As the HVAC industry evolves, indoor air quality has become an area of emphasis over the last ten years. There is a long list of harmful pollutants that make their way into your home everyday. Creating a safeguard via an air filtration system can be essential to increasing the quality of air you and your family breathe in on an everyday basis inside your home.
Indoor Air Quality
The Air Inside Your Home Could Be Up to Five Times as Polluted as the Air Outside
Many look at their homes as a safe haven from outdoor pollutants, but in fact, your home can be much more harmful in regards to air pollutants than the air you take in outside. A lot of this is attributed to household products, pets, and building materials just to name a couple. The air indoors in some cases can be up to 100 times more polluted. That is scary to even think about.
The Average Adult Spends 90 Percent of his Life Indoors
Whether you are in your office, at school, or sleeping at home, the average adult spends almost 9 times the amount of time breathing air indoors than they do outdoors. This stat puts an entire new meaning behind the phrase “Walking outside to catch a fresh breath of air.”
What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?
In most cases, indoor air pollutants are not being caused by one single source. In fact, most homes have a variety of contributing factors that can lead to poor indoor air quality. Below are some sources that can lead to a decrease in the quality of your indoor air:
- Combustion Sources (gas, oil, kerosene, wood, tobacco)
- Household Cleaning Materials
- Pet Dandruff
- Building Materials
Lack of Ventilation
Newer homes are usually designed with the goal of cycling outdoor air into the home to create ventilation. When there is not enough outdoor air entering a home, the indoor air pollutants accumulate over time, creating a log jam of contaminants you are breathing in. Promoting ventilation is essential to creating an indoor ecosystem to reduce pollutants.
How Can I Increase the Indoor Air Quality In My Home?
Identifying the Source
First and foremost, regularly try and identify any products or sources that could present risk of potential contaminants. Sealing and containing household chemicals can instantly boost the quality of the air you breath. Knowing and understanding potential risks can be the most effective method of increasing the quality of your indoor air.
Improving the ventilation throughout your home is another simple and easy way to increase the indoor air quality in your home. The more air you can cycle indoors from outside, the better your overall quality of air will be. This can be something as complex as installing an attic fan or as simple as just opening windows. Creating habits to increase ventilation will not only increase your air quality, but will more than likely save you money on your energy bills.
Changing Your Furnace and Air Conditioning Filter Regularly
Often overlooked, backed up furnace filters can be the source of many contaminants you take in everyday. Many HVAC specialists recommend changing your furnace filter every 4 to 6 weeks as a rule of thumb. However, if you notice that you have just cleaned your home, or conducted a house project in which sawdust or drywall dust could find it’s way into your filter, we would recommend changing it immediately after.
Air Cleaners and Purifiers
Today there are many different types of products that specialize in increasing the indoor air quality your home. They range from very simplistic counter-top models all the way to full, whole-house air purification systems. Working with a company that specializes in Air Cleaners and Air Purifiers can really help you choose the best system to meet your indoor air quality goals. A professional can assess the current air quality of your home, and provide knowledge on the different functionalities of each product and gauge the effectiveness based on your ideal outcome.
To learn more on Indoor Air Quality, we recommend visiting the EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq