Identifying & Minimizing Indoor Air Pollutants in Your Home

In the past, people are very much concerned about the air pollutants outdoors. However, in these recent years, there is an increasing awareness on the existence and adverse effects of indoor air pollutants.

Causes of indoor air pollution

Indoor air pollution comes from human activities and lifestyle such as poor ventilation, dirty heating or cooling equipment, dusty shelves, moisture condensation on walls and windows, moldy books and other items. Smoke from cigarettes and the chemicals and toxins from everyday products greatly pollutes the air inside a closed room, too.

Assessing the air quality within and around the home can be difficult. What you need to do is to understand and learn how to control these common pollutants indoors. This way, you can reduce the risk of possible indoor health concerns.

Effects of being exposed to indoor air pollutants

Short-term effects are usually treatable and are experienced immediately after being exposed, whether for the first time or repeatedly, to a pollutant. Immediate effects are sometimes difficult to determine because they resemble the symptoms of colds and other viral diseases such as headaches, runny nose, teary eyes, irritation of the throat, dizziness and fatigue. In severe cases, symptoms of asthma may even show up like wheezing and difficulty in breathing. If you have asthma, it may also be aggravated or worsened.

Long-term effects include those that show up later in life like cancer, severe respiratory problems and heart disease.

Poor indoor air quality is highly alarming because the harmful effects of polluted air indoors to one’s health can be short-term or long-term, or even both. Determining the health effects of indoor air pollutants is also challenging. Today, experts continue to do further research to know more about air pollutions, its effects, and how it can be mitigated.

What you can do to improve IAQ

The following are fundamental steps you need to do to improve the indoor air quality within your home.

  • Learn to identify indoor air sources that may possibly cause the symptoms. If you can identify the source of pollution, immediately eliminate your exposure to it.
  • Observe the health of your household members. If you notice anything suspicious, take note of the time and place the symptoms have shown up.
  • Improve your home ventilation system to increase the amount of outdoor air coming in and therefore reduce the accumulation of indoor air. Open your windows and doors if the weather allows it to boost the flow of fresh air.

To significantly improve the quality of indoor air in your home, ask your local heating and cooling experts on recommended improvements you can invest in that will provide long-term benefits.