"I keep hearing that indoor air quality is 5 times more polluted than outdoor air."
Recent question from a homeowner: I keep hearing that indoor air quality is 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Is that true? How can that be? I keep my house very clean. I'm not sure I even believe it.
And so, the indoor air quality discussion ensued, with my asking: Do you live near a dirt road, an airport, a busy highway, or factory? Does your region experience forest fires, volcanic eruptions, or dust storms?
Do you frequently spray chemicals that kill weeds or bugs? Do you use lawn fertilizer? Are there trees, shrubs and flowers producing a high pollen count near your house in the spring? Do you use hairspray or spray deodorant? Do you burn candles? Do you use a fireplace? Does someone in the home smoke tobacco products? Are there spray cleansers or other chemicals being used in the home? Did you just purchase new carpet or furniture? They may off-gas chemicals like formaldehyde.
Outdoor sources emit particulates and / or gasses that can easily find their way inside your home each time you enter or leave, on your shoes or through open windows and doors. Indoor sources stay with you inside. We open windows for fresh air, but generally not for long due to safety concerns, noise, or weather.
All sources can cause adverse effects on your health, sometimes immediately and sometimes over time. From lack of sleep or the inability to concentrate, frequent headaches, a relentless cough to more serious consequences such as cancer, heart failure, diabetes and more, indoor pollutants are nothing to dismiss. Since we spend most of our time indoors, the air we breathe indoors is critical to good health and comfort.
Indoor air quality accessories incorporated into your HVAC system are ideal for removing air pollutants indoors from every room in your home. For instance, a quality MERV 13-rated air cleaner removes 98% of airborne particles as small as .3 microns, leaving indoor air, and you, healthier. UV air purifiers are widely used in hospitals, labs, churches, and now residential settings to inactivate bacteria, germs, VOC’s, and other harmful micro-organisms. Their use also helps prevent the spread of colds, flu, and viruses inside the home.
Humidification control is also essential, as too much or too little creates discomfort, allergy and asthma triggers, and damage to your home.
Speaking with a qualified HVAC contractor to select indoor air quality products will help to protect you, your home, and your family from the adverse effects of indoor air pollutants.