The dangers of indoor air pollution are real and it’s not just because we are living through a pandemic. We often think of air pollution as an outdoor issue. The truth is, more people die each year from the effects of indoor air pollution, 600,000 more people in fact. 4.3 million people die each year from causes that lead back to indoor air contaminants. This is not surprising when you think about the fact that Americans spend 90% of their time indoors. We’ll explain examples of indoor air pollution, where these contaminants come from, and how you can reduce the risk of indoor air pollution in your home below.
Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the top five sources of indoor air pollution issues originate from dust particles, combustion products, bacteria, viruses, moisture excess, radon, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These sources that come from inside the home all affect air quality in a negative way.
Examples of Indoor Air Pollution
Dust: solid particles in the air that come from various sources including dead skin cells. When a homeowner does not change their HVAC filters, dust can build which can lead to poor ventilation.
Combustion products: gas-powered appliances such as water heaters, dryers and furnaces are all combustion products. Ventilation is key to stop toxic combustion products like CO2 to get into the home. If CO2 is inhaled, it could be fatal.
Moisture: moisture can lead to issues such as mold and mildew. When breathed in, these moisture-related issues can lead to shortness of breath and other allergies. Radon: this radioactive gas is under the home’s surface and is not visible. Radon can cause lung cancer and other serious health issues. If radon is found within the home, it must be remediated immediately.
VOCs: Synthetic materials have become more and more common in materials used within the home over the past few decades. You would probably be surprised to know all of the products you purchase that have harmful synthetic materials. The byproducts that are released into the air from some of these materials can be harmful and lead to issues that range in seriousness from headaches to permanent damage to the central nervous system.
People that are more at risk for issues related to indoor air pollution are segments of the population that tend to be home more such as mothers and children, as well as senior citizens. Luckily, there are relatively simple solutions that can be enacted to protect you and your family from the harmful effects of indoor air pollution.
The first is ventilation. Regular service from your preferred HVAC company to make sure that your systems are running well and efficiently combined with regular filter changes can greatly reduce poor ventilation in your home.
Another solution is how you use combustion products. Make sure that the combustion products in your home are being used correctly and that they are running well. Also, it is important to be aware of combustion products in close proximity to your home such as a car in the garage. If your car is on in the garage, make sure that there is sufficient ventilation.
Finally, make sure your home has been inspected for radon. You can also purchase a radon detector if it’s been a while since you purchased your home.
As the #1 Nationwide Residential HVAC Contractor of the Year, We take air quality very seriously at Clay’s Climate Control. Our skilled technicians know how to detect poor air quality and offer indoor air quality solutions if needed. We suggest regular HVAC maintenance which is made simple by our 3C Club Maintenance Plan. We offer easy online booking and a convenient customer experience. Contact us to schedule a visit from one of our professional, nationally certified technicians today!