We spend the majority of our lives indoors, in fact, 60-90% of them. It’s important to know that air inside your home can be between two to five times more polluted than air outside your home. In some cases, that number can be as high as 100 times more polluted. Why? Current air-tight construction practices keep air trapped inside your home, along with pollutants. Add to that the pollution from air fresheners, candles, furniture treatments, pollen’s, pathogens and pets and you have a recipe for poor indoor air. How dangerous is dirty indoor air? The EPA ranks poor indoor air quality as a Top 5 Health Risk.
Common Indoor Air Pollutants
Common indoor air pollutants can cause a number of symptoms for allergy and asthma sufferers, as well as children and adults. So what exactly is polluting our air?
- Dust and dust mites
- Pet dander
- Cigarette smoke
- Soot from fireplaces and candles
- Chemicals from air fresheners and household cleaners
- Formaldehyde from furniture treatments, smoke and building materials
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from paint, furniture and cleaners
- Household odors and particles from cooking
- Ground-level ozone
- Carbon Dioxide
- Bacteria and viruses
- Mold, mold spores and other fungi
Symptoms of Poor Indoor Air Quality
It’s estimated that up to 50% of illnesses can be attributed to poor indoor air quality. Signs of poor indoor air quality in your home include stale and stuffy air, lingering odors, low airflow, triggering of asthma and allergies and feeling better when you go outside. How does poor indoor air quality make you feel? Here are some common symptoms caused by dirty indoor air.
- Congestion (nasal and lung)
- Lung infections
- Immune dysfunction
- Dry, itchy eyes
- Lung cancer
Solutions to Improve Indoor Air Quality
There are a number of ways you can change your indoor air quality for the better. Here are just a few ways you can breathe easier.
- Don’t use air fresheners
- Use only soy or beeswax candles scented only with essential oils
- Improve ventilation in your home
- Increase air circulation
- Control humidity
- Keep filters on HVAC units clean or change regularly
- Dust and vacuum frequently (use a vacuum with a HEPA filter for best results)
- Explore HVAC options that help clean up your air such as purifiers, special filters, UV lamps and air scrubbers
You don’t have to live with dirty indoor air. SC Plumbing, Heating and Air can help. When you have dirty air, we help you clean it up so you and your family can breathe safer and easier.