Who would think indoor air can be hazardous to your health? Indoor air– a pollutant? Unfortunately, that is often the case, said Kevin Cain, Comfort Specialist, ACE Air Conditioning & Heating Service, Inc.
Exposure to air pollutants can be up to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors and the American Lung Association estimates that most people spend 90 percent of their time indoors, making indoor air quality (IAQ) extremely important. Many common household items contribute to poor indoor air quality. Compounds found in carpeting, furniture, upholstery, and drapery fabric constantly emit fumes. Other sources of pollutants can include cleaning agents, paints, and personal care products.
The tight construction of today’s homes also contributes significantly to poor IAQ. Things like weather-stripping and storm doors are designed to save on energy costs. However, they also prevent proper ventilation by keeping indoor air in and outdoor air out. The result can be a build-up of contaminants within the home.
Poor IAQ can be the cause of numerous health problems. Medical groups report that as many as half of all illnesses are caused or aggravated by indoor air pollution. Pollutants within the home can cause homeowners to suffer from flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and respiratory irritation. Two health problems that can be aggravated by poor indoor air are allergies and asthma. Even people who have never suffered from allergies can benefit from improved IAQ. Fortunately, several steps can be taken to ensure that your indoor environment is the safest.
“Thankfully, there are things a homeowner can do to help alleviate potential IAQ concerns. The first step toward improving indoor air is to identify the sources of air pollutants,” said Cain. “Eliminating and reducing these sources are the most effective ways to clean the air. Although it is not possible to remove every contaminant source, reducing the sources and/or the amount of pollutants they emit, will contribute to a healthier living environment.”
A great way to minimize the concentration of pollutants is by thoroughly cleaning the home. Frequent dusting and vacuuming can help to reduce the amount of dust particles in the air.
When you can’t sweep away all the irritants, you should consider a PureAir Air Purification System from Lennox Healthy Climate Solutions. PureAir is your best defense against all three classes of indoor contaminants – particles such as dust, microorganisms like bacteria and volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde.
Ventilation also plays an important role in improving indoor air quality. Proper ventilation can reduce the concentration of pollutants inside the home. An Energy Recover Ventilator (ERV) or Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) can replace stale indoor air with fresher, cleaner outdoor air without sacrificing comfort or wasting energy you’ve spent heating, cooling or dehumidifying it.
Some of the most effective solutions for poor indoor air quality may involve heating and cooling systems. High-efficiency air filters can assist in absorbing particles that otherwise would escape due to their size. These filters help clean the air and provide respiratory relief by removing dust, dirt, and pollen. Other Healthy Climate Solutions products that are available include dehumidifiers, humidifiers, carbon monoxide detectors, and UV lights
To find out more about the most effective methods to improve indoor air quality, call ACE Air Conditioning & Heating Service, Inc. at 703-691-0095. ACE has been providing service in the Northern Virginia area since 1980.