Modern technology, products of daily use, and machinery add pollutants to the air. Car engines and factories decrease outdoor air quality, but several other factors affect indoor air quality.
Identifying these causes is your first step towards fixing the poor air quality in your home or workplace. When there’s an acute buildup of pollutants in your home, you’ll likely suffer temporary allergies, which will go away once you remove either yourself or the pollutant source from the environment.
But long-term exposure to poor air quality can lead to respiratory issues, headaches, and accelerated aging. The effects are more catastrophic for kids and at risk-population.
Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality
If you want to learn about the various sources of indoor pollutants, keep reading as we explore some of the leading causes of poor indoor air quality.
1. Household Items
Cleaning products, insecticides for killing pests, and pesticide-rich soil tracked in from the outside are all causes of poor indoor air quality. Chemicals from air fresheners and surface cleaners react with these pollutants and release fumes into the air.
Personal care items such as deodorant and perfumes, especially petroleum-based ingredients, release volatile organic compounds (V.O.C) in the air. The troubling news is that these cause harm even when you don’t use them.
The varnish, wax, and glues you use for furniture decrease the indoor air quality by releasing gases in the air; these combine with ozone and create formaldehyde and microscopic particles.
2. Biological Pollutants
Animal dander, such as from mice or even pets, causes a flare-up in allergies. The contaminants from their urine or animal skin become a part of the air and make their way into your lungs.
Due to increased humidity, water damage in your walls, or moisture causes mold and bacteria to grow in your home. Molds release tiny spores in the air, which are damaging to your health. Inefficient dryer vent systems also add moisture.
Pollen contributes to poor indoor air quality. It enters your home through your clothes, pets, or open windows. It only affects allergic individuals, although dust that follows pollen affects most people and decreases indoor air quality.
3. Appliances and Their Usage Inside Your Home
Unvented or poorly installed heaters and fireplace chimneys are causes of poor indoor air quality. These combustion materials release carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide, among other materials, all of which stay in your home for a long time and adversely affect your health.
CO and formaldehyde are the most common pollutants that unmaintained natural gas stoves create. Your indoor air will be polluted by burnt food and oils cooked at high temperatures without proper ventilation.
4. Your House/ Building
Lead-based paint releases fumes, which are bad for your nervous system and kidneys. Old insulation made of Asbestos is dangerous because even in minute amounts, it can cause lung scarring. More significant amounts can lead to even more severe health conditions.
Both of these add to indoor air pollution, more so when you’re renovating your home.
Old floors can have water damage and may require harsh chemicals for upkeep. These products are irritating to the eyes and throat and stay in the air for an extended period.
Carpets tend to catch and hold more dust and allergens as compared to wood floors or tiles. Wood floors and carpets are also mold-friendly if left damp and cause a decrease in the indoor air quality.
Lack of maintenance of vents leads to clogged filters and faulty fans. If you don’t clean out the debris and dust, then these make their way back into your home. And decrease the quality of indoor air.
Poor airflow due to a blocked HVAC condenser or vents causes leakage of clean air and decreases the fresh air entering your home.
Smoking inside the house without proper ventilation contributes heavily to poor indoor air quality. According to WHO, the smoke has a mixture of over 4000 compounds, each of which leads to lasting effects on your health.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Your Home
A home with clean air quality is a healthy home. The more ways you can improve your home’s air quality, the healthier your home will be! There are different ways you can improve your air quality.
- Another strategy is to increase ventilation to bring outdoor air into your indoor space. That’s especially important when you’re painting or adding new varnish to the furniture.
- Some people also like to add air cleaner devices to remove particles big and small, such as dust, from the house.
- Plants are natural air purifiers, so adding some greenery to your home will allow fresh and clean air into your living space.
- Keep your systems up to date, and installing air cleaning devices is how you will keep the house healthy. We have what you need to keep the whole home a healthy environment!
Let Us Help You Improve Indoor Air Quality
Since you spend most of your time indoors, you should take conscious steps toward reducing indoor pollutants. And in case you can’t get rid of the materials you use every day, you can invest in a ventilation system that will improve your indoor air quality.
So if you’re wondering how to improve indoor air quality, reach out to us for all your indoor air quality product needs, from ventilation system maintenance to air conditioning and heating.