Is Air Quality Better Indoors?
Whether summer or winter, stale indoor air and heating systems can trigger unhealthy breathing symptoms for individuals. Maintaining strong indoor air quality is a crucial step toward breathing easy both literally and figuratively.
How Can I Improve Indoor Air Quality?
There are numerous ways you can improve the air quality in your home. First, keep your home clean. By promoting good indoor hygiene, you can greatly cut down on dust and animal dander. In any of the corners or spaces where dust may accumulate, clear the clutter. Vacuum your home once or twice a week. Remain vigilant in your efforts to keep a clean, tidy home. Bedding, drapes, and other items that collect allergens should be addressed, and washed.
Yet another important factor is your air filters – have you changed them recently? If you have a forced-air system, change the filters every ninety days. You might also invest in an air purifier, particularly if you are allergic to indoor allergens and can’t control the source of the problem, such as a family pet. An air purifier (particularly an ionic model) placed in a commonly used area of the house will help capture some of the irritants that may trigger symptoms.
What Causes Bad Indoor Air Quality?
One of the factors that can contribute to bad air quality is a lack of air circulation. Natural ventilation, air movement through open windows and doors, can help. Most residential forced-air heating and air-conditioning systems do not bring outdoor air into the house mechanically. Advanced blueprints for new homes include a mechanical feature that brings outdoor air inside through the HVAC system. In the meantime, an open window or door can help by reducing pollutants that are indoors.
For those who are looking to increase the quality of their home exteriors, 180 Roofing & Contracting provides an excellent example of home exterior services (located in Mesquite, Texas).
How Can I Purify the Air In My Home?
One of the chief ways you can increase the air quality in your home is through cleaning the air ducts that relate to your central air system. Simple tools, such as a vacuum cleaner with an accessories hose, can assist with sucking away the collections of dust that can clog your air ducts. Microfiber cleaning cloths also help for those hard to reach places. For a more thorough cleaning, use a cordless drill to remove the screws from your air duct. After removing the air duct from the wall, you may rinse the vent in a sink of hot, soapy water, then allow the vent to air dry before replacing it.
For homeowners with window air-conditioning units, the principles are similar. With the air-conditioning unit turned off, use a vacuum with a hose attachment to remove dust, then wipe any remaining residue with a microfiber cloth.
What are the Six Major Indoor Air Pollutants?
The six major indoor air pollutants are as follows:
- Carbon Monoxide. CO is an odorless, colorless gas produced by heaters and appliances that burn natural gas, oil, wood, propane, or kerosene. Carbon monoxide is also a major component of car exhaust.
- Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS). ETS is composed of more than 3,800 different chemical compounds.
- Molds. Molds require moisture to grow and are typically found in damp basements, refrigerators, air conditioners, humidifiers and more.
- Radon. Found in the the natural breakdown of uranium in rock and soil, this odorless, colorless radioactive gas can seep into homes through cracks in the foundation.
- Solvents. Household cleaners, degreasers, arts and craft supplies, glues, “off-gassing” from newly installed carpets, flooring, particle board, and furniture.
- Pesticides. Residue of some pesticides disperse after application, and may concentrate at a floor level.
What Affects Indoor Air Quality?
Construction and remodeling can negatively affect the indoor air environment. For instance, if your kitchen is being remodeled, pollutants can enter the air and irritate the senses. Making sure the area under construction is adequately sealed off and ventilated properly can greatly assist with air quality in the home. The six major air pollutants will certainly impact the air quality of the home, and should be watched for. Maintaining a clean environment and addressing clutter will reveal positive results.
How Indoor Air Quality Affects Your Health
Let’s consider some percentages. Out of the 90% of the time people spend indoors, 65% of that time is actually spent in one’s own home. The various pollutants that can and do occur indoors can impact your health, with symptoms ranging from coughing, sneezing, and watery eyes. If indoor pollution is particularly critical, headaches and upper respiratory congestion can occur, and unless the air quality is addressed, will persist.
Indoor Air Quality Issues
There are several ways you can determine if your home has air quality issues. If your home is not getting enough air ventilation, there may be moisture condensation on windows or walls. If you have smelly or stuffy air, or if your central heating and air cooling equipment is dirty, these are also red flags. Finally, in areas where books, shoes, or other items become moldy, there is certainly not enough air circulation. Tidy up these areas, and replace air filters to see a difference in these symptoms.
Indoor Air Quality for Homes
Arctic Air-Conditioning and Heating uniquely offers HEPA air purifiers for the whole house. HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration utilizes technology originally developed in the 1940’s to prevent radioactive particles from escaping test labs. This technology has become more streamlined in the ensuing years, and is now utilized with the purpose of keeping the indoor air quality in your home optimal.
Indoor Air Quality and Migraines
There is a strong correlation between poor indoor air quality and migraines. According to a study conducted by the University of Toledo, Ball State University, and Virginia Tech, office workers who operated in buildings with poor quality air suffered greatly from migraines. When working in an unhealthy air environment, 38% of the participants reported experiencing a headache one to three days per month, and 8% reported a headache on a daily basis.
There can be no doubt that lack of proper indoor air quality can be hazardous for one’s health. Advocacy for one’s health includes keeping a tidy home, and having a good indoor filtration system, such as the HEPA air purifier system offered by Arctic Air Conditioning. Call 817-834-2829 to schedule your appointment today! The future of indoor air quality in Fort Worth, TX, has never been brighter.