Are you worried about the air quality in your home?
When faced with air pollution, most people think their home is a safe space away from it all. But the EPA has found that some indoor air quality is 2-5 times worse than it is outside. But if this is news to you, you might not know the true impact of this, or how to improve it.
That’s where we come in! Keep reading for this guide on how to improve indoor air quality and the health issues if you don’t.
5 Health Problems That Poor Indoor Air Quality Can Cause
First, we’re going to look at 5 health problems that can result from poor indoor air quality. You must know how serious this can be.
1. Symptoms Like the Common Cold
Poor indoor air quality can give you symptoms that resemble the flu, or the common cold. This could include issues like:
- Runny nose
- Itchy eyes
These are often short-term issues, and they’re easy to treat. But you can get symptoms from one exposure or long-term exposure. Biological contaminants are the usual culprits, like dust, mites, pet dander, and pollen.
If someone in your family has asthma, poor indoor air quality can exasperate this. They have more chances to experience wheezing, difficulty breathing, coughing, and chest tightness.
If those symptoms persist, this can lead to a full asthma attack. This could become an emergency, requiring hospitalization. Not to mention the time off work or school to recover.
3. COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
COPD is a common long-term condition that can come from living in poor air inside your home. It’s a lung condition like asthma that causes similar symptoms like:
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
But, it also includes chronic respiratory infections, coughing, and leg and foot swelling. It can also cause weight loss and fatigue. What triggers COPD can vary from person to person.
Those who have COPD closer to asthma will suffer more from poor air. Secondhand smoke, mites, pet dander, and pollen can all trigger COPD inside the home.
4. Cardiovascular Disease
As well as damaging your respiratory system if can cause cardiovascular harm too. Poor indoor air quality can prevent the proper movement of blood vessels. This can cause blood clotting, as well as disruption to the heart’s electrical rhythm.
As such, this increases the risk of a stroke, heart attack, and long-term heart disease. Soot, dust, nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide in the air are some of the causes to watch for. Indoor air quality testing is well worth it, to make sure you’re not breathing in anything harmful.
5. Lung Cancer
Long-term exposure to poor indoor air will increase the risk of getting lung cancer. Some pollutants that can contribute to this cancer include:
- Secondhand smoke
- Combustible pollutants
- Volatile organic compounds (like acetone, formaldehyde, and ethanol)
Radon is actually one of the leading causes of lung cancer. This is a radioactive gas, the soil produces it and you can track it into your home after a walk outside. It can also enter your home through the floor or cracks in the wall.
5 Ways You Can Improve the Air Quality In Your Home
So, now we’ve seen what health consequences poor indoor air can cause, let’s look at what you can do about it. Here are 5 tips about indoor air quality, how to improve it and you can get started right away.
1. Change Your HVAC Air Filter Regularly
One of the easiest ways to get better indoor air quality is to change the HVAC air filter as needed. Your HVAC unit is always working to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, year-round.
As it cycles the air, the filters inside take out those common pollutants that can harm your health. They’re not invincible though, and over time they get too dirty and full up to do their job anymore.
This means that no more pollutants get filtered out. The ones trapped in the filter could spread back through your home too, and it can damage your unit. Most HVAC filters need changing every 2-3 months, so don’t forget.
2. Check & Clean the Air Ducts
Air ducts take hot and cold air around your home to keep each room at the right temperature. But if the ducts weren’t installed right, or you don’t keep them clean, they can get dirty fast.
As the dirt and debris (dust, dander, mold, etc.) build up, the airflow pushes that around your home. Harmful pollutants will go from room to room bringing down the quality of your indoor air.
Make sure you’re cleaning out your ducts regularly as part of routine maintenance. Or, you can call in a professional if you sign up for a servicing plan, and they will do it for you.
3. Clean Carpets & Rugs regularly
Carpets and rugs are a great way to add comfort to your home, but they also act as air filters in a way. Their fibers trap dust, debris, and other particles, which can build up over time.
Make sure you’re vacuuming your rugs and carpets once a week. This will remove the pollutants in your home before they build to harmful levels. And your carpets and rugs will continue to help filter your indoor air. All by sitting there!
4. Have Humidity Control in Your Home
Moist, humid conditions help mold and mildew start to settle and grow. Over time, exposure to different types of mold can make asthma and lung conditions worse. They can even harm your health if you’re fit and healthy.
By reducing moisture in your home, you won’t have an environment where these molds thrive. It’s worth putting a few well-placed dehumidifiers around your home if you do have a moisture issue.
5. Buy Indoor Plants to Help Clean Your Indoor Air
Plants are the air filters of the natural world, and they can work in your home too. There are plenty of indoor plants for air quality like:
- Purple waffle plants
- Asparagus ferns
- Weeping figs
- Nerve plants
These plants filter pollutants like carbon dioxide out of your indoor air. They’ll also help boost the appeal of your home’s appearance. But if you have pets, make sure you get non-toxic plants that won’t harm your furry friends.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality Made Easy
So, there you have it! Now you know how to improve indoor air quality, and what could happen if you don’t.
We all think our homes are our safe spaces, but indoor air quality is a hazard we can’t see. It’s important to take the right steps to keep yourself and your family safe. And part of that comes with good HVAC care and maintenance.
If you’re looking to book an HVAC service, contact us today. At Minnicks: Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, Insulation we’re dedicated to our customers. We’ve got the skills and knowledge to help with all your HVAC needs.