When you think about pollution, you most likely think of metropolitan areas covered in layers of smog. Outdoor air pollution is undoubtedly a top cause of environmental concern these days, but it’s the air you’re breathing inside your home that should concern you more.
Why? Because inside air can be significantly more polluted than the air outside. The good news is that you can take actionable steps to improve your air quality.
7 Reasons You Should Care About the Quality of Your Indoor Air
Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the cleanliness and healthfulness of the air in any building, including your home. When your home’s IAQ is low, it may result in some very real and visible problems for you and your family. Here are just a few of the reasons why improving the air you breathe should be a priority for you.
- A single exposure to indoor air pollutants can cause uncomfortable symptoms. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), even one exposure to very low-quality indoor air can lead to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, such as dizziness, nausea, and headaches. Getting out of this environment should ease these symptoms quickly.
- Small particles can easily get into your lungs and may move into your bloodstream. Understanding just how harmful tiny particles floating through the air may be to your health is easy once you realize how they can take up residence in your lungs in only a few breaths. Some microscopic particles may even filter into your bloodstream from your lungs, where they can travel to nearly any organ in your body.
- Long-term exposure can lead to chronic disease. The EPA also notes several major diseases that could occur following long-term exposure to certain indoor air pollutants. If you do nothing to improve the air quality of your home over the years, you could be at risk of chronic lung disease, heart disease, and even cancer.
- Indoor air pollution leads to numerous yearly deaths. These chronic diseases can lead to death if they are not treated appropriately and if steps are not taken to mitigate indoor air quality. The World Health Organization states that 4.3 million people around the world die every year as a direct result of exposure to indoor air pollutants in their homes. Most of these people die from stroke, heart disease, and lung disease.
- Pollutants can increase allergies and asthma attacks. While long-term consequences of lung disease are certainly notable, you may be more concerned about the health of family members who have allergies or asthma. Pollutants increase the risk of asthma attacks in many.
- Pollutants and allergens can easily be moved around your house by your HVAC system. Indoor air pollutants may come from many sources, but they can all be moved from room to room by your home’s HVAC system, leading to increased symptoms.
- Removing the source of pollution can immediately help you feel better. While the negative consequences of poor ventilation can immediately be seen in some individuals, the benefits of cleaning up your indoor air may be just as notable.
4 Tips for Improving Indoor Air Quality
If you are concerned about the quality of your indoor air, there are some easy steps you can take to improve the air you breathe every day.
- Install a vent over your cooking area. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends installing a vent over your cooking surfaces to vent pollutants from that room directly into the outdoors.
- Change your HVAC filter regularly. Changing your filter every month or whenever it is visibly dirty can stop many pollutants from floating through your home. This one simple step will also improve your comfort and the performance of your HVAC system. To help you remember to regularly replace your filter, sign up for our filter-delivery service. You’ll receive a high-quality filter every month and we’ll even remind you via text message when to change it out your old one.
- Invest in professional indoor air quality services. A professional, such as ACS Home Services, not only can analyze the quality of your indoor air but also can provide a viable solution, such as an in-home air filtration system or a UV sanitation system for your HVAC unit. You might also consider scheduling a professional duct cleaning with us. Dust, debris, and mold build-up within your ducts and these contaminants are then released into the air every time your AC kicks on. If you find yourself dusting more frequently or notice a musty odor coming from your HVAC unit, your system may be due for a duct cleaning.
Bottom line: Although the thought of major pollution in your home can feel scary, let it instead inspire you to take steps now for making your home’s air safe and clean. Whether you select a few DIY solutions or opt for professional help, improving the quality of your home’s air can improve your health for years to come.