We spend the majority of time indoors, whether that’s at work, in schools, or inside our homes. Because we spend so much of our lives indoors, our indoor air quality is vital to your health! However, indoor air quality can be two to five (or more!) times more polluted than outdoor air.
Poor indoor air quality is a real problem, and it’s vital that your HVAC system is working properly in order to ensure that the air you breathe isn’t harming your health. In today’s blog post, we’ll be providing some fast facts about indoor air quality as well as how your indoor air quality affects your health. Continue reading to learn more, and if you’re in need of HVAC services in Clackamas or Portland, contact Comfort Solutions Heating & Cooling.
Indoor Air Quality Fast Facts
- The EPA has ranked indoor air pollution as among the top of the environmental dangers facing Americans.
- The amount of children with severe allergies and asthma continues to increase every year, and this is linked to poor indoor air quality.
- Air fresheners add to indoor air pollutants, and even people without allergies can have adverse reactions to scented air freshener products.
- Your furniture may be adding to your indoor air pollution, including foam mattresses, loveseats, and couches. They are treated with fire retardants that can off-gas dangerous chemicals.
- Indoor air contaminants affect more than just your respiratory system, it can also affect your skin, hair, nails, and may increase your risk of heart disease or dementia.
- Poor indoor air quality at school affects student’s learning, and better air quality can lead to 60% improvement on cognitive tests.
Indoor Air Quality & Health
The indoor air quality of a building not only affects a person’s comfort within the space, but it also can have significant short- and long-term health effects.
You may experience health effects from poor indoor air after a single exposure. Symptoms include irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. These immediate effects depend on individual sensitivity, and if you’re often exposed to pollutants, you can become more sensitized to them.
Short-term effects can be made worse by the building’s HVAC system. For example, an inadequate supply of outdoor air, increased humidity, or poor air circulation can all make short-term effects worse.
The long-term effects of poor indoor air quality can show up years after exposure or after repeated periods of exposure. These long-term effects can include respiratory diseases, and even heart disease and cancer.
People react differently to exposure to air pollutants, and if you have asthma or another respiratory illness, air quality can affect you more and be more damaging.
Main Causes of Indoor Air Problems
Indoor air pollution is most often caused by not circulating enough outdoor air into the building or by improperly filtering pollutants. Here are a few common sources of indoor air pollution:
- Fuel-burning appliances
- Tobacco or other smoking products
- Asbestos insulation, new flooring, or other building materials
- Household cleaning products
- Excess moisture, mold, and mildew
You may have several different sources of air pollutants, and some can be eliminated or reduced, while others are simply part of your building’s structure. For example, if you have a gas stove that is emitting carbon monoxide, it can be properly adjusted or replaced. You can also ask smokers to step outside, change cleaning products, and repair water damage.
Know, though, that air pollutants can remain in the air for long periods after they are removed. A well-functioning HVAC system helps filter and clean your indoor air as well as maintain the proper humidity levels to prevent mold and mildew growth. Inadequate ventilation compounds the damaging effects of air pollutants, and if too little outdoor air enters indoors, these pollutants can accumulate to damaging levels.
HVAC Services – Clackamas and Portland
Better indoor air quality starts with a great HVAC system. If you’re in need of HVAC services, including HVAC maintenance or repair, look no further than Comfort Solutions Heating and Cooling.
Our HVAC company has offices in Clackamas and Portland, and we serve both residential and commercial clients in the surrounding area. Along with new HVAC installation and regular HVAC maintenance, we also have 24/7 emergency services and a variety of new units to fit every budget. Learn more and contact us today for a quote or to schedule service.