Indoor Air Quality

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Microscopic image of a dust mite

December 12, 2012

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality is an often overlooked but highly important home issue.  The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that typical indoor air is at least 2 to 5 times as polluted as outdoor air.  Because the average individual spends around 90% of their time indoors, this is quite alarming.  Poor indoor air quality has been linked to several different health problems including allergies, asthma, respiratory issues, throat infections, and lung infections.

There are many factors that can bring raise the levels of pollutants in your home’s air:

  • Household (chemical) Products – Many cleaning products contain powerful and toxic chemicals.  Some of these chemicals used around the home can linger in your air long after they are used.
  • Pets – Pets are a great addition to any family but their pet dander can cause issues for those of us with allergies or asthma.
  • Poor Ventilation – In an effort to lower energy costs some homes are sealed too tightly, limiting the amount of fresh air in the home and causing contaminants to stay in the air for longer.
  • Furnaces, stoves/ovens, and fireplaces – all of these have the possibility of releasing dangerous gases and chemicals into your air. 
  • Low quality Air Filters – Standard air filters do not filter out a substantial amount of bacteria and dirty air filters lose efficiency and eventually began to damage the amount of air flow in your home/
  • Leaking air ducts – Fumes from household and garden chemicals, insulation particles, and dust can enter your duct system, aggravating asthma and allergy problems. Sealing ducts can improve indoor air quality by reducing the risk of pollutants entering ducts and circulating through your home.
  • Poor Moisture Control – High levels of humidity increase mold growth, bacteria, and dust mites, which can worsen allergies and asthma.
  • Poor Home Sealing (particularly between the attic and living space) – Your attic is the harshest and dirtiest environment in your home.  Poor sealing allows contaminated air to leak into your home.