While many allergy sufferers and those with respiratory problems try to avoid outdoor pollen and pollution, often, they don’t consider indoor air pollution. Indoor air quality is just as important as outdoor and should be taken just as seriously.
Indoor Air Quality
According to the EPA, indoor air quality refers to the quality of the air within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of the building’s occupants. The average American spends almost 90% of their life indoors, which illustrates the immense importance of indoor air quality for your comfort and health. Indoor air quality tests can be done to identify biological, chemical, and combustible air pollutants.
Indoor Air Quality and Allergies
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology estimates that around 10-30% of people suffer from some form of allergy. While many of these allergies, such as grass and pollen, originate outdoors, some are due to indoor air pollution. The EPA identifies three main types of indoor air pollution.
Biological indoor air pollution includes bacteria, viruses, animal dander, dust, mites, cockroaches, and pollen.This covers a vast array of sources and contaminants.Keeping the relative humidity in the home under control can help with many of these, while keeping the home generally clean is also helpful.
Chemical indoor air pollution is mainly caused by volatile organic compounds or VOCs which are gases emitted from solids or liquids.VOCs can have both long- and short-term health impacts and are released by a range of products, including cleaning supplies, paints, varnishes, waxes, and cosmetics.Being mindful of the products brought into your home can help keep the air inside clean.
The two major indoor combustion pollutants are carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, which are most commonly released from tobacco smoke, woodstoves, fireplaces, gas stoves, and space heaters.Not smoking indoors and ensuring any stove or heat source is properly vented can help keep your home safe from combustion pollution.
Improve Indoor Air Quality with Regular Duct Cleaning
Have you ever noticed your allergies tend to act up every year when you first turn on the heat for the winter or the air conditioner for the summer? Heated and cooled air is pushed from your HVAC system throughout your home by way of your air ducts. Allergens, particularly the more common biological allergens such as dust, dander, and pollen can build up within your ductwork over time. When the HVAC system is turned on, these built-up allergens are transported into all the living spaces in your home. Air duct cleaning uses high-powered vacuum and brush systems to clear any debris that may have built up in the ductwork. Professional duct cleanings are a highly effective way to improve the indoor air quality in your home, particularly during the time of year when you’re turning your HVAC systems back on after it’s been off for a while.