Every day, we breathe in contaminants. 9 out of 10 of us breathe air that is above the World Health Organization’s limits every day. This can cause health problems, including headaches, fatigue, and respiratory issues.
We accept that while we’re traveling on the road, we’ll be exposed to pollutants. But did you know that the air inside our own homes could also be making us sick?
Homeowners, it’s time to take action. The air inside your home can become clean and healthy, but you need to do something about it. Read on for our homeowner’s guide to improving indoor air quality.
Why Indoor Air Quality Matters
On average, Americans spend 90% of their time indoors. The quality of the air we breathe indoors really matters – after all, that’s what we’re breathing the majority of the time!
Several factors can affect indoor air quality. These include:
- Tobacco smoke
- Carbon monoxide
- Natural substances, such as pet dander, mold, and bacteria
The fabric of our homes can affect the air quality. Materials such as paints, carpets, and even furniture can give off pollutants for years.
Another important factor is the air circulation in your home. Your HVAC system should be in good order, able to filter the air and move clean air around your home. If you have clogged filters or dirty air ducts, it could be making matters worse.
How Carbon Monoxide Affects Indoor Air Quality
We’ve all heard about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is released when any material burns. It can come from:
- Wood stoves
- Cars in attached garages
- Water heaters
- Gas fireplaces and stoves
Even if carbon monoxide doesn’t build up to levels that are an immediate threat to our health, it can still cause symptoms at a low level, such as:
- Breathing difficulties
At low concentrations, these symptoms are usually mild. But they will get more severe the higher the levels of carbon monoxide in the indoor atmosphere.
That’s why it’s very important to have a working carbon monoxide alarm. You also need to regularly service all appliances that can emit this deadly gas.
Why Humidity Matters
Alabama is famous for many things, and humidity is definitely one of them. It might seem that keeping the humidity levels in our home as low as possible is the right thing to do. After all, when you come in from that sweltering heat, there’s nothing like the refreshing cool of an air-conditioned home!
The Dangers of High Humidity
Controlling indoor humidity levels is important, but it’s all about striking a balance. If the humidity levels are too high, your home will become a breeding ground for mold.
Mold needs water to thrive. When indoor humidity levels are too high, the humid air condenses on the relatively cooler walls. Mold spores are always in the air, looking for somewhere warm and damp to colonize.
Mold can lead to respiratory problems. It can trigger allergies and make asthma worse in certain individuals.
It can also cause damage to the fabric of your home. Paintwork and wallpaper can start peeling off the walls. Furniture with fabric coverings can start to rot.
It can also damage hardwood floors and wooden furniture, causing them to warp beyond repair.
Avoid Low Levels of Humidity
On the other hand, if humidity levels are too low, you get another set of problems. You may experience:
- Itchy eyes
- Dry skin
- Allergy problems
Your home may also show signs of damage. These could include:
- Dried-out wooden furniture
- Cracks in hardwood floors and furniture
- Increase in static electricity
It’s important to get the balance right. This involves having the right HVAC equipment and servicing it regularly. Tune-ups help to keep humidity to the correct levels and improve indoor air quality.
Improve Your Indoor Air Quality – A Homeowners Guide
When you enjoy good air quality in your home, your whole family will feel the difference. Here’s a brief guide for homeowners on the practical steps you can take.
First, identify things that are polluting your home and take steps to reduce the pollution they emit.
For example, getting your gas stove, fireplace, and furnace service regularly is key to controlling carbon monoxide levels. You may be able to have sources of asbestos safely removed from your home. You can also choose cleaning products that give off fewer pollutants.
Get Fresh Air In
Air conditioners do not normally bring fresh air into the home. You may need to take practical steps to ventilate your home, such as opening doors and windows from time to time.
If you’re painting the inside of your house or using strong chemicals, always make sure that the area is very well-ventilated.
Get Your Indoor Air Quality Tested
It’s important to turn to a local Prattville, AL air conditioning company to help you understand your indoor air quality.
They can perform tests and check your heating and cooling systems. They’ll check the humidity to see whether your home is in balance.
Based on their assessment, they’ll advise you on how to improve your indoor air quality. They can recommend upgrades to equipment or tweaks you can make to HVAC settings to achieve a better standard of air quality.
Trust Clark Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to Improve Your Air Quality
This homeowners guide has shown how important indoor air quality is. When you keep pollutants to a low level and manage humidity, the air in your home will be fresh, clean, and healthful for your family.
Why not schedule an indoor air quality check with Clark Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing? We can help you to reduce pollutants and have healthy clean air to breathe.
We’re proud to serve the Montgomery, Millbrook, Pike Road, Wetumpka, and Prattville, AL areas. Give us a call today at 334-449-7936 or reach out online today!