What’s The Importance Of Indoor Air Quality?
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is one of the top five environmental risks to public health. It has a significant impact on quality of life and, of all the health risks we encounter daily, is one that can be prevented and eliminated.
At Norman Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we care about making the air in your home or business as safe as possible. To learn more about the impact of contaminants on air quality and your health, keep reading!
Tracking Air Quality
Indoor air pollutants can be up to 5x more concentrated than outdoor pollutants, and according to the EPA, Americans spend 90% of their time inside. This maximizes the impact IAQ has on daily health and wellbeing.
Musty odors and ceiling condensation can point to poor IAQ, but an air quality monitor is a reliable way to track the air in your home. These monitors can detect invisible, health-threatening pollutants to assess existing risks in the air. Proper ventilation, whole-home air purification systems and UV lights are also great ways to control your home’s indoor air quality.
Removing pollutants in your home can help you sleep better, breathe better, remove allergens and get rid of odors.
Associated Health Issues
Studies show that poor IAQ affects young children, the elderly and people suffering from asthma, heart or lung conditions the most. The physical effects of indoor pollutants may begin right after exposure or years later. Removing them inside and around your home can benefit the environment and improve public health. Unimproved air quality can result in significant medical costs and, in extreme cases, death.
Short-Term Health Effects
Age, individual sensitivity levels and pre-existing medical conditions all contribute to the possibility that you will experience an immediate reaction to indoor pollutants. In some cases, people can develop a sensitivity to certain biological or chemical pollutants after repeated or high-level exposures.
Some health effects that may start shortly after repeated or single exposure to indoor air pollutants:
- Irritation of the throat, eyes or nose
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Aggravated asthma symptoms
- Moderate or severe allergic reactions (due to mold or mildew)
- Symptoms similar to a cold or another viral disease
Once you determine that air pollutant exposure is the cause of your symptoms, not seasonal allergies or a cold, immediate health effects are usually short-term and treatable. HVAC conditions and poor ventilation with outdoor air can make symptoms worse when left unaddressed.
Make a mental note where you are when symptoms develop and fade away. If you can narrow it down to a specific room or building, identify the source of the pollutant in the area that you may be reacting to. The best treatment for relieving your symptoms is to avoid exposure to the pollution source.
Delayed Health Effects
The exact periods of exposure and concentrations responsible for causing health problems are not clear yet, but it is very clear that poor indoor air quality is harmful in many ways. Different people react differently when exposed to pollutants, so the work of understanding the effect of a home’s average pollutant concentrations continues.
Health effects that can take years to develop following exposure are:
- Skin illnesses
- Respiratory illnesses
- Heart disease
- Complications of lung or heart conditions
Long-term health effects can be extremely debilitating or fatal, in extreme cases. Making efforts to improve your IAQ and staying aware is important to you, and your family’s, health, even if you don’t currently have any noticeable symptoms.
Indoor Air Purification Services
Our local, family-owned business has provided residential and commercial indoor air quality services in Norman, Moore, Oklahoma City, and surrounding areas since 2008. We understand the importance of your indoor air quality, and our core values drive us to protect our community from as many harmful indoor pollutants as possible. We have several solutions to improve the air quality in your home including air filtration, purification and duct/vent cleaning. Contact our team of experts today!