There are many facets of air conditioning and heating regarding household health that are important to be aware of. One of these is indoor air quality. Though you can’t usually see anything in the air inside your house, there are always some amount of pollutants. They vary depending on location, HVAC system, season, and other factors, but there are a few main factors that largely determine indoor air quality.
Chemicals are a major concern when it comes to air pollutants. Two of the most common causes of complaint about poor indoor air quality are bad smells and irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. Though these things can be caused by other factors and even just dry air, if there are chemicals in the air, they are bound to be exasperated or developed. Bad odor in itself is not typically harmful but is usually indicative of a more serious problem such as the presence of chemicals.
Radon is a gas that occurs naturally in soil and rock in certain regions and can enter buildings by diffusing through the soil. It has no taste, odor, or color and is a natural byproduct of radium decay. It is suspected that radon, when inhaled, sticks to the airways of the lung and increases the risk of developing lung cancer. This makes its presence in indoor air concerning.
Coarse, fine and ultrafine particles in ambient air are known as suspended particles. These suspended particles are known to cause adverse health effects on the whole body but specifically the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Particles can come from outdoor pollution and from burning fuels for heating and cooking.
Microbes are organisms such as fungi and viruses which are believed to have a role in the development of asthma and allergies that affect the airways. This is especially concerning in damp buildings or indoor environments with mold because the fungi will typically release allergens. Additionally, viruses may be carried by indoor air and can increase the effects of asthma and allergies.
Pets and unwanted pests greatly affect indoor air quality. Pests, dust mites, cockroaches, and even mice are huge sources of allergens which can lead to diseases affecting the airways including but not limited to rhinitis, inflammation of the cells lining the nose, and asthma. Pets in the house will always carry and release allergens, viruses and other microorganisms much like humans and furry animals will release hair and dirt into the air at varying quantities.
Believe it or not, humidity isn’t just for the outdoors. Though many people don’t think about it, there is an optimal level of humidity in indoor air. A low humidity will cause eye irritation, dry skin, and rashes, and high humidity can cause water damage and mold growth.
Ventilation is a major factor affecting indoor air quality. Poorly ventilated buildings tend to trap microorganisms and humidity in the air. Beyond this, ventilation is important for heating and cooling performance and affects the comfort level of a room.
Temperature can not only cause discomfort, but indoor air that is either very cold or very hot is highly unhealthy.
Where one look at the air around you may lead you to believe that nothing surrounds you, this is not the case. There are particles all throughout the air that affect its quality as well as environmental factors. Indoor air quality is very important because it is the air that you breathe every day at home, at work, at lunch. It can either make or break your health and can be a very sneaky enemy.
At AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning, we make it our business to ensure that you have the best air quality you possibly can. If you are concerned about the quality of your indoor air, need an upgrade in your current air filter or cleaner system, or just want more information, contact a representative at AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning today and we will work with you to see how we can improve your situation. Take charge of your health today and give us a call.