What is Indoor Air Pollution?

Environmental activists have been working for decades to clean up the air pollution that hangs over our biggest cities and metropolitan areas. As big of a danger as outside air pollution is an increasingly harmful indoor air pollution that exists in our homes and businesses. The chemicals, cleaners, and other chemicals that go whipping through interior airflow pockets can cause serious health problems to your family or business.

Indoor air pollution has been an issue since cave-dwellers inhaled harmful chemicals emanating from fire created inside humans’ earliest homes. Today, natural dangers like mold and bacteria combine with modern conveniences to create an environment that sickens and harms millions worldwide. Identifying and mitigating indoor air pollutants will allow you, your family, and visitors to breathe easier and stay healthier in your own home.

Common Causes of Indoor Air Pollution

The confined spaces of your home or office allow pollutants to form, grow, and move about the property, causing health problems for anyone inside. The following common causes of indoor air pollution often occur together, creating more dangers for you and your family.

  • Inadequate temperature or humidity
  • Poor airflow and circulation
  • Ventilation deficiencies
  • Indoor air contaminants, such as dust, molds, fungi, bacteria, gases, and vapors
  • Insufficient outdoor air intake
  • Ozone from electronics like photocopiers and other electric motors
  • Dust mites from carpets and other fabrics

Indoor Air Pollution Symptoms

Experiencing the following symptoms may be a sign that your home has a problem with indoor air pollution that will need to be addressed:

  • Coughing, sneezing
  • Dizziness
  • Dryness and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Hypersensitivity and allergies
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sinus congestion

If these symptoms are caused by indoor air pollution, sufferers will notice that they feel better after leaving the building or have been away for an extended period. Identifying and resolving indoor air quality pollution problems can be difficult as symptoms are not necessarily a result of pollution.

Common Causes of Indoor Air Pollution

The air quality inside your home or office can be affected by a wide range of products, materials, and chemicals, with many substances designed to keep you and your home clean and healthy actually contributing to the amount of harmful indoor air pollution.

Fireplace, Wood Stove Residue

The soot and smoke that comes from indoor fires used to heat and cook add harmful substances to the air that circulates throughout your home. Soot and the chemicals that come from cooking using solid fuels are responsible for millions of premature deaths worldwide. Modern heating methods powered by electricity, natural gas, propane, or fuel oil are healthier choices for the health and safety of your loved ones.

Radon Leak

Cracks in your home’s foundation, basement, or crawlspace can be letting radon leak into your home without you knowing it. Exposure to the odorless, radioactive gas increases the risk of lung cancer for everyone in the household. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that one out every 15 American homes has radon leaking up through the ground into the house. Radon cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted, and requires a specialized test to detect if the gas is present in your home.

Pesticides

Pesticides used to control pest problems inside your home are responsible for health risks that range from minor irritations to significant increases in cancer risk. In today’s health and environmentally conscious society, the market is flooded with pesticide alternatives using natural resources to control pest problems while avoiding adding dangerous pesticides in your home.

Moisture and Mold

Moisture and high humidity are ideal conditions for the growth of potentially harmful mold and mildew that can lead to a series of health issues. Standing water or areas of high humidity create ideal conditions for mold growth and infestation. Mold wafting through the airflow in your home or office is especially dangerous for those with existing allergies or respiratory issues. Keeping the building well ventilated and your carpets and other fabrics that serve as mold breeding grounds clean and dry will help reduce the chances of mold growth that can trigger allergies and asthma attacks.

Pet Dander

Pets are valued members of the family, but if not properly groomed and tended to these furry creatures can leave behind hair and skin flakes that release dander into the airflow of your home. In people with allergies, excessive dander can lead to debilitating symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and even anaphylactic shock in the most extreme cases. The most effective combatant against harmful pet dander is keeping your house clean, with the floors frequently vacuumed and mopped.

Household Cleaners, Disinfectants

The irony is that some of the materials and chemicals used to keep your home or office clean and healthy are the same substances that contribute to indoor air pollution. Sprays used for glass cleaners, air fresheners, and furniture sprays often result in a higher risk for asthma and other serious health issues. Chlorine bleach is an effective cleaning agent that is reportedly a lower risk for eczema, asthma, and allergies, though it can lead to a higher risk of respiratory problems.

Lotions, Deodorants, Soaps, and Shampoos

Another cluster of household items designed for cleanliness yet poses additional dangers is the lotions, deodorants, soaps, and shampoos used in the home. Products with fragrances added seem to also pose health issues. Dryer sheets and air fresheners can cause serious adverse reactions in some children and adults.

Why Choose MLD HVAC?

MLD HVAC is a highly respected full-service heating and cooling company with years of experience keeping homes and offices comfortable and safe. Our knowledgeable, experienced technicians will work with you to reduce the risks of indoor air pollution and make sure your HVAC systems remain in top working condition throughout the year.

Contact MLD HVAC Today

For complete information on tips and suggestions for keeping your home or office free of harmful pollutants while heating and cooling your property with efficiency and affordability, contact the HVAC professionals at MLD HVAC today.

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