Understanding and Improving Indoor Air Quality in Homes

Posted on April 13th, 2022 by carrolladmin

If you haven’t given much thought to the indoor air quality in your home, it might be a good time to start. From physical to mental health, indoor air quality in homes contributes to your overall well-being. 

To understand how to improve indoor air quality in homes, let’s start with what air quality means. Air quality is the cleanliness of the air in which you breathe and spend time indoors. The quality can differ from home to home depending on many factors like the age of the home, if someone smokes inside, excess moisture, mold, improper insulation, dirty air ducts, and more. 

Why Is Clean Air Important?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans spend 90% of their time indoors — and concentrations of pollutants can be 2-5x higher than the outdoors. Having quality, clean air contributes to the overall health of your family and pets. 

Unclean air can host a myriad of issues for occupants of the home and can cause both short and long-term effects on one’s health. Short-term effects can vary from irritations in the eyes, lungs, nose, and throat. Unclean air can cause headaches and dizziness for even just a short while when exposed to pollutants inside your home. 

Long-term effects can include respiratory diseases, heart disease, asthma, lung cancer, and stroke. These ailments can impact not only you and your family but guests who come over as well. Taking steps to ensure you have good air quality promotes health for all. 

What Degrades Indoor Air? 

Many factors contribute to the diminished quality of indoor air and to make matters worse, most of these pollutants are invisible threats. 

From gas stoves to unvented appliances, cleaning chemicals, renovations, different kinds of molds, dirty air ducts, improper insulation, and even dirty dryer vents, all can cause polluted air quality. 

Unfortunately, the majority of these problems wreak detrimental havoc on homes and families every year. Consider molds — 50% of American homes contain harmful mold. Children can be greatly affected by molds that cause diseases that lead to cognitive disabilities. Others have a predisposition to reactions to mold which cause long-term harm if not addressed. 

Mold is caused by moisture leaking into enclosed spaces. For instance, roof and foundation leaks, overflowing washing machines, and improper air circulation can cause mold to grow. Getting control over mold early is the best way to remedy it before problems arise. 

Unclean air ducts also cause a significant impact on your health. Dirty air ducts cause sicknesses that don’t seem to get better with time. Between migraines, allergies, and respiratory issues, it is imperative to keep them clean. 

Air ducts can also attract rodents and mice. Their droppings create toxic fumes and it is vital to eliminate rodents before it becomes a problem — and get your air ducts clean. 

Dust and debris also clog up air ducts reducing airflow. 

How Can I Tell If The Indoor Air Quality in My Home Is Bad?  

There are various ways to determine if the air quality within your home is poor. 

For example, if you experience coughing, difficulty breathing, allergic reactions, dry skin, migraines, nausea, or a strong lingering odor, these all are signs of unhealthy air quality. If you do have some of these symptoms, do they arise at home and disappear when you leave? Consider these factors when inquiring about your air quality. 

Another way to discover if your air quality is bad is to check on your humidity levels. The humidity within your home should never be over 60%. 

Improving Indoor Air Quality at Home  

If the cause of poor air quality is left untreated, you and your family are at risk. Fortunately, there are actions you can take to help promote clean air within your home and keep you and your family safe. You can open the windows on nicer days to let in fresh air. There are also certain house plants that promote healthier air quality. 

Animals have a way of attracting dirt and grime that can circulate throughout your entire house. Keeping your pets groomed and clean is a good practice to ensure pollutants don’t make their way inside your home. 

However, the only way to be sure you are fully tackling poor air quality at the source is to contact a professional. At Carroll Plumbing & Heating, our team has the experience and capabilities to assess your indoor air quality and help you improve it to safe, breathable levels. Learn more about the indoor air quality services we offer our customers by clicking below.