It is widely known that air quality inside the home can actually be worse than the air quality outside. Indoor air pollution can be caused by many factors in and outside the home and may not have any telltale odor ,but can have serious effect on the quality of life inside the home.
What is indoor air pollution?
Pollution refers to impurities and toxins that exist in the air. This also extends to the indoors where improper air flow combines with a source to create a hazardous indoor air pollution situation for the homeowner and residents. Low quality air inside the home can have serious health effects for anyone exposed to it for longer periods of time. Indoor air pollution can come from different sources inside and outside the home and may be difficult to detect as some pollutants have no smell such as highly dangerous CO2.
Indoor air pollution is one of the more serious issues that property owners have to face and because of the negative effects of toxic air quality, this type of problem must be diagnosed and corrected immediately. When bad air is suspected, the homeowners next critical step is hiring professionals that can quickly determine the source of the pollutants and any potential future problems. Experienced air quality professionals will have the latest tools and equipment to detect most airborne pollutants and their sources. Indoor air pollution is a serious problem and can have adverse to severe effects on those living in the home.
10 common causes of indoor air pollution
Indoor air pollution in homes can come from many different sources. Some of the more common sources for bad quality air in residential homes are:
- Radon - invisible and radioactive off gasses from building materials and foundation blocks that is known to cause lung cancer
- Cigarette smoke in its 2nd hand form contains multiple airborne toxins and creates a deep odor that absorbs itself into most surfaces
- VOC’s or volatile organic compounds that naturally occur from common building materials, paints and popular household chemicals
- Molds found in homes naturally release airborne spores and bacteria which reduce the quality of air
- Carbon monoxide is a clear and odorless gas that is highly toxic and can be generated from improper ventilation for HVAC equipment or garages
- Minor leaks from combustible gases used by appliances such as natural gas stoves, furnaces and hot water tanks
- Accumulated dust and debris in ductwork and ventilation systems
- Improperly stored household chemicals that off gas such as paints, solvents and cleaners
- Asbestos type insulation in older homes
- Buildups of pet dander that stay in the home’s air stream
Leaks and fractures in the home that allow outside air in can also affect air quality as environmental problems like smog and dust enter the residence.
Indoor air pollution causes serious health problems
Depending on the pollution source, constant exposure to low and bad quality air can cause a wide range of health and physical problems. Almost immediately, residents of the property can experience bouts of coughing, irritated eyes and skin, congestion and headaches. Some are so sensitive to mold spores that they develop severe allergy type conditions such as hay fever and watery eyes very quickly. Breathing low quality air will also disrupt sleep patterns causing fatigue and lethargy during the day. In some more severe cases, residents can develop lung and respiratory infections.
Indoor air pollution that is undetected and left unrepaired could cause more critical health problems in the long term. Exposure to off gasses from asbestos and radon has been known to cause lung cancer while breathing in odorless carbon monoxide just for a short time can result in death. Biological sources such as mold have been known to cause severe lung and respiratory infections that can lead to permanent labored breathing and even pneumonia. Short term symptoms and conditions should not be ignored and could indicate a serious air quality problem in the home.
Methods that can reduce indoor air pollution and increase air quality
When homeowners suspect or confirm air quality issues, there are some steps they can take to immediately improve air quality. Depending on the season, simply opening a window will allow built up pollutants to ventilate while fresh air enters the space. This type of air exchange is necessary for even day to day household tasks. For more serious indoor air pollution problems, professionals will consider the inside air circulation and ventilation points on the outside of the home when when checking air quality. Blocked or restricted air flow will contribute to any air pollution problems.
Something simple as banning smoking inside the home will increase air quality as second hand smoke has been known to be more toxic than the smoke itself. Relegating smokers outside and away from air intakes will help increase air quality as well as eventually remove that stale smoker’s odor. Thorough and consistent household cleaning will remove dust buildup and bacteria from surfaces which can negatively affect air quality. When cleaning, it is essential to find and remove the source of bad odors and not just cover them up with air fresheners. Air cleaners can also be an important tool in improving air quality by machine or even plants that whose specialty is air filtering.
Why is indoor air quality important
We spend much of our lives breathing in air that is in our home. Especially during sleep cycles where breathing is consistent over a long period of time. Inhaling low quality or bad air can create short term and long term problems if left unchecked. Health conditions from bad air can range in severity and can even result in death for some pollutants. Breathing clean air is essential to to the proper development of babies and children and can reduce or prevent respiratory conditions in adults.
Homes built in the last 20 years have complex engineering that go into their designs and air flow and ventilation is a key function of the home. Frequent testing of air quality should be a regular task for upkeep as many different systems make up the way a home breaths. Malfunctioning heating / cooling equipment and hot water tanks can disrupt proper airflow and could contribute pollutants into the home’s inside air. Paying close attention to the quality of the air inside is necessary because of the wide range of health and mental effects the air has on inhabitants at the property.
Indicators that point to indoor air pollution
Low quality air will have immediate effects on those residing at the property. Noticing certain changes in the quality of life could indicate a problem with indoor air quality. Changes in air quality can cause these effects:
- Increased effort in taking deep breaths or labored breathing
- Headaches, dizziness and nausea
- Constant fatigue and inconsistent sleep
- Newly developed allergic type reactions such as sneezing and irritated eyes
- Blotchy and itchy skin
- Respiratory related issues such as infections
- Physiological conditions such as random back and muscle pain
Any unusual changes in routines should also be noted as a possible indicator of bad quality air. Taking on home improvement projects and renovations will also create imbalances in the air and as homeowners unwrap new materials and new building materials off gas. Owners should take note of the materials used and how debris will be removed and disposed of. Unusual odors and new smells should be also be investigated at the source as a possible reason for low quality air.
Inch By Inch can diagnose and solve indoor air pollution problems
Indoor air pollution is a serious problem for homeowners and any issues with the inside air must be detected and corrected by professionals who fully understand the important of air quality. Inch by Inch has extensive residential air quality control experience and can accurately test and report on the air quality at the property with the latest technology and equipment. Once air quality is determined to be low, Inch By Inch will use their expertise to determine the types of pollutants in the air and will be able to locate and pinpoint the source. Once located, Inch By Inch will offer the best possible solutions to repair the problem and increase the quality of air.
When it comes to complete whole home air sanitization, Inch by Inch utilizes powerful ozone shock treatments to remove harmful toxins and pollutants in the air and will follow up with additional air purification treatments depending on the size and severity of the air quality. Inch By Inch is committed to providing the best air quality control services and 100% customer satisfaction with every job.
Inch By Inch is the first choice for indoor air quality management
Indoor air pollution inside your home can create short and long terms problems for residents and must be addressed immediately. Inch By Inch has the equipment and experience to detect and correct sources of indoor air pollution and increase the quality of air for a better quality of life.