The Importance of Improving Indoor Air Quality
Updated: Feb 16
Indoor air pollution is undeniable, whether you realize it, know of it, or believe it. Therefore, it is vital to improving your indoor air quality. The Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is air quality found in and around your home and building structures. The health and comfort of residents in a home or occupants of a building depend on good indoor air quality. You can address your health matters when you take charge of the common pollutants usually found indoors.
The discharge of gas and particles in the air are the primary causes of indoor air quality problems. Inadequate ventilation can increase pollutant levels by not allowing enough outdoor air to come in. Outdoor air dilutes emissions from indoor sources, so proper ventilation is vital. Humidity levels can also increase the concentration of some pollutants.
The cold months may feel comfortable being enclosed inside your home against the chill of the outside, but for those who are sensitive to indoor allergens or those with breathing issues, the winter months may come with many complications. Allergy-producing dust mites have room to expand and develop because of your heating and cooling system and the stale indoor air. Pet dander and spores will also rotate through your home because of this. We know that during the later winter months and early spring you would like to open your windows to let out the putrid air, but it may still be too chilly to do that. So while you wait for warmer weather, it’s important to be aware of some allergy and respiratory issues that may occur with poor indoor air quality.
Main Reasons to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Avoid Allergy Triggers
Allergy-sufferers are always seeking ways to improve the indoor air quality of their homes. Knowing what contributes to this can significantly enhance your quality of life as you are able to take steps to mitigate the symptoms. Common allergens present in the home are dust mites and pollen. While these may be non-essential to some people, allergy-sufferers take them more seriously because they affect their daily lives. Removing pollutants in your home with air purifiers, by vacuuming, and other ways will make it easier for you to avoid allergic-triggers.
Prevent Asthma Attacks
Indoor air pollution easily aggravates asthma. If you are an asthma sufferer, you can sometimes tell when the air is not clean, even if you don’t see the pollutants. Your chest feels tight and breathing is difficult. Improving your indoor air quality will help you to avoid these feelings in the first place.
Pay attention to your air conditioner’s maintenance schedules, change your air filters monthly, use an ultraviolet lamp (UV lamp) in your air conditioning unit to kill microorganisms present in the air. Other things that will help include some mentioned above - clean your carpets and rid your home of dust mites and pollen. These actions can significantly improve the quality of life for asthma sufferers. Also, it is important that you check your vents and update your air conditioning system, schedule a cleaning, and invest in a humidifier. Most vital of it all. Get your air quality tested.
Reduce The Risk Of Illness
Illness often happens and we don’t know why. Sometimes, it’s genetic or medical issues that we cannot avoid; other times it is environmental issues that could've been prevented. As mentioned above, asthma and allergies are two of these, but other lung diseases, throat, ear, and nose issues can also arise from poor indoor air quality. Improving the quality of air in your home will improve your overall health.
How To Improve Indoor Air Quality
Use An HVAC UV light In Your HVAC Unit
Ultraviolet (UV) means beyond violet. Violet is the highest frequency of visible light and so is mostly invisible to the human eye. HVAC UV lights can have a profound effect on your home’s IAQ. UV lamps, air scrubbers, and ventilators can reduce and eliminate volatile organic compounds from your home’s indoor air. They are installed directly to your HVAC system and clean the air running into your house.
UV lights are effective and will kill organic growths such as mold or bacteria. An HVAC company will install the UV light near the coils to prevent the growth of such organisms as air passes through, and because the air passes through the coils, it also kills any growth in the air. Particularly, UV lights do their best work in humid climates. This is where evaporator coils can easily get wet.
Clean your HVAC unit
A clean HVAC system is one that is free of dust, spores, bacteria, mold, and other contaminants. Your HVAC system is to be cleaned according to your manufacturer's manual. If you are unsure of the cleaning schedule, speak to your local HVAC expert for guidance. If you live in an area that is dustier than others, clean your unit more often. This prevents the spread of contaminants that will negatively affect the quality of your indoor air.
The best thing you can do to trap indoor air pollutants is to replace the air filter every 30-60 days. This will aid in ensuring that the air inside your home is breathable. With your air duct system being dirty and clogged (which is where the air in your home gets recycled), you risk causing damage to your HVAC system as well as contributing to breathing and allergy issues for your family.
Heating and air conditioning systems can come in two layouts–packaged or split. A split system is the more common central HVAC choice. All the air in your home eventually makes its way through your central air duct, so it’s important to ensure that it is cleaned according to the advice of your HVAC technician. Having a vacuum cleaner on hand is also helpful for the indoor environment as it aids in filtration. You also need to have a good ventilation system because, without proper ventilation, you can risk carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and other effects of fuel combustion.
In order to keep dust mites, molds, and other allergens under control, you may keep your humidity level around 30%-50%. Your dehumidifier helps in reducing moisture in indoor air. When using a dehumidifier, you should also fix leaks in order to prevent mold. Use an exhaust fan or crack open a window when cooking or bathing. You should also try your best to not over water house plants.
Improving your indoor air quality is not as complicated as you might think. Implement these steps and you will find that the air in your home is lighter and it is easier to breathe. Not only will your health improve, but your air conditioning units will be more energy-efficient and increase your energy savings. To get started on improving your indoor air quality, contact Wright’s AC & Heat.