Indoor air pollutants are a major concern, as they cause respiratory problems and allergies. Examples are dust, mold, pet dander, pollen, smoke, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Dust comprises tiny particles from outside sources like soil and plant debris accumulating in carpets, furniture, and curtains. Common indicators of air pollutants include headaches, dizziness, and eye and throat irritation. Other symptoms are fatigue, respiratory problems, and asthma attacks. Long-term exposure to elevated levels of indoor air pollutants also increases cancer risk.
To maintain good indoor air quality, take steps such as controlling humidity levels, filtering the air, regularly changing air filters, and cleaning up the dust. Also, use nontoxic cleaning products and avoid smoking indoors. Regularly testing indoor air quality can help identify any potential problems or sources of contamination before they become major health hazards.
Taking steps to improve indoor air quality ensures the air inside of your home or office is free of pollutants and contaminants. The four major indoor air pollutants include biological pollutants, carbon dioxide, VOCs, and other combustion pollutants.
1. Biological Pollutants
Biological contaminants in indoor environments result from dust mites, pet dander, and mold spores. These and other microorganisms cause allergies and respiratory conditions. Regular cleaning or replacing air filters manages these pollutants, while adequate ventilation and low humidity inhibit their growth. To maintain safe and healthy indoor air quality, identify sources of biological pollutants. Take measures to mitigate them by regularly dusting and vacuuming, cleaning, and replacing air filters. Using an air purifying system is also beneficial.
2. Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that’s hazardous to human health. It’s produced when combustible fuels burn without enough air for complete combustion. Sources of combustible fuels include gasoline, propane, natural gas, and wood. Common sources of carbon monoxide in the home include, poorly-vented gas furnaces water heaters, stoves, and furnaces.
If your garage is attached to the house, you may experience CO from automobile exhaust or a blocked chimney. For this reason, conduct regular checks on your house’s heating system for leaks and proper ventilation. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness, confusion, weakness, and nausea.
If you’ve been exposed to high levels of CO, seek immediate medical attention. Long-term exposure to low levels of CO causes severe health issues, such as brain damage. Check your residence for potential gas sources, and be sure to install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your property. A detector should also be placed near the sleeping area, where it will sound an alarm if high levels of CO are present. Taking these measures prevents potential health risks associated with carbon monoxide exposure.
3. Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a group of carbon-containing substances. They quickly evaporate into the air at room temperature and are present in many typical household products. These include paints, cleaning supplies, aerosol sprays, varnishes, glues, and adhesives. Cooking and smoking can also release VOCs. VOCs irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs.
They also lead to headaches, nausea, loss of coordination, damage to the liver, kidney, or central nervous system, and cancer. To reduce exposure to VOCs indoors, ventilate the house when using products and replace air filters often. Additionally, use low-VOC products when available and avoid smoking indoors.
4. Combustion Pollutants
Combustion pollutants are major indoor air pollutants released from burning materials. Wood, gasoline, kerosene, coal, and natural gas are the primary sources of combustion pollutants. They release chemical compounds, including carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). They also release sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter like dust and ash. The incomplete combustion of materials in a stove or fireplace causes the release of these pollutants.
Particulate matter results in respiratory problems if inhaled. Additionally, carbon monoxide is a health hazard because of its ability to displace oxygen in the bloodstream. Exposure to high nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide levels irritates the eyes, lungs, and skin. Ensure combustion appliances are well-ventilated to reduce exposure to these pollutants.
Improve Indoor Air Quality
If you’re looking to improve the air quality in your Maywood home, find certified technicians. Our trained professionals have worked with all heating and cooling systems and gained the expertise to optimize your air quality. We’ll start by conducting a thorough evaluation of your current system and pinpoint areas of improvement or necessary repairs.
We’ll recommend and install the latest air purification products to remove airborne contaminants. Don’t let poor indoor air quality affect your family’s health. As a resident of Maywood, contact Spot On today for installation and maintenance of your air conditioning, heating, and plumbing systems. Our team also provides other HVAC services such as air balancing, insulation, heat pumps, and thermostats.