When we think about the air in our homes, we don’t often think about air pollution. However, there are multiple factors that can lead to the pollution of your indoor air, causing your indoor air quality to deteriorate.

To learn more about indoor air quality and what factors affect it, we did a deep dive on the topic to answer all your questions, including what indoor air quality and indoor air pollution is, what some of the major indoor air pollutants are, and how you can improve your indoor air quality.

What Is Indoor Air Quality?

The air inside of our homes is often affected by multiple factors, including pollutants, allergens, and irritants. Knowing and understanding the effects these factors have on the air you breathe, or the quality of the air within your home, allows you to take proactive actions in keeping your indoor air quality high.

Ultimately, indoor air quality refers to how clean the air within your home is and the contaminants that may be affecting it. Understanding indoor air quality is especially crucial when it comes to understanding how the air you are breathing affects the health and comfort of you and your family.

What Is Indoor Air Pollution?

The contaminants that affect the quality of air within the home are known as air pollutants. Indoor pollution can affect the health of those in your home by triggering allergies, asthma attacks, lung irritation, and more.

What Are the Major Indoor Air Pollutants?

While there are many sources of indoor air pollution, the most common include:

  • Tobacco products
  • Flooring, carpet, and upholstery
  • Certain pressed wood products
  • Appliances
  • Common household cleaning and personal care products
  • Excessive moisture
  • HVAC systems
  • Humidification devices
  • And many more…

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, knowing how impactful a pollution source can be depends on a number of factors, including “how much of a given pollutant a source emits and how hazardous those emissions are.”

What Are the Warning Signs of Poor Indoor Air Quality?

While the warning signs of poor indoor air quality depend heavily on the source emitting the pollution, there are several signs to look for when assessing the quality of the air in your home.

  1. Smell – Oftentimes, one of the first indicators of poor indoor air quality is a noticeable difference in the smell of the home. Does the home smell “stuffy” or unventilated? This could be a sign that your indoor air quality is low.
  2. Bodily irritations – Exposure to household pollutants can often cause irritations of the eyes, nose, and throat. It could also lead to headaches, dizziness, and fatigue.
  3. Pre-existing disease exacerbation - Those with asthma or severe allergies can be negatively affected upon exposure, resulting in symptoms being triggered or aggravated. In severe cases of prolonged exposure, the symptoms may even worsen.

Luckily there are a number of ways to protect your family from indoor air pollution.

What Factors Affect Indoor Air Quality?

There are multiple factors that can affect the quality of air within your home. Since the 1970s, our homes have been built to keep outdoor air out. This is great when the weather becomes extreme and we want to either keep the hot air out during the summer or in during the winter.

However, these tightly sealed homes contribute to “Tight Home Syndrome,” where dirty and stale air gets trapped within the home.

In addition to Tight Home Syndrome, pollutants from the list above actively releasing contaminants into the air, your home’s ventilation, and the presence of house plants are all factors that can affect the quality of your indoor air.

How Do You Keep Your Indoor Air Quality Up?

As you can see, there are many factors that can lead to polluted indoor air and affect your indoor air quality. Luckily, there are also many ways to improve the quality of your indoor air.

There are many options to clean up polluted indoor air. Simple steps like turning on the ceiling fan or adjusting your HVAC fan settings to flinging open your doors and windows, allowing fresh air into your home can have a major impact. Additionally, placing live houseplants throughout your home can help keep your indoor air clean and healthy.

In addition to the multitude of DIY steps you can take to improve your indoor air quality, one of the best ways to determine your current state of air pollution is to consult with One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning’s indoor air quality experts.

Our technicians can help you evaluate ways to build a healthier home environment by converting your heating and cooling system into a whole-house air treatment center. They will provide you options from advanced filtration techniques to UV sterilization systems that can help control germs, bacteria, and organic odors.

If you’re ready to consult with one of our comfort specialists to evaluate your indoor air quality, request an appointment today to ensure your home is as healthy and comfortable as you desire.