4 Indoor Air Quality Problems and How They Affect You
Your home is your oasis, a place where you should be as happy and healthy as possible. Keep your home’s indoor air quality high by eliminating pollutants, contaminants, and potential health concerns. Not sure where to start? Become familiar with four common indoor air quality problems and learn how they affect you and your family.
If you live in a humid climate, it isn’t unusual for outdoor moisture to make its way into your home. When indoor humidity levels are too high, you might spot condensation on the inside of your windows, or you might feel overly warm even though your thermostat indicates a reasonable temperature.
Since excess moisture can encourage mold to grow, dust mites to thrive, and your allergies to work overtime, high humidity isn’t something you want to live with. Try adjusting your thermostat to reflect a relative humidity level of 50 percent or lower or talk with your HVAC provider about a whole-house dehumidifier that works with your heating and cooling system.
Volatile Organic Compounds
Since everything from furniture adhesives and carpet glue to paint and dry cleaning chemicals can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), these airborne compounds could be everywhere in your home. Because they can irritate your respiratory system and cause serious health issues, you’ll want to take steps to eliminate VOCs from your home.
First, try adding greenery like spider plants and jade plants, which can help purify the air in your home. Next, make a point of choosing VOC-free paint and household items when remodeling or freshening your home. Finally, consider investing in an air purifier designed to remove VOCs.
Every home needs fresh air and continual circulation to prevent stale air from accumulating. After all, stale air can easily contribute to allergy and asthma attacks.
While opening the doors or windows can introduce fresh air into your home, unfiltered outdoor air can also compromise humidity levels and increase the amount of pollen and other allergens in your home. Instead of opting for natural ventilation, talk with your local HVAC expert about mechanical ventilation, which can provide your heating and cooling system with a constant supply of fresh air while helping you save energy at the same time.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you know how problematic tree and grass pollen can be for your health in the spring and fall. To keep pollen from circulating through your house, ask family members and visiting friends to remove shoes and jackets when they enter your home. Make a point of sweeping, dusting, or vacuuming your home several times a week to keep pollen to a minimum.
Consider upgrading to a more effective air filter, too. Filters with minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) ratings between 9 and 12 typically remove more pollen and other contaminants from your air supply while improving your heating and cooling system’s efficiency.
Don’t let indoor air quality issues affect your health. Know which air quality problems you’re dealing with and take the necessary steps to mitigate them so you can get back to feeling healthy and happy.