Indoor air pollution is a serious cause of concern because most people spend a vast majority of their time inside. Poor indoor air quality can result in poor health, so it’s important that you understand what the sources of indoor air pollution are and how to stop them.
There are two categories of pollutants that can decrease indoor air quality:
- Particle matter: Microscopic solids and liquids are considered particle matter. They come in a wide range of sizes, and the smallest particles with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less create the greatest health concern. Unlike coarser particles, fine particles can be inhaled and penetrate deep into the lungs.
- Gaseous pollution: Chemicals and gases that are not attached to particles are considered gaseous pollutants. It can be difficult to capture gaseous pollutants, which is why source control and ventilation are so important for promoting good indoor air quality.
There are many sources of pollutants that degrade indoor air quality:
- Combustion Sources: Oil or gas furnaces, kerosene lamps, wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves, gas space heaters, and tobacco products
- Building materials and furnishings: Insulation, paint, adhesives, damp carpeting and pressed wood cabinetry
- Cleaning and personal care products: Bleach, air fresheners, hair spray and bug spray
- Biological sources: Pet dander, cooking, pollen, mold spores, dust mites and skin flakes
There are ways to decrease the presence of these pollutants and increase indoor air quality:
- Improve ventilation: Your home is like a thermos, keeping moisture and pollutants inside, if there isn’t enough ventilation. If your home is tightly sealed, a whole-house ventilation system could be beneficial.
- Source control: Use solid wood instead of pressed wood, adjust combustion appliances to reduce their emissions, enclose asbestos-containing insulation and ask smokers to take their cigarettes outside.
- Install air cleaners: While this method isn’t a substitute for ventilation or source control, it can supplement your efforts. Air cleaners can reduce the amount of airborne particles and gases and encourage better indoor air quality.
For more advice about reducing air pollution in your home, please contact Air Assurance in Broken Arrow today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.