With people across the United States spending most of their time at home due to COVID-19, maintaining healthy air quality is critical. Some air pollutants have higher indoor concentrations than outdoor concentrations due to a lack of fresh airflow. Synthetic building materials, furnishes, cleaners, and chemicals present in a home with insufficient ventilation can lead to higher concentrations of air pollutants. Take a look at how air quality affects your health and what you can do to improve your home’s indoor air quality.
How does indoor air quality affect human health?
There are several types of indoor air pollutants present in your home. These include dust, pollen, allergens, bacteria, viruses, pet dander, and mold. Poor indoor air quality can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation. It can also cause headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Long-term exposure to excess moisture and mold can lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer.
The link between indoor air pollutants and health effects has been well researched. Short-term exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide indoors can be lethal. Poorly maintained air conditioning or heating systems could cause a person to develop a form of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease. Dust, mold, tobacco smoke, pet dander, and particulates can all trigger and worsen asthma.
Limit scented items.
Scented items may make your home smell nice, but unfortunately, they contribute to poor indoor air quality. Many scented candles, air fresheners, and diffusers contain volatile organic compounds that can harm your health. It’s not uncommon for scented items to cause headaches and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Volatile organic compounds are also commonly found in cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing, and hobby products.
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Update your thermostat.
A smart way to ensure your HVAC system keeps your home at a comfortable temperature without running up your energy bills is to update your thermostat. The best type of thermostat is one with a circulating mode. Some circulating thermostats will run for 20 minutes every hour, while others can be set to run continuously at a reduced speed for continual airflow.
Keeping your entire home comfortable year-round is heavy on the wallet. Pinpointing cold spots in different rooms, insulating attics, changing air filters, and cleaning out ducts can help reduce energy loss. Ductless mini-split systems offer greater energy efficiency than traditional HVAC systems. Ductless AC units don’t require ductwork, making it a perfect solution for older homes, additions, garage conversions, and any space where it’s difficult to install ductwork. Some additional benefits that’ll convince you to go ductless include a dedicated thermostat for individual rooms and hassle-free installation.
The easy way to see cost savings on your energy bill is to have your HVAC system maintenance done by a professional. Popejoy Inc. provides professional HVAC, plumbing, and electrical system services to improve the energy efficiency of your home systems. Ensuring that your heating and cooling unit operates at peak performance helps it function better in the long run and prevents the need for expensive repairs.
Clean your air vents and cooking vents.
Healthy indoor air quality requires keeping your air ducts clean. Built-up dust and debris can be blown back into your home when warm or cool air passes through. This can aggravate allergies and asthma. It’s also a good idea to check on the condition of cooking vents in the kitchen to ensure they are clean. This is especially important with a gas range, as the carbon monoxide emitted from burners needs to be vented.
Your home’s indoor air quality has a big effect on your health. Limiting the use of scented items, updating your thermostat, and keeping air and cooking vents clean can all help improve your indoor air quality.