Air quality is rarely a top-of-mind concern among homeowners; however, what they don’t know is that poor air quality can have negative health effects to everyone that is regularly in and out of their homes. Once you know the potential dangers of polluted air, improving the air quality of your home becomes a natural concern when protecting yourself and your family.
The Importance of High Air Quality in Your Home
High air quality is important for a plethora of reasons, but most significantly is bettering the health of your family. Indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air by about five times the amount of pollutants. In order to achieve optimum air quality in your home, it is important to manage the factors affecting it.
Influences on Air Quality
When it comes to air pollutants, people think dust, dander, and debris. However, the influences on air quality do not stop there. One of the top indoor pollutants is secondhand smoke. It contains 60 different chemicals that are proven to cause cancer. Secondhand smoke has also been linked to asthma-related problems in children.
The cleanliness of the house is a contributor to indoor air pollution. For example, dust buildup in air ducts and failure to clean HVAC equipment are important areas of the home to maintain in order to limit air pollutants.
Your HVAC system manages the temperature and humidity of your home, making it a key contributor to air quality. You should keep the thermostat set at a temperature that is appropriate for the season, which is usually between 70°F and 78°F. The humidity of your home should be between 30 and 50 percent. Water damage and mold are factors of too much moisture in the air. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers can help manage these levels. Poor air ventilation and lack of fresh air are attributed to negatively impacting air quality, as well.
Many chemicals are found in the air of a home. The most obvious source of chemicals in a home is cleaning products. However, radon is an odorless gas commonly found in homes that influences the quality of the air. Radon is a result of the chemical breakdown of uranium into radium then radon. Uranium is found in the soil and rocks that lie under the foundation of the home. Research has suggested that radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer.
Health Concerns Related to Air Quality
Of course, no one wants poor air quality in their home, but why? Many health concerns have been linked to indoor air pollutants. For example, allergens, such as dust and debris, build up in rooms and air ducts, worsening the symptoms of asthma and allergies. Secondhand smoke is incredibly dangerous to smokers and non-smokers alike, causing lung cancer, heart disease, and pediatric asthma.
When a home has high levels of humidity, it becomes the perfect environment for mold, mildew, bacteria, and viruses. These factors influence the overall quality of the air in your home, which over time causes negative side effects for your family members. The following are common symptoms that are linked to poor air quality in a home:
- Sneezing and coughing
- Irritated eyes, nose, skin, and throat
- Shortness of breath
- Sinus congestion
- Worsening respiratory problems
- Watery, itchy eyes
Improving Indoor Air Quality
The list of possible health concerns and common side effects that are related to poor air quality is daunting. The good news is that with the necessary steps, you can improve the air quality of your home and keep your family safe and healthy. Since secondhand smoke poses the greatest risk on your families health, you should ban smoking inside the home if you haven’t already.
Regular inspection and upkeep of your HVAC system will help rid the home of potential air pollutants. Changing air filters once a month will significantly increase the air quality of your home by combating allergens and debris.
Although you cannot completely rid your home of allergens, dust, and dirt, maintaining a clean home will lower the risk of many pollutants. Regularly dusting, vacuuming, and wiping down hard surfaces will enhance the home’s overall air quality. If you are concerned with chemicals in your home, swapping cleaners with harsh chemicals for environmentally friendly ones will limit the toxins in the air.
Letting fresh air in from outside and proper air ventilation will improve the quality of air in your home. The tips and tricks are all great ways to limit the number of pollutants in the air, but the most effective thing you can do is to invest in an air purification product.
Air Purification Products
Air purifiers are very effective when it comes to cleaning the air in your home and boosting overall air quality. There are several types of air purifiers, including UV air purifiers, ionic air purifiers, carbon filtration systems, ozone air purifiers, and HEPA air purifiers.
- UV air purifiers use UV light, which kills bacteria, viruses, and mold.
- Ionic air purifiers generate a stream of negatively charged ions that attract various positively charged particles, including dust and allergens. These particles will fall to the floor due to their weight, and then they can be vacuumed or swept up.
- Carbon filtration systems absorb the allergens and pollutants, helping purify the air in your home. Carbon filtration systems work best in conjuncture with HEPA air purifiers.
- HEPA air purifiers use special filters that trap both small and large particles that pollute the air.
- Ozone air purifiers oxidize the air pollutants and rid the area of unwanted odors. Unfortunately, these purifiers can be dangerous to small animals, so these purifiers are typically used in commercial buildings and after emergencies, like floods.
In addition to air purification products, a high-quality air filter will improve the overall air quality of your home. Air filters should be changed at least once a month or more if someone in the household battles with allergies or asthma.
Dehumidifiers and humidifiers are incredibly valuable because they offer a variety of benefits, including increasing air quality. Dehumidifiers help reduce the amount of dust in the air while also eliminating moisture. Drier air helps prevent mold, mildew, and fungus growth.
Humidifiers will add moisture to the air when it is too dry. Dry air offers an environment for viruses to pass between people. Air that is too dry can also cause problems for individuals with asthma and allergies. Appropriate humidity levels are an essential part of high-quality air within your home. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers will help you achieve the perfect balance for where you live.
High-quality air plays a valuable part in keeping your family safe from dangerous pollutants that cause significant risk to their overall health. Investing in an air purifier, air filters, dehumidifiers, and humidifiers will yield numerous benefits for you and your family.
Cates Heating and Cooling has been servicing the Kansas City Metro area for over four decades. The expert HVAC technicians at Cates are dedicated to helping homeowners achieve optimal air quality for their homes.