People are spending more time than ever indoors. The quality of the indoor air you breathe is therefore extremely important to your health. Poor air quality can contribute to health problems including asthma and other respiratory diseases, heart disease, and even some cancers. Just short-term exposure can lead to immediate effects such as eye, nose, and throat irritation, dizziness, headaches, and fatigue.
But what causes indoor air pollution, and how can you reduce it in your home or office? Below we discuss some common sources of indoor air pollution and three ways you can improve indoor air quality.
Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
Indoor air pollution can come from a multitude of sources. These can include: outdoor air pollution that is brought indoors; radon; household cleaning and maintenance products; fuel-burning appliances; building materials; home furnishings; personal care products; moisture; tobacco products; and central heating and cooling systems.
Which of these indoor air pollution sources are most and least important to your health depend on how much pollution each source contributes and how harmful each pollutant is, as well as the frequency of pollutant emission.
Improving Indoor Air Quality
There are three main strategies to help improve indoor air quality:
- Source Control
Preventing indoor air pollution in the first place or reducing the levels of pollutant emissions is often the most effective, cheapest way to improve indoor air quality. This can be done by eliminating the pollutant source, such as tobacco products; physically enclosing the source, such as those containing asbestos; or maintaining and adjusting the source to reduce emissions, such as in the case of gas stoves.
Pollutants can accumulate to unsafe levels if too little fresh air enters indoors from outside. While reducing the amount of air that leaks into and out of your home can help lower heating and cooling costs, a controlled means of ventilation is then needed to prevent high levels of indoor air pollution.
Most heating and cooling systems do not bring fresh air into the building. Natural ventilation via opening doors or windows or mechanical ventilation involving fans and outdoor air intakes helps remove indoor airborne pollutants, improving indoor air quality.
- Air Scrubbers
Air scrubbers are mechanical systems that remove particles from the air. They may use physical filters or UV lights, or even a combination of the two. How effective an air scrubber is at removing indoor air pollutants depends on how efficiently it removes pollutants from the air, how much air it draws in, and the strength of the pollutant source. While not all indoor air pollutants can be combated using an air scrubber, air scrubbers can help improve indoor air quality.
Without proper attention to indoor air quality, the air you likely spend much of your day breathing in might be creating serious health problems. Take action by controlling the source of indoor pollutants, increasing ventilation, and investing in an air scrubber. Precision Temperature’s knowledgeable technicians can answer any questions you have about improving indoor air quality in your San Diego home. Give us a call today at (619) 588-5321!