Have you been feeling sick lately but can't figure out why? The culprit could be the air quality in your home. Poor indoor air quality can lead to a range of short- and long-term health effects, from allergies and asthma to heart disease and cancer. In this article, we'll explore how your home's air quality can impact your health and how you can improve it.
What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?
Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the overall "health" of the air you breathe in your home. IAQ encompasses various factors such as temperature, humidity, ventilation, and air pollutants such as mold, dust, and chemicals. If you are curious about your IAQ, here are a few ways to check the IAQ in your home:
- Test Kits: You can purchase test kits that measure the levels of various pollutants such as radon, mold, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the air. These kits typically involve taking a sample of the air and sending it to a lab for analysis.
- Professional Testing: You can hire a professional to test your home's IAQ. They will use specialized equipment to check for a wide range of pollutants and can provide a detailed report on the findings. Indoor
- Air Quality Monitors: IAQ monitors can measure the levels of various pollutants in real-time. These monitors can continuously scan your home and alert you when certain levels exceed safe limits.
What Can Harm My Indoor Air Quality?
Various pollutants, both natural and man-made, can negatively impact indoor air quality. Some of these pollutants include (but are not limited to):
- Dust mites
- Tobacco smoke
- Mold and mildew
- Pet dander
- Combustion byproducts from gas stoves and furnaces
- Off-gassing from cleaning supplies
- Paints Radon
Additionally, poor ventilation in your home can trap indoor air pollutants, further reducing indoor air quality.
Why is Indoor Air Quality Important & How Can it Impact my Health?
The average American spends about 90 percent of their time indoors, where pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor concentrations. And with more people working from home since the COVID-19 outbreak, it's even more important to breathe clean, healthy air in the place where you spend most of your time.
Poor indoor air quality can cause immediate symptoms similar to a cold or allergies, such as fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Asthma attacks can also be triggered by certain indoor air pollutants, some of which include (but are not limited to):
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
- Cockroach skins
- Secondhand smoke
According to the EPA, prolonged exposure to poor indoor air quality can also lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease, and even cancer.
Improving Indoor Air Quality
If you notice that your symptoms improve when you leave your home and spend time in another environment, it's time to start exploring ways to enhance your indoor air quality. Here are a few steps you can take to improve your indoor air quality today:
- Clean up. Start by establishing a regular cleaning routine to reduce dust in your home. This can include vacuuming or mopping floors every two weeks and dusting often neglected areas like ceiling fans, window blinds, and lampshades.
- Regular AC maintenance. Another critical step is to maintain your AC system. Change the air filter every 30 to 90 days, dust the air registers, and schedule annual maintenance with a professional to prevent dust buildup and mold growth.
- Manage humidity. Controlling humidity levels is also crucial. Use your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans to reduce excess moisture and prevent mold growth.
- Switch to a better AC filter. If you're still worried about your indoor air quality, consider investing in a higher-efficiency air filter like the AIRTEVA air filter. Unlike standard furnace filters, the AIRTEVA air filter is custom sized to your exact size, for a perfect fit every time. This filter also features our patented Leak-Guard Seal to ensure zero air bypass. This means 100% of your air is being filtered, eliminating your indoor air quality concerns for good.
At FilterFactory.com, we are committed to protecting your health by providing high-efficiency filtration products that do what they promise. To learn more about improving your indoor air quality, click here.