When you hear the term “air pollution” you probably think about fuel combustion from cars and fossil fuel emissions from manufacturing factories. But did you know the air quality in your home is anywhere from 2-5x more polluted than the outdoors?1 How could this be this true? You take care of your home, so how on earth could your indoor air become so polluted?
Clean air is essential to maintaining a healthy home, that’s why it’s so important to understand how poor indoor air quality affects your health and what steps you can take to prevent the negative effects in your home.
Causes of Poor IAQ
- Smoking: If someone in your household smokes, the level of air pollution in your home increases. Cigarette smoke emits a wide range of chemicals, such as: carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and volatile organic chemicals(VOC’s).
- Household Items: Household items such as cleaning products, candles and incense can release dangerous gases including VOCs and formaldehyde, into the air in your home.
- Cooking: Cooking methods such as frying and using a gas stove increase the amount of pollutants released.
- Mold: The more moisture in your home the more prone to mold. Mold negatively affects your home air quality and your health.
- Heating: Gas or oil furnaces and gas water heaters can emit CO, nitrogen dioxide and VOCs.
- Dust: The most common indoor air pollutant is dust, which is perfectly normal and only dangerous when you let that dust build up in places like your duct work or air filters.
Unfortunately, indoor air pollution is very hard to avoid in your home and poses many dangerous health risks to you and your family.
Short Term Effects of Poor IAQ
The short term effects of poor indoor air quality, for some, can be similar to cold or flu-like symptoms. You may suffer from:
- Dry or irritated throat, skin, and eyes
- Difficulty breathing
A good indicator of these effects would be if your symptoms change when moving rooms or when you leave your home.2
Long Term Effects of Poor IAQ
The long term effects of poor air quality are much more serious.3 Some of the most common chronic conditions from long term exposure are:
- Chronic respiratory issues
- Chronic lung conditions
- Chronic heart conditions
It is important to note that people who have a pre-existing breathing or heart condition, or are pregnant, may experience an increase in symptoms.
Recommended Tips for Your Home:
The short and long term effects of poor air quality can be dangerous, uncomfortable and costly. The best approach is to be proactive and begin cleaning your air quality before you notice symptoms.5
Here are our top 3 tips for improving the air quality in your home:
- Ensure your home has adequate ventilation: There are multiple actionable things you can do to improve your home’s ventilation the most important being changing the air filter in your HVAC systems frequently. Bringing as much fresh air into your home and turning on kitchen and bathroom fans also aids in home ventilation.
- Schedule regular duct cleaning: As a general rule your ducts should be cleaned every 1-2 years but it never hurts to check your ducts for any blockages. Dirt and dust restrict air flow so it’s important to watch out for any warning signs of blockage. Some common warning signs are noises in the ductwork and inconsistent airflow room to room.
- Install an air filtration system: At 1 Click Heating and Cooling we specialize in the HEPA filtration system. The HEPA(High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filtration System) is a step up from your standard one-inch filter. It provides powerful filtration and is capable of removing nearly all contaminants in your household, including some of the smallest particles and bacteria.
If you are looking to improve your home’s air quality, we are here to help! Our team of professional technicians will be happy to provide you with an air filtration system that works with your home’s HVAC equipment. You can rest assured our technicians will walk you through the set up process so you know exactly that’s going on and how it will improve your air.
(1) (n.d). What are the trends in indoor air quality and their effects on human health. Environmental Protection Agency. https://www.epa.gov/report-environment/indoor-air-quality#note2.
(2)(July 4, 2016). Indoor Air Quality – General. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. https://www.ccohs.ca/oshan swers/chemicals/iaq_intro.html
(3)(n.d) The Short- and Long-Term Health Risks of Poor Indoor Air Quality. CleanAir Solutions Blog. https://cleanairsolutionshamilton.ca/blog/the-short-and-long-term-health-risks-of-poor-indoor-air-quality/30
(4)(January 15, 2020). INDOOR AIR POLLUTION AND PREGNANCY: WHAT EXPECTANT MOTHERS SHOULD KNOW. HVAC.com.
(5)(n.d) The Short- and Long-Term Health Risks of Poor Indoor Air Quality. CleanAir Solutions Blog. https://cleanairsolutionshamilton.ca/blog/the-short-and-long-term-health-risks-of-poor-indoor-air-quality/30