For all of us, the quality of our indoor air should be one of our top priorities in our homes. When you can prevent chronic health conditions from occurring, or when you can prevent them from getting worse, then it is certainly within your best interests to do so. But what exactly causes poor indoor air quality? And what can you do about it?
What follows are some tips on how to keep your indoor air quality as clean as possible. In certain situations, you may need a professional’s help. That’s where Ambient Edge comes in. If you need your HVAC unit or air ducts services, feel free to call us anytime at (888) 240-8283.
Common Culprits for Poor Indoor Air Quality
There are several reasons why the air quality in your home may not be up to snuff. Some of these causes are more common than you may think. For instance, some of the most common culprits for poor indoor air quality include:
- Cigarette smoke
- Household cleaning supplies
- Dust mites
- Polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and/or polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)
- VOCs from paint
You may not think you have formaldehyde particles in your indoor air, but it’s actually more common than you might think. Formaldehyde is commonly found in carpets and paneling, in addition to several other common consumer products.
You may also think you don’t have any PBB or PCB in your air, but these particles enter the home by way of products containing plastic or plastic foam, such as televisions, computer monitors, and furniture.
While you can certainly limit the number of products in your home that foster air pollution, how can you minimize the pollution you already have?
Radon is another important pollutant to mention because, like carbon monoxide, it is odorless and invisible, yet it can do serious damage over time. Radon, a radioactive gas, comes up through the earth as a byproduct of uranium as the latter naturally breaks down. Radon enters the home through cracks in the foundation, the crawlspace, or the basement and, over time, can raise the risk of lung cancer.
You can purchase a radon test, which can tell you just how much, if any, radon is in your home. According to the EPA, 1 in every 15 homes has an unsafe level of radon. You can also hire a professional to check the levels of not just radon but other particular types of pollutants that may be present in your indoor air.
Improving Your Indoor Air Quality
There are several measures you can take to improve the quality of your indoor air.
One of the simplest ways is to open windows periodically, even in the colder months. Failing, or in addition to, that, you can also invest in an air purifier and set it up in the most trafficked area of your home.
You can also regularly clean, or have cleaned, the air ducts in your home to keep them as free of dust, debris, and even mold as you possibly can. Don’t allow people to smoke in your home and, whenever, possible, allow products like furniture and that new television to air out in the garage before you install them or bring them into the interior of your home.
Short and Long-Term Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality
Poor indoor air quality can have both short and long-term effects on your health and the health of your family members and those who come to visit.
Insofar as short-term effects, you can suffer respiratory irritation, including the development of asthma or the irritation of an existing condition, as well as headaches, fatigue, and dizziness. Treatment often involves simply removing your exposure to the irritant. How likely you are to suffer a reaction depends on whether you have any preexisting conditions, as well as your age and individual sensitivity.
Insofar as long-term effects, years of repeated exposure to indoor air pollution can lead to respiratory disease, heart disease, and even certain cancers. This is why it is so important to be on top of the air quality in your home, even if you don’t notice any symptoms right now. Concentrations and repeated exposures to certain pollutants increase the potential for long-term medical issues, however, while one person may be sensitive to certain pollutants, others may not be.
Either way, it is certainly not a bad idea to keep your indoor air as clean as possible, whenever possible.
Concerned about the Quality of Your Indoor Air? Ambient Edge Can Help!
If you’re concerned that the air in your home may not be safe to breathe, Ambient Edge can come to your home and test the air quality for you. From there, we can offer suggestions and advice on what your next steps should be, depending on the pollutant. Simply fill out the contact form on our website or give us a call today at (888) 240-8283. Your indoor air quality is too important to ignore. Call Ambient Edge today, and we’ll help you clean it up!