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What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

The primary sources of indoor pollution include gases such as radon, formaldehyde, and carbon dioxide, as well as impurities such as dust, pollen grains, pet dander, and other various particulate matter.

Outdoor air pollution gets a lot of attention, but what about indoor air? Many homeowners usually concern themselves with external pollution — smoke from factories' chimneys or the exhaust spews from cars — but never do they consider that pollution can also come from within their own home. However, the view that internal air pollution is less toxic is far from reality. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the air inside your home is polluted about five more times than the air outside. Combining this information with research that suggests we spend more than 90% of our time indoors forces us to face the reality that the air we breathe is not as pure as we believe. Poor indoor air quality is closely associated with respiratory problems, allergies, heart diseases, and cancer. Furthermore, WHO states that air pollution is slowly but surely becoming the world's single biggest environmental health risk and is linked to over 7 million deaths per year.

 

The Many Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

What blinds many from the impacts of indoor air pollution is the fact that you cannot see or detect the amount of pollutants in your house through the naked eye. A lack of smoke does not necessarily mean that your air is pure. On the other hand, it makes it easy for us to overlook the importance of indoor air quality until health complications start showing up. The primary sources of indoor pollution include gases such as radon, formaldehyde, and carbon dioxide, as well as impurities such as dust, pollen grains, pet dander, and other various particulate matter.

Asbestos

Asbestos, found in various materials used in building and construction, such as paints, coatings, ceilings, floors, and tiles.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a chemical that is widely used in the manufacture of paints and sealants. It is also a byproduct of combustion when cooking or smoking.

Radioactive Gases

Radon is a naturally occurring gas and can be found underneath your home in bedrocks. In Florida, one in five homes tested has unacceptable radon levels above 4 pCi/L.

Tobacco Smoke

Tobacco smoke has over 7000 carcinogens, most of which are considered toxic and can lead to conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and lung cancer.

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Homes with fuel-burning appliances are more likely to have CO problems. Sources include gas stoves, ovens, and water heaters, motor vehicles, and generators.

Volatile Organic Compounds

VOCs are found in paints, sealants, wax, adhesives, and caulks, and long term exposure will cause difficulty in breathing.

Biological Contaminants

This refers to microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi that infiltrate the indoor environment. They manifest as animal dander, cat saliva, dust, mites, insects, and pollen grains.

Pesticides

Pesticides are inherently toxic and are sold as sprays, sticks, powders, crystal balls, and foggers. Extreme exposure to them can lead to complications of the kidney, liver, and nervous systems.

Cleaning Supplies

Household cleaning and personal care products often contain chemicals will contribute to indoor air pollution.

 

Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Getting cleaner air is much easier than you think. Simple things such as walking, cleaning, and taking care of your pet can all lead to low levels of contaminants. Moreover, there isn't a shortage of things you can do to improve the indoor air quality. Each of the tips below are minimal changes that you can make to improve your home's indoor air quality.

Invest in a Quality Air Purifier

At its core, your HVAC filter is intended to protect your system from large particles of dust and textile fibers. However, it does very little in improving the indoor quality of your air. That's why we recommend a whole-home air purification system, which actively cleans the air in your home.

Be Vigilant on Ventilation

Ensure that you open your windows for 5-10 minutes daily to allow airflow in and out of your house. When using some household chemicals, there tends to be a buildup of pollutants in your home, such as carbon dioxide and some other residual molecules. Opening your windows creates an avenue for some to leave your house, while clean and fresh air from the outside gets in.

Resolve You Radon

Testing for radon not only improves your home's air quality but also affects your health in the long term. Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that, if inhaled for prolonged periods, can cause cancer. If you discover that your house has a high level of radon after testing, contact a radon mitigation contractor to reduce the levels. On the upside, radon is entirely controllable, with almost a 99% reduction rate.

Keep Track of the Humidity in Your Home

Studies show a direct link between indoor dampness and some upper respiratory complications such as wheezing, coughing, and asthma symptoms. Controlling your relative humidity helps minimize dampness and minimize some bacteria. The ideal relative humidity of between 30 and 50 percent ensures your indoor air is excellent and reduces respiratory-related diseases.

Put the Kibosh on Smoking

Introduce a zero-tolerance policy to indoor smoking. Indoor tobacco smoke is harmful regardless of whether you inhale it directly or as an active or passive smoker. To keep your indoor air super and your health at check, try making your home a smoke-free house.

Use House Plants that Promote Air Filtration

This is one of the easiest and most effective methods yet- putting a plant in your home that promotes air filtration. All you have to do is to water it and let it do its job. Some of the plants that promote indoor air quality include chrysanthemums, English Ivy, Peace Lily, and Snake Lily.

Who We Are

At Advanced Air Conditioning and Heating, we are dedicated to providing the best recommendations and we work hard to match you with the perfect solutions that meet your unique needs. If you're ready to improve your indoor air quality, turn to the experts at Advanced Air. You can trust us to deliver top quality products and professional services at an affordable price.

Call (772) 388-1695 to ask how we can help.

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