How to Identify and Prevent Indoor Air Pollution
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the air quality within a building can be worse than the outside air. Research shows that most people spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors. Therefore, indoor air quality is critical for health and well-being.
What causes indoor air pollution?
Indoor air pollution is caused from a variety of sources. A primary source is deteriorated building materials, such as insulation with asbestos, damp carpet and pressurized wood products (that contain chemicals).
Moist conditions and poorly maintained air conditioners result in increased mold, mites and bacteria. Hobby items, toiletries and personal care and household cleaning products are also sources.
These organic vapors come in the form of paint cleaners, hair spray and pesticides. The HVAC or ventilation system, if outdated and poorly maintained, is also a source. Certain building materials or products will continually emit pollutants while others, such as a malfunctioning gas stove, will only emit intermittently. Regardless of the source, pollutants can remain in the air for long periods of time.
How can homeowners identify indoor air pollution?
The easiest way to identify indoor air pollution look for internal sources. Make a list of potential sources and see what you can do to reduce or contain them. Be aware of your lifestyle and think about which of your activities could be contributing to air quality.
Pay attention to your health and consult with your doctor if you have any sudden, unexplained physical symptoms. Finally, check the ventilation system to ensure it’s working properly. Confirm if the air is stuffy or smelly and if there is moisture condensation on walls or windows. Make sure there is no mold growing around windows or in moist places.
What are the best ways to prevent indoor air pollution?
The best way to prevent indoor air pollution is through improving the ventilation system. Make sure you are following the maintenance schedule and install high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.
Consult with a professional to ensure that the system is properly working. Be sure to use fans in areas that need it, such as the kitchen or a hobby room.
Reduce exposure to combustion products through installing outside hoods for gas stoves, inspecting furnaces and water heaters and eliminating smoking inside the home. Avoid warming up the car in the garage.
Finally, consider getting a comprehensive air quality test performed in the home.
In conclusion, quality indoor air is essential for health and well-being. Educate yourself on what causes indoor air pollution and how to identify it.
Be proactive and take the necessary steps to reduce or eliminate the pollution sources. Doing so is good for both your house and yourself.
Make sure you’re breathing in the fresh air in your Boise home. Call Wickstrom Plumbing Heating and Cooling at (208) 466-9447, and get the experts to solve the problem.