Indoor air quality (IAQ) is something that no one used to think about. People thought of air pollution as something that happened outside. That changed when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that indoor air can be many times more polluted than outdoor air. Indoor air pollution became a problem when property owners started to seal up buildings to save on energy costs by keeping heated and cooled air from leaking out. Airtight buildings conserve energy, but they also restrict ventilation. Without fresh air, contaminants can quickly accumulate in your home in Birmingham, AL, and they can affect human health adversely.
What Kind of Air Pollution Can a Lack of Ventilation Cause?
Contaminants in indoor air can include dust mites, bacteria, fumes from cleaning agents, gasses, volatile organic compounds, lead, asbestos, pollen, dust, pet dander, viruses, growth and spores. A lack of ventilation can create stale, stuffy air, even in homes that are otherwise comfortable.
How Do I Know If My Indoor Air Is Polluted?
Indoor air pollution can cause flu-like symptoms that usually subside when you go outside. You might experience nausea, headaches, dizziness, irritability, lethargy, eye, ear, nose and throat irritations, sinus congestion or difficulty breathing. Those with allergies or asthma may notice an increase in their symptoms. If you suspect that your indoor air is contaminated, you can schedule an IAQ assessment with an HVAC contractor. During the assessment, a technician will use high-tech detection tools to determine the level of contaminants in your air.
Is There a Fix for Poor Indoor Air Quality?
The good news is that it’s relatively easy to clean up indoor air. You can bring fresh air inside and move contaminated air out with a whole-house ventilator, or you can employ a filtration system that traps contaminants circulating in your air.
To learn more about us, schedule an IAQ assessment or visit One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating® of Birmingham.