How Indoor Air Quality Affects Your Health

Is Indoor Air Quality Worse Than Outdoor?

While the indoors may seem safer than the outdoors, in truth, there are some suspicious elements that are commonly found in indoor atmospheres. These elements include harmful chemicals and the build-up of dust, mold, and debris. Outdoors, pollutants are distributed in equal measure with oxygen produced by trees. Indoors, that fresh oxygen is diminished. Indoor pollutants are usually generated from sources such as tobacco smoke, building materials, cleaning products, and dust. In a freshly cleaned and aerated home, these indoor pollutants are minimized.

What Are the Four Most Dangerous Indoor Air Pollutants?

To begin with, one of the most dangerous air pollutants known to man is carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible gas that is produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. Another pollutant to be aware of is radon. Radon is another odorless, colorless gas that is found in low levels in many different locations. It is made naturally as the uranium in the Earth breaks down. Nitrogen dioxide is the third indoor air pollutant to be aware of. Exposure to extremely high levels of nitrogen dioxide, such as at the site of a building fire, can lead to a potentially fatal build-up of liquid in the lungs. The fourth most common dangerous indoor air pollutant is secondhand smoke. In the long term, second-hand smoke can produce the same effects as regular smoking. 

Why is Air Quality Worse at Night?

This particular aspect of air pollution is very interesting. Air quality at night decreases because of a phenomenon known as Temperature Inversion. Temperature Inversion is a condition wherein atmospheric temperature increases with altitude. Because this is the case, pollutants are released in the lower layer of the atmosphere, near the ground, where humans are. These pollutants get accumulated instead of dispersing throughout the atmosphere vertically.

Is Outside Air Better than Inside Air?

While being indoors typically shields inhabitants from the worst parts of the weather, it does not necessarily mean that you are breathing better air quality. In fact, the air quality of your home can be worse than outside. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the levels of indoor air pollutants are often two to five times higher than outdoor levels. In fact, indoor air quality levels can exceed one hundred times that of outdoor levels of the same pollutants. Outside your home, weather elements such as rain, hail and the burning rays of the sun can weather your home’s exterior. 

How Can I Test the Air Quality in My Home?

There are a number of different ways in which an individual can test the air quality of their home. Air quality is an often overlooked part of home safety, yet it remains critical. One of the primary ways a homeowner can address the air quality of their home is to purchase an air quality monitor. These devices typical check the PM2.5 levels, which are known as tiny dust particles and other allergens in the air that people inhale. Some of the most reliable air quality monitors on the market today are Foobot, Awair, Spec and Air Mentor 6 in 1. These can be costly devices, ranging in price from $150 to $250. 

Indoor Air Quality with Plants

Incredibly enough, plants provide an extraordinary array of benefits for indoor inhabitants. These benefits include increasing indoor air quality. The English Ivy is an excellent plant for indoor use. It is beautiful as a groundcover or as a houseplant. It can grow in full shade to full sun and can be trained into remarkable shapes. Another plant worthy of consideration is the Bamboo Palm. This hardy plant has lovely aesthetics while providing real benefits like removing benzene and formaldehyde.

Indoor Air Quality and Asthma

For persons suffering from asthma, there can be many triggers. Poor indoor air quality is certainly at the top of the list. Some of the most common indoor asthma triggers include secondhand smoke, dust mites, mold, cockroaches and other pests, and household pets. Regular home cleaning is a must and can reduce the accumulation of these pests and debris. How is your air conditioner functioning? Heil HVAC systems have proven time and time again that homeowners deserve quality air conditioning units. Consult your local HVAC technician about your options.

Indoor Air Quality vs Outdoor

According to a body of evidence that has increased over the past decade, indoor air quality can be far worse than outdoor air quality. With human beings recorded as spending approximately ninety percent of all their time indoors, procuring a satisfying and efficient way of increasing indoor air quality continues to be pertinent.

Indoor Air Quality Basics

There are a few basics that homeowners should know about how to increase their indoor air quality. Please review the following bulleted list to learn more.

  • Cleanliness is your friend. A clean house is a healthier house. Free of dust, debris, and pests, the home atmosphere is vastly improved.
  • Change your air filters. Regularly changing your air filters can create a hugely positive impact on the air of a home.
  • Invest in an air purifier. Depending on the efficiency of the method and the device, home air quality can be improved.
  • Open your windows. Please open your windows from time to time to ventilate the home. This will increase your home air quality, and give you a chance to breathe the fresh air.

Would you like to increase your indoor air quality? Our staff at Superior Comfort are ready to take your phone call at (732) 810-0162. Receive more information about what we can do for your indoor air quality in Howell Township, NJ!