Published on March 12, 2014
Tips to Improving Your Indoor Air Quality Breathing is a vital exercise that we do constantly throughout the day. Since breathing is so important to us and living things have good air quality indoors is vital. Many of us will spend hours indoors, from work to performing daily activities. For example in Canada it is said that the population spends 90 percent of their time indoors. That is why it is so important to have good indoor air quality. It is easy to overlook indoor air quality as something that needs to be addressed. What is it? So what is indoor air, and how can it affect people? Indoor air is located in and around building and structures, and is associated with the health and comfort of the building’s occupants. Indoor air pollutes such as dust and animal dander are minor irritants; while major irritants such as mold and vapors. Some the vapors can come from paint or furniture within the building. There are two main harmful substances that can affect us indoors: Chemical Pollutants: Are made up of gases and particles that can come from combustion appliances like a gas furnace or range which can cause carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide. This can also come from tobacco smoke, household and personal care products, building materials, and pollution from the outside air. Off gassing happens when deteriorating materials release dust particles in the air. This can lead to many health problems with asbestos, and formaldehyde. Biological pollutants: This means that they are living organisms such as mold, bacteria, and dust mites to name a few. Some other contaminants are pollen, viruses, and insect fecal matter. Mold is becoming a bigger problem and it is affecting indoor air quality. These are just some of the symptoms that mold can cause: Wheezing and shortness of breath, allergic reactions, coughing and phlegm build-up, and eye, nose, and throat irritation. How to Fix the Problem Now that we know what are some of the main causes of poor indoor air quality lets discuss what can be done to improve it. Here are some tips that will assist you in improving your indoor air quality: Moisture control: This means that you want to find out where the moisture source is coming from, and then gauge what the relative humidity is and what is should be
once the moisture is removed. This can help to eliminate environments for molds and insects. Proper Ventilation: Air tight homes and building in order to save energy there is less ventilation. Having vents that can take old air out and bring new air in can really help with this problem. It is also important to note that mixing polluted air outside with indoor air can cause problems as well. Make sure you do a test of the indoor air and outside so that you will know how it will affect the indoor air quality. It is important to have a certified professional come and inspect your home’s indoor air quality and locate where the source of the problems are. Many heating and air companies in Salt Lake are also trained in helping you improve you indoor air quality. Photo Credit: Herman Rhoids, Andrew Butitta
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