In our day-to-day lives, we face various environmental pollutants that pose a considerable health risk. No place is entirely safe from the harmful effects of air pollution, whether it\’s our home, school, office, or anywhere else. Most of us try to avoid outdoor air pollution as much as possible by simply staying inside.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we spend approximately 90 percent of our time indoors. Unfortunately, our indoor air quality isn\’t as safe and healthy as we might think. The EPA states that the concentration of environmental pollutants is 2 to 5 times higher indoors than outdoors. Ouch!
These indoor air pollutants can bring about serious health issues, especially in children, the elderly, and chronically ill people. Soon after exposure, they can cause skin irritations, headaches, fatigue, and disorientation. Even worse, they can cause asthma, cardiovascular diseases, emphysema, and even cancer in the long term. That\’s why it’s important to take the dangers of indoor air pollution seriously. Following are the three major indoor air pollutants that you should learn about and understand to mitigate the risk to your health and well-being.
Dirty air ducts can harbor all kinds of contaminants that keep your indoor air quality low even when your filters are clean. Call Russell Heating & Air today for a quote on cleaning up those ducts.
Indoor air pollutants: 3 top offenders
1. Gasses and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Gasses and VOCs are the indoor air pollutants found in various household products like paints, paint thinners, varnishes, adhesives, cleaners, cosmetics, carpets, furniture, and tiles. These organic chemicals vaporize and become gasses at standard room temperatures. Some dangerous gasses and VOCs are CO, NO2, SO2, O3, Radon, Toluene, Xylene, Benzene, Styrene, Formaldehyde, Perchloroethylene, Naphthalene, and Trichloroethylene. They can cause chest pain, coughing, skin reactions, eye and respiratory irritation, nausea, birth defects, and memory impairment.
To lower the impact of gasses and VOCs at your home and improve indoor air quality, use them as per their directions and make sure the area is well ventilated while using them. Always be sure to properly dispose of chemicals and their containers.
Mold is a type of fungi that needs a food source, moisture, and mild temperatures to grow. Their food source includes paper, wood, dust, dirt, soap scum, glues, paint, insulation, and carpet – things found in abundance in your home! These molds thrive on leaky roofs and pipes, moist walls, clogged gutters, drains, poor HVAC design and operation, sitting water in appliances, and excessive humidity indoors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimation, around 6 to 10 percent of the general population and 15 to 50 percent of the genetically susceptible population are sensitive to mold allergens.
Symptoms of a mold allergy include respiratory issues, throat soreness, upper body congestion, and watery eyes. Mold is also known for playing a role in triggering asthma, especially in children. You can find mold growth problems by looking for it visually, checking for water damage, and noting any musty odors. However, you can’t always see mold. To be certain, you can get your home tested for mold spores. Also, mold needs humidity to thrive, so learn about how Russell Heating & Air whole house dehumidifiers can keep the humidity levels at your home in check.
3. Pet Dander
Many people assume pet dander is pet hair, but that\’s not the case. Pet dander is tiny and dried skin flakes that pets like dogs, cats, birds, and many other animals shed from their bodies. If you are suffering from an allergy, then pet dander can become a big issue. It can trigger asthma, cause chest tightness, eczema, itchiness, and wheezing. But don\’t worry, you can live with your pets even if you have a pet allergy. Decluttering, cleaning your home regularly, and keeping your pet clean are some of the ways to reduce the pet dander in your home and enhance your indoor air quality significantly.
Also, don’t forget to keep your HVAC system’s air filters clean so they can catch these contaminants before they spread around the house. Don’t worry, replacing your air filters is easy. When Russell Heating & Air completes your HVAC system routine maintenance, our technicians can show you how to do it.
Make sure your indoor air quality is both safe and healthy
VOCs, mold, pet dander, and other pollutants can be quite a health hazard when indoor air quality isn’t taken seriously. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to keep them under control. Change your HVAC air filters regularly, make sure your air ducts are clean, and consider humidity control measures like whole-house dehumidifiers. Russell Heating & Air in Canton, GA offers all these solutions and more. Call us today and take the first steps to cleaner, healthier indoor air.