Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. Knowing and understanding the sources of these pollutants can give us a fair advantage and avoid possible health problems.
Since the effects of living around poor air quality can be experienced years later, it’s essential to understand the sources of pollution, and more importantly, how to improve the air quality we breathe.
We can feel some effects immediately after a single exposure. The most common symptoms are eyes, nose, and throat irritation; you can also feel headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Most of the time, these symptoms can be treated by removing the person’s exposure to the source of the pollution.
In some cases where the person has asthma, allergies, or any other respiratory disease, the exposure can severely complicate the person’s health.
How many reactions you have to indoor air pollutants depends on your current health (of course), your age, and how sensitive you can be to the pollutant. Few people can even become sensitized to biological or chemical pollutants after repeated or high-level exposures.
Specific immediate effects are similar to those from colds or other viral diseases, so it is often difficult to determine if the symptoms result from exposure to indoor air pollution.
For this reason, it is essential to pay attention to the time and place symptoms occur. If the symptoms fade or go away when a person is away from the area, an effort should be made to identify indoor air sources that may be possible causes. Some effects may be made worse by an inadequate supply of outdoor air coming indoors or from the heating, cooling, or humidity conditions prevalent indoors.
Some health effects can show up many years later after the exposure or only after long or repeated periods of exposure. After long exposure to poor air quality, the most common effects are respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer. This is why we highly recommend improving the indoor air quality in your home, even if the symptoms are not noticeable.
Appliances or devices that release gases or particles into the air cause bad air quality within your house and any building. The lack of ventilation increases the pollution levels since there is not enough outside air to dilute the emissions within the building. Humidity and high temperatures levels can also increase concentrations of some pollutants.
There are many sources of indoor air pollution. These can include:
The relative importance of any single source depends on how much of a given pollutant it emits and how hazardous those emissions are. In some cases, factors such as how old the source is and whether it is properly maintained are significant. For example, an improperly adjusted gas stove can emit significantly more carbon monoxide than a properly adjusted one.
Some sources, such as building materials, furnishings, and products like air fresheners, can release pollutants more or less continuously. Other sources related to activities like smoking, cleaning, redecorating, or doing hobbies release pollutants intermittently. Unvented or malfunctioning appliances or improperly used products can release higher and sometimes dangerous levels of pollutants indoors.
Pollutant concentrations can remain in the air for long periods after some activities.
Improving the air quality in your home naturally is probably one of the easiest ways. Bringing nature into your home is not just a way to give a nicer look to your house but also improves the air you and your family breathe in a greater way.
Using natural plants to improve the air quality in your house will also help you reduce physiological and psychological stress, according to a 2015 study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology.
So, in a few words, by adding a few plants around your house, you will beautify your home, reduce the overall stress, and greatly increase the quality of the air you and your family breathe.
We included a link where you can read more about the best indoor plants.
Cracking the windows and allowing the fresh air to flow throughout your house is an excellent way to dilute the high levels of CO2, NO2, cigarette smoke, and other concentrated chemicals we normally store in our house.
By keeping your floors cleaned, you’re also increasing the air quality around your home. This is especially true if your heating and air conditioning system has a return grill/register closer to the floor.
There are several ways you can use your heating and air conditioning system to improve your indoor environment around your house or working space, and some of the most common ways are these:
Add an electronic filter to your system. If you have poor indoor air quality around your house, this is a good way to improve your indoor air quality. Electronic air cleaners effectively remove microscopic impurities from the air. This includes dust, smoke, animal dander, and many other air contaminants that can deteriorate your health.
Add a UV Light. Using UV Lights is another excellent way to improve your indoor air quality. UV lights have the power to kill bacterias, mold, viruses, and other contaminants. This option is one of the cheapest ways to maintain a healthy heating and air conditioning system, and of course, your family’s health as well.
Add an Ionic Air Purifier. Ionizers are helpful to combat allergies, asthma, or chemical sensitivities, as ionic air purifiers more effectively eliminate pollutants ranging from pollen, mold, dust, and pet dander to viruses, smoke, odors, and chemical toxins.
According to Ibaby, some of the benefits of installing an Ionic Purifier are:
Even though there are no clinical studies that can prove the benefits of cleaning your HVAC ducting system, it is not too hard to understand that those ducting pipes can get full of dust, allergens, bacteria, mold, and even viruses. So the right question is not if a clean ducting system can improve your health, but if dirty ductwork can diminish your health?.
I think cleanliness is always necessary to keep a healthy lifestyle, and since the air we breathe around our house goes through those pipes, we must consider keeping them as clean as we can.