Indoor Air Quality: Is Your Home’s Air Really Safe?

August 17 2017

indoor air quality facts replacement filters


Indoor Air Quality: Is Your Home’s Air Really Safe?

Clean air is important for all of us. We’re breathing 24/7, so if the air is dirty, then contaminants are constantly entering our lungs. Dirty air can lead to negative health effects, from a minor cough to more serious respiratory illnesses. But where is the dirtiest air that we breathe everyday? The answer may surprise you.

When you think of dirty air, you may imagine a factory smokestack belching pollutants into the sky, or the crowded streets of a city. What you are probably not thinking of is your own home. That’s right. The air in your home can be just as dirty as the outdoors. Further, in recent years comparative risk studies by the EPA and its Science Advisory Board have ranked indoor air pollution as a top five environmental risk to public health.


How Even Clean Homes May Have Dirty Air

When you think about the air indoors being polluted, it does start to make sense. Dust collects all over your home, and can get into the air. If you have pets, their dander can mix into the air as well. Mold spores can enter the air. Everything from sneezing, household cleaners to burning your food can also contribute to the quality of your home’s air. Even if you dust regularly and don’t smoke, your home’s air can still be polluted compared to the fresh air outside.

Indoor air statistics:

  • Every year, a 6-room house can collect 40 lbs. of dust.
  • 50 percent of all illnesses are caused or aggravated by indoor air pollution.
  • Air inside can be twice as dirty compared to the air outdoors. Possibly even five times as dirty or more.
  • The average person spends 90 percent of their time indoors, underscoring why the EPA has ranked indoor air pollution as such a high risk.


Impact of Indoor Air Contaminants

Obviously, breathing in dirty air isn’t going to be good for your health. Here are just a few side effects of the air in your home not being clean:

  • You may experience headaches. If you’re constantly getting headaches, you may need to replace your air filters before you have another aspirin.
  • You may feel fatigued, no matter how much sleep you get or the number of cups of coffee you consume.
  • You may experience allergies. Everything from a stuffy nose and eye irritation, to coughing and sneezing.
  • Dizziness and nausea can occur.
  • If you have asthma, unclean indoor air can make the symptoms worse.
  • Finally, you can have respiratory issues that are diagnosed years later. As we age, we need to not only watch our diets but keep our lungs healthy.


Replace Air Filters to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Air filtration is critical when it comes to cleaning your home’s air. You’ve probably been told to change your air filters regularly, and for a good reason. Air filters remove pollutants and not changing your filters can lead to dirty air ducts as well as damaging your HVAC unit.

As a first step, inspect your air filter to see if it’s dirty. Most home air filters need to be changed every 30 to 90 days, though factors such as whether a person smokes inside or has a pet will influence the frequency. Smokers and pet owners may also need a filter with a higher Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating to ensure the air is being filtered properly. However, it is recommended to follow the specifications of your HVAC system as a filter with too high an efficiency rating may cause your system to break down and require maintenance. Of course, if the pollutants are in your ducts, you’ll need more than a new filter.


Hire an HVAC Maintenance Technician

A professional maintenance technician can help make sure your HVAC unit and filter are operating efficiently and effectively. They will inspect your air ducts and clean them to remove the collected dust and dirt that has built up over time.

Indoor air pollution is a serious matter but having a technician inspect and clean your HVAC unit can improve your health and also improve the efficiency of your HVAC unit. The air you breathe indoors should be clean and fresh to keep you and your family healthy – change your filters and call your local HVAC and duct-cleaning specialist today!



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