From microbes to mold spores, homes can contain millions of unwanted guests. Add in environmental pollutants from cooking, cleaning chemicals and construction materials, and your home’s indoor air quality could be lower than that of the air surrounding it, according to Environmental Protection Agency studies.
Depending on the season and your lifestyle, you might spend most of your time indoors breathing recirculated air. Without air filters and appropriately ventilated spaces, some of what you don’t want in your air is recirculated too. Poor indoor air quality can cause allergic reactions and eye irritation as well as more serious health concerns, including asthma and other respiratory ailments.
Mold, Pollen and Bacteria
Some of the most common indoor pollutants are biological: molds, fungi and bacteria. These microbial pollutants in the air may trigger allergies or asthma attacks. Areas that remain damp, such as bathrooms and mud rooms, are ideal places for molds and fungi to flourish. Floods and humid Florida summers give mold a stronger foothold in your home that could take a toll on air quality for months. Proper ventilation robs mold of the moisture it needs to grow, while air filters cleanse the environment of existing spores and pollen grains.
Another major source of indoor pollution, particulates come from cigarette smoke, cooking, exhaust and candles. Products that disperse in a fine mist, including hair spray or cooking spray, also contribute aerosol particles. Anything that produces soot, smoke or dust becomes a potential source of indoor air pollution. You can see and smell the smoke if you burn something on the stove, but even everyday cooking produces small amounts of particulate matter that accumulate in your home without ventilation. Air purifiers remove environmental contaminants and trap particulates to improve air quality.
Gases, Fumes and Radiation
Some pollutants are invisible and odorless, yet they’re potentially the most dangerous. Radon occurs naturally and can accumulate in improperly ventilated homes, causing serious long-term health concerns and increasing the lifetime risk of lung cancer for people exposed to it. Carbon monoxide presents a more immediate danger, and like radon, it’s undetectable without a monitor. Chemical fumes in the home come from cleaning products and construction materials. Proper ventilation reduces your risk of exposure to these pollutants and keeps your home’s air healthy.
To learn more about how air quality affects your comfort and health, read about how D & D Air Conditioning and Heating can improve your indoor environment or call (239) 204-2943.