Usually when people think of air pollution, they think about the city smog, industrial and agricultural emissions, but very few remember the importance of air quality indoors. Considering how much time we spend in indoor environments today (around 90% on average), indoor air quality has become a very important factor that contributes to overall health. There are various sources of indoor air pollution, including:
- Appliances that use fuel combustion as a source of energy or heat
- Household cleaning products and similar chemicals
- Building materials and furnishings
- Excess moisture
- Mold and bacteria spores
- CO2 buildup from improper venting
- Outdoor pollution
In certain circumstances indoor air quality can be two to five times worse than the air in the most polluted cities. That is why poor indoor air quality is ranked in the top five environmental dangers facing the public. High levels of pollutants in homes and working places contribute to development of allergies and hypersensitivity, while prolonged exposure can even lead to some very serious issues like respiratory diseases and cancer.
How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect Health?
Depending on the types and amounts of pollutants, effects of poor indoor air quality can be experienced immediately or after several years. Occurrence of immediate effects largely depends on the health and age of the individual. Symptoms of those effects may include headaches, shortness of breath, dry cough, dizziness, poor sleep patterns, fatigue, irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. Considering that some of these symptoms are also caused by colds, flu and other common diseases, it is often difficult to identify the true culprit. Long-term effects show up either years after exposure or as a result of chronic exposure. Long-term effects of poor air quality include accelerated aging of the lungs, developing asthma, bronchitis, severe respiratory and heart diseases, and even cancer.
How to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution?
Indoor air pollution can be minimized in a number of ways:
Controlling the sources of pollution – this is not just the most effective way to reduce pollution in indoor environments, but also the cheapest one. Every home has different sources of pollution, but the most common ones include smoking, household products, furniture, gas stoves, trash, moisture and asbestos.
There are number of ways to deal with indoor air pollution – first and foremost, avoid smoking indoors and ventilate the rooms while cooking and cleaning. Check your gas stoves from time to time to ensure that there are no leaks. It is also advised to regularly vacuum carpets and furniture, because they accumulate significant amounts of dust, mold and other particles; change the bedding every week and wash it with hot water. To avoid excess moisture, make sure that bathroom, kitchen and room where clothes are dried are properly vented. It is very important to avoid accumulation of humid air indoors to prevent the growth of mold.
Ventilation – this is a very important aspect of indoor air quality. No matter how clean the rooms are kept, if there is no proper ventilation, indoor air will accumulate pollutants over time. Regularly opening the windows or using window fans and air conditioners enhances natural air circulation. Ventilation is especially important in kitchens and bathrooms, considering that they have the biggest sources of excess moisture and polluting gases.
Air purifiers – these appliances have gained significant popularity in the last couple of years and there are various models available on the market. Some are more effective than others, but very few have the ability to remove air polluting gases. Air purifiers should be used in conjunction with other methods that reduce sources of pollution, otherwise their effect is barely noticeable.
How Inch by Inch Inspections Resolves Your Indoor Air Quality Issues
Not all sources of indoor air pollution are visible or detectable without some professional gear. If you have any doubts about the air quality in your home, call Inch by Inch Inspections – they offer air quality testing and inspection services in Toronto and surrounding areas. Staff of Inch by Inch Inspections is composed of experienced professionals that will analyze your property thoroughly, diagnose the problem and provide the best measures for correcting and enhancing air quality in your home.
Depending on the issue, Inch by Inch Inspections can employ various air management solutions, including mold detection and removal, asbestos removal, advice on how to improve air circulation, as well as venting inspection and redesign. If you want high-quality service, efficiency and ethical air quality testing at a reasonable price, contact Inch by Inch Inspections today.