People spend most of their time indoors: either at home, school or work which is why it’s important to consider air quality. While most of the time we don’t think about the air we breathe, bad air quality can lead to a lot of health problems including headaches, tiredness, coughing, sneezing, sinus congestion, dizziness and nausea. It can also worsen health concerns like allergy or asthma symptoms. For vulnerable people like the sick or elderly, it can also be a problem and lead to very serious health risks and, in the most severe cases, death. Knowing possible causes will help you improve the quality of the air you breathe indoors and even the quality of your life.
What Are The Major Indoor Air Pollutants?
There are many types of indoor pollutants that effect air quality, including carbon monoxide, asbestos, and radon, however, we’ll just go over a few.
Lack of proper ventilation can be a major issue. It usually occurs in tightly sealed buildings or those with too high a level of re-circulated building. These types of buildings may also have higher moisture or humidity levels, contributing to the growth of mould and mildew.
Legionellosis or Legionnaire’s Disease is caused by a waterborne bacteria called Legionella that grows in slow-moving or still, warm water. The primary cause is through the creation of an aerosol effect, most commonly from evaporative cooling towers or shower heads. A common source of Legionella in commercial buildings, however it can occur in residential homes as well.
How Can You Improve Indoor Air Quality?
There are some basic and easy ways to improve indoor air quality. The easiest way is to keep your house clean and dust-free to reduce allergens such as dust mites, pollen and animal dander. In addition, you should also clean the heating ducts, the furnace, and air filters regularly. When cleaning, use a powerful vacuum cleaner that is equipped with a strong filter.
To stop or prevent mould and other bacteria, reduce humidity by venting air from moist areas, such as bathrooms, kitchens and clothes dryers, to the outside. Keep the bathroom and kitchen fan on or open a nearby window for at least half-an-hour after showering or cooking.
We also recommend that you get your carpets, floors and air vents professionally cleaned at least once a year to ensure that those tough spots are taken care of.
If you have a serious air quality issue, you will need to first control the source of the contamination by removing the source of pollution or reduce the level of harmful emissions. We recommend you don’t do this by yourself but, depending on the issue, instead hire a trained expert who can bring professional equipment and advise you on the best procedure for the safety of you and your family.