. Germs and other microorganisms can also dwell in ductwork. Every time the air starts flowing through the ducts, those organisms can become airborne and make everyone in the house ill.
Higher Energy Costs
When the ductwork and HVAC equipment are dirty, it causes the entire system to work harder just to keep the house comfortable. This ends up costing the household more for energy. This can get worse over time as the amount of dust and debris increases.
Shortening the Life of HVAC Equipment
When the HVAC equipment has to work harder to keep the home comfortable, it shortens its working life. This will lead to more and more repair costs. Eventually, the system will need to be replaced, usually many years before its expected lifespan.
What can you do to solve poor indoor air quality issues?
There are many things you can do to solve any air quality issues you may be having.
- Change your air filter regularly. A clogged air filter does not do the job of filtering the air. A clean filter will make the AC run more efficiently while capturing at least some of the pollutants in the air.
- Increase ventilation in your home. A big problem with indoor air is the fact that it is stuck in a fixed space. Getting fresh air inside helps to keep the air fresh. You can use ventilation fans or window filters.
- Clean your air ducts. Dust and debris can build up, making the perfect environment for mold, mildew, and microorganisms to grow unabated.
- Install a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. You will need to install a special air blower for this, but it will give you the most air cleaning possible.
- Use the fan hood over the stove. Cooking fumes and particulates can add a lot to indoor air problems. Using the fan helps to draw those fumes and particulates out.
- Address moist areas. Anywhere you have water leaks, you may have mold and mildew growing. Both are air pollutants. Fix the leak and clean the area to kill off the mold or mildew.
- Keep pets out of the bedroom and bathe them regularly. Pet dander is a significant allergy trigger. Keep the bedroom off limits. Frequent pet baths also help to keep pet dander levels down.
- Lower the number of dust mites around you. Dust mites like moisture. Use a dehumidifier in the bedroom to keep moisture levels down. Use impenetrable mattress and pillow covers to keep the mites away from your nose and mouth. Wash bedding in hot water weekly.
- Make a no smoking inside policy. Second hand smoke is not healthy for anyone in the house. If you want to protect your family from indoor air pollution, ban indoor smoking entirely.
If you are dealing with poor indoor air quality and need help making it better, contact us here at Gentry Heating Inc. We are your indoor air specialist.
Image Provided by Shutterstock.com