Importance of Indoor Air Quality
Importance of Indoor Air Quality
April 15, 2020
“Let’s get some fresh air.” “Go outside and get some fresh air.” “Can you open the window and let some fresh air in here?” Does this sound familiar?
There’s nothing better for you than fresh air. When it comes to clean air we always think we have to go outside to experience it. We imagine walking out and smelling the fresh-cut grass, imbibing the crisp scent of petrichor, or letting the aroma of evergreen trees on an Idahoan mountainside invigorate our senses.
Yet with our vast technology and modern homes, we should be able to experience clean, fresh air indoors. We can, and it’s better for our health in the long run, especially as we spend more of our time indoors. It’s a phenomenon known as indoor air quality and while we can’t see or feel it, poor indoor air quality can have adverse effects on our health.
Health Issues Caused By Low Air Quality
Poor indoor air quality can lead to several health issues affecting the lungs, heart, and brain. We rely on air to survive, and when the air is tainted with chemicals and toxins, our health pays the price. Existing ducting in serious need of a duct cleaning can also cause these issues. Here are some common health issues resulting from bad indoor air quality:
Respiratory Issues & Asthma
Two major contributors to poor indoor air quality are smoke and mold. Both affect the respiratory system. Frequent and repeated exposure can cause coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and headaches from less oxygen reaching the brain.
24 million American adults struggle with asthma according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. In addition to that, nearly 6 million children live with this debilitating disease. In fact, three children in a 30-child classroom are likely to have the disease.
Once asthma has developed, there is no cure. Some children grow out of their symptoms, but there is no official cure for asthma, only inhalers to lessen the symptoms. Sometimes those who grow out of it even see their asthma return later in life. By seeking to improve your home’s indoor air quality, you are taking one of the most crucial steps to protect you and your family from asthma.
As your blood carries oxygen to your brain and through your body, it also goes through your heart. The Environmental Protection Agency has researched and concluded that the air around you directly affects your heart’s health. When your heart is exposed to increased amounts of polluted air, calcium can build up in your coronary arteries and lead to prematurely aged blood vessels. According to the CDC, one person dies every 37 seconds from heart disease in the United States, and is the leading cause of death for men and women from most racial and ethnic groups. While there are many contributors to heart disease, indoor air quality is one thing you can control.
Polluted air can have tragic effects on our children’s health. According to the American Lung Association, air pollution can affect babies in the womb and cause pre-term birth. Air pollution can also lead to reduced lung growth and heightened respiratory issues like phlegm, coughing, and congestion.
Poor indoor air quality can also affect your children’s ability to learn because it affects the oxygen that reaches their brains. This can manifest in their ability to process and retain information.
Even small amounts of exposure to poor indoor air quality can affect a person. Someone who has only spent a little time in that environment may experience cause eye irritation, nose and throat pain, dizziness, frequent headaches, and fatigue.
What Affects Indoor Air Quality?
The Consumer Product Safety Commission highlights two major factors that affect your indoor air quality. These are pollutant sources and amount of ventilation. Common pollutant sources include oils, kerosene, fumes from cooking, asbestos-containing insulation, deteriorating furnishings, wet or damp areas, mold, poorly maintained heating and cooling systems, pets, smoke for tobacco and fireplaces, and cleaning chemicals. Having a good ventilation system means regularly cycling out these harmful pollutants.
The best way to improve your indoor air quality is to minimize the air pollutant sources while maximizing your ventilation. At J.A. Bertsch, we do both while looking for ways to clean your existing air. We aggressively combat pollutants, control the sources, and find ventilation systems that work for every situation.