Indoor air quality (IAQ) relates to the quality of air that you are breathing in and around your home or workplace. Indoor air pollutants can affect your health immediately or have long term effects. You can understand and learn how to control some common air pollutants to help lower your health risk and create better indoor air quality.
Identify problems and signs of inadequate indoor air
Indoor air problems can seem small and may affect one person in the indoor environment or a group of individuals and pets. Symptoms that could be a result of poor air quality are:
- sinus congestion
- eye, throat and skin irritation
These symptoms can be a result of an underlying health issue and not always necessarily caused by poor indoor air quality. However, if you do have any health issues or anyone in the home has asthma, allergies, respiratory diseases, contact lenses or a suppressed immune system (as a result of another disease, radiation or chemotherapy); then they are more likely to suffer effects from poor indoor air quality.
If you can identify the potential sources of indoor air pollution, then you may be able to improve the indoor air quality. These sources may or may not be causing current poor indoor air quality in your home but you will have a good idea of assessing your indoor air after identifying them.
For example, poor ventilation in a home can cause indoor air pollution. You can do a quick test to assess if you have this issue by walking outside for a few minutes then re-enter your home and notice if there are strange odors.
Signs of poor ventilation include:
- dirty central air conditioning and heating equipment
- stuffy and smelly air
- moldy or mildew smell and areas that could be growing mold and mildew like books, shoes, cracks and other items
- moisture on walls and windows
Ways to Improve your Indoor Air Quality
The easiest way to improve your home's indoor air quality is to control the sources of air pollutants. After you identify the sources, you can help eliminate the areas that can create mold and mildew and make sure there is adequate ventilation flowing through your home. Also, make sure your ac and heating equipment are clean and functioning efficiently to help circulate the air and run smoothly. You can open windows and doors to let in some natural ventilation but you may bring in other air pollutants especially any attributable to seasonal allergies, including tree pollen and other pollens that are common to Spring and The Woodlands Texas as well as other Houston areas in the fall and spring.
Another solution to improve your indoor air quality is with air cleaners which can be whole house systems or table top versions. Some air cleaners are very effective at particle removal and some like smaller table top and floor versions are less effective. Air cleaners are for removing various particles and not for gaseous pollutants. Be sure to always have functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. An air cleaner is effective based on the source of the indoor air pollution and the strength of the particular air cleaner.
Regular replacement of your air filter and cleaning depending on the type of filter you use in your HVAC system is very important for catching some particles and air flow. They are not designed to catch every particle passing through and many air pollutants may need to go through air cleaners and UV lights to kill remaining bacteria and pollutants.
Ultraviolet germicidal cleaners (which are used on hospitals) can deactivate indoor biological pollutants in your home's air or growing in moist areas of your HVAC surfaces like ductwork, drain pans and cooling coils. They may also help with extreme indoor smells. These lamps are most effective by working with whole home air cleaners and proper air filters for your home's air conditioning and heating system.
Don't forget improving your workplace and commercial indoor air quality is as important as the air you are breathing in your home.
ACTexas handles many indoor air quality issues and if you notice signs of indoor air pollution or experience effects of poor indoor air, you should contact ACT Air Conditioning Texas today! You can also send us an air conditioning request online!