What is Acceptable Indoor Air Quality?

Outdoor Air Quality as Contrasted to Indoor Air Quality

What are The 4 Major Indoor Air Pollutants?

When most people think about polluted air, one of the first visuals that come to mind is of a big factory churning out vast dark grey clouds of exhaust. In actually, indoor air pollutants are far more nuanced and dangerous than most people realize. The number one major indoor air pollutant is carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible gas that typically has a smell additive that the gas authority adds to make it smell like sulfur. The second most common air pollutant is radon. Believe it or not, radon is produced naturally as the uranium in the Earth breaks down. Being exposed to radon increases home inhabitants risk of lung cancer. The third indoor air pollutant homeowners should be aware of is nitrogen dioxide. Nitrogen dioxide can be produced at high levels at the site of a building fire. In order to prevent this pollutant, homeowners are encouraged to make sure that their heaters are installed correctly, used as directed, and are kept in good condition. The fourth and last major indoor air pollutant is second-hand smoke.

What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality? 

There are many different causes of poor indoor air quality. One of these is not enough ventilation. Breathing in fresh air is incredibly important, and the constant recycling of the same indoor air is not ultimately beneficial. Poor upkeep of ventilation, heating and air-conditioning systems contributes to bad indoor air quality, as does dampness and moisture due to leaks, flooding and high humidity. Construction and remodeling projects also contribute to poor air quality, thus if a combination of these factors is found to be present, inhabitants of the home should be aware that they should take their indoor air health seriously.

Why Is Indoor Air Quality Important?

Breathing air that is high quality is absolutely critical for good health. It is true that most Americans spend a significant amount of time indoors, and this is where gases, chemicals, and other pollutants contribute to various health annoyances such as headaches, eye irritation, allergies, fatigue, and congestion. In fact, serious pollutants can cause certain types of cancers and other long-term health complications. Indoor air quality is a critical public health issue that needs to be addressed and communicated seriously. A fresh air ventilation system, a systematic cleaning of air filters, and other services can dramatically help the air in a home. 

Is Indoor Air More Polluted?

Pollutants in enclosed spaces, such as indoors, are more concentrated than they would be outdoors. In fact, indoor pollution can be even more deadly because it affects inhabitants who spend 80% of their time in a single location. This means that if an individual lives or works in a polluted environment, then that pollution will affect the individual. Indoor air pollution levels are usually two to five times higher than outdoor pollution levels and can quickly become 100 times worse than outdoor air pollution. Nearly seven million people die prematurely per year due to causes linked to air pollution. These diseases include heart disease and respiratory conditions. 

What is the Most Common Indoor Air Pollutant in the Developed World?

Indoor air quality is an incredibly important worldwide problem. Based on figures developed by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 2.6 million people died prematurely in 2016. Their deaths stemmed from illnesses attributable to household air pollution. In the developed world, when individuals have access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking, indoor air pollution radically decreases. For developed countries, it is important to understand that improper installation methods for gas appliances, including water heaters, can contribute to the number one pollutant, carbon monoxide, which can lead to death. Investing in an excellent gas company that provides quality gas installations can dramatically improve this statistic.

Indoor Air Quality and Health

For property owners considering home repair services, one of the best investments that homeowners can make is to invest in their Indoor air quality. Roofs, windows, and gutters share equal importance as all home repairs contribute to increased home functionality. On average, Americans spend an extraordinarily high percentage of time indoors. This figure rounds out to about eighty percent. Indoors, the concentrations of some pollutants are often two to five times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. Those who are most susceptible to the adverse effects of pollution tend to be very young, the very old, and individuals with cardiovascular or respiratory disease. 

Indoor Air Quality and Productivity

According to a Harvard research report, researchers believe that building managers need to be more aware of the possible gains to be made by increasing the quality of indoor air. Apparently, there seems to be a disconnect between public health awareness and those making decisions about building construction. In a controlled experiment, when test subjects were placed in an environment that was highly ventilated, test subjects scored sixty percent higher on the same test. Better air ventilation also showed an eight percent increase in productivity.

Man Installing New Air Filter to Improve Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality Experts

In order to become an indoor air quality expert, one must be informed concerning the possible contaminants in the air. Many individuals would be surprised to learn that with each inhalation of breath, many different pollutants may be present. Chemical gases, microbes, mold, viruses, germs, dust, dirt, pollen, allergens and more could be present. This is why it is so important for homeowners to be vigilant when it comes to their indoor air quality. Allergies, which can be brought on by polluted indoor air, affect as many as 30% of adults and 40% of children in the United States. In fact, allergic disease is the third most common chronic disease in children under 18 years of age.

Indoor Air Quality Facts

Please consider the following indoor air quality facts. Each of them is worth consideration.

  • The Environmental Protection Agency consistently ranks indoor air in their top five of environmental dangers.
  • Second-hand smoke is one of the top indoor air pollutants.
  • Pediatric asthma rates have increased to seventy-two percent in the last twenty years.
  • Hundreds of harmful chemicals are released every day.

If you think you need to improve your indoor air quality in Roselle and Schaumburg, IL, call Temperature Control Maintenance at (630) 333-9306 to speak with our staff and make an appointment today.