Very few things are as important as the air you breathe on a daily basis. Whether you’re at home or work, you need to be aware of indoor air quality to ensure you’re healthy and happy.
Unfortunately, this isn’t something many people do. As a result, it’s possible that your working and living conditions are poor, and you don’t even realize it.
1. Indoor Air Pollution
Indoor air quality is very important in both the home and workplace. When looking at the latter in particular, did you know that indoor air quality improvements can actually boost employee retention rates in certain industries by as much as 50 percent? It stands to reason then that poor air quality is related to high turnover – which is not ideal or cost effective for employers.
But it’s not just manufacturing plants and industrial buildings that have issues with indoor air pollution. Many of the buildings we call home are actually quite contaminated. Did you know that leaky ductwork creates an inlet for irritants in your home? How about the fact that laundry supplies release emissions into the home? Are you aware that cleaning supplies contain hundreds of dangerous chemicals that can leave you feeling sick? In other words, indoor air pollution is a big deal.
2. Indoor Humidity
Humidity levels inside your home can have a major impact on your family’s comfort. They can leave you feeling hot and sticky when too high, and dry when too low. Experts recommend maintaining a level between 30 and 50 percent, which can be difficult in some regions during particular seasons. For example, humidity during really hot weather can make conditions feel even warmer.
While air conditioning systems are designed to pull moisture from the air supply, some aren’t able to effectively and efficiently handle high humidity all the time. You may need a dehumidifier to address high humidity.
3. Mold and Mildew
When moisture is present in the home, you’re asking for trouble. Your air conditioning system – the very system that’s supposed to pump clean air into your home – can be a hotbed for mold, fungus, algae, mildew, allergens, dust mites, bacteria, and viruses. These unwanted elements can lead to chronic sicknesses and even serious disease in certain situations. Keep this in mind and be sure to have your HVAC system inspected on a regular basis.
4. Asthma Attacks
For people who suffer from chronic respiratory disorders like COPD and asthma, poor indoor air quality can be a big problem. Respirable particulates, or RSPs, which come from aerosols, gas heaters, wood combustion, unvented kerosene, and tobacco products can linger and cause flare-ups if you aren’t careful.
5. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is a gas that’s found in combustion fumes that are produced by fireplaces, generators, engines, charcoal grills, space heaters, and other similar products. It’s often referred to as a silent killer, since it’s odorless and colorless.
When fumes are trapped in poorly ventilated or closed spaces, they can build to toxic levels and cause life threatening conditions. Symptoms often mimic the flu in the beginning stages, but can lead to difficulty breathing and lack of consciousness.
It’s imperative that every homeowner has carbon monoxide alarms installed and does an adequate job of ensuring all carbon monoxide producing products are properly ventilated.
Make Clean Air a Priority
Moving forward, you need to commit to making clean air a priority. Whether in your home or at your place of work, the quality of the air you’re breathing in and out on a daily basis has a direct effect on your health and well-being. Make a commitment to protect yourself and those around you.