5 Facts about Indoor Air Quality

Air blowing from AC

When it comes to the air inside your home or business, chances are that you’re primarily concerned with the temperature. Some people may even be invested enough in their interior air to consider humidity and its impact on comfort. However, until recently, most people didn’t give a second thought to the air quality inside the home. Interior air quality can play a dramatic role in your overall health. As a result, HVAC companies in Gainesville, GA, and their clients are becoming increasingly aware of the ramifications of poor air quality indoors and how it can impact your well-being.

Since the 1970s, homes have been built and modified with energy efficiency as a primary concern. That’s led to homes that seal more tightly and prevent the interchange of air, otherwise known as ventilation. While that has been beneficial from the perspective of reduced energy usage, it has also meant that pollutants, allergens, and pathogens get trapped inside more easily, where they can persist without remediation. Therefore, a new discipline of the HVAC profession has evolved to confront the challenges faced by poor indoor air quality. Keep reading to learn 5 interesting facts about indoor air quality in your home or business.

Fact 1: You Spend Most of Your Time Indoors

As climate control proliferated and more people began to work indoors, humankind has become a creature of the interior. In fact, people spend far more time indoors than outdoors, with some estimates indicating the average person spends 90% of his or her time inside. How does that pertain to indoor air quality? Because people now spend the bulk of their time indoors, their exposure to indoor air is higher than it’s even been. That’s one of the reasons that indoor air quality so important. The impact of any allergens or pathogens in the air inside your home or business is magnified by this heightened exposure, which makes clean indoor air a priority.

Fact 2: Indoor Air Is More Polluted

While you may think of your home as a controlled environment that’s mostly clean and sanitary, the fact is that the air inside your home or business is usually two to three times more polluted than the worst air you’ll encounter outdoors. One reason for that discrepancy is volume. There’s simply much more air outside to dilute pollutants, and the lower volume of indoor air concentrates those same substances. The natural dispersants present outdoors, namely wind and precipitation, aren’t present indoors, which can further compound the issue. There are also numerous chemicals, allergens, and pathogens that come from items in the home, such as furniture, pets, cleaners, and dust.

Fact 3: Indoor Air Can Be Dangerous

Because the potential hazards found in indoor air are concentrated, they pose quite a health risk to humans. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency classifies indoor air pollution as one of the top 5 environmental dangers facing people in the modern era. It’s a real problem that constitutes a considerable public health threat largely because it goes unnoticed in many cases.

Man suffering from allergies

Fact 4: Poor Indoor Air Quality Linked to Many Conditions

When you think of poor indoor air quality, you may think of its short-term and superficial impact on your health. For example, you may think that poor indoor air quality contributes to symptoms such as watery eyes, difficulty breathing, nasal congestion, and allergy flares. However, it can have a more dramatic impact on your health that can even become life-threatening. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, and severe asthma.

Fact 5: Indoor Air Pollution Has Many Sources

Indoor air pollution is so difficult to confront because of the variety of sources behind it. Among those sources of indoor air pollution are combustion sources, such as gas appliances, off-gassing from furniture and paints, dust from building materials, chemicals from cleaning products, pet dander, mold, pesticides, pollen, radon, tobacco usage, and outdoor air pollution.

In terms of your HVAC, indoor air quality in Gainesville, GA, can be a serious concern given the impact it can have on your health. Many HVAC companies offer indoor air quality assessments that can help you diagnose the sources of your indoor air pollution and provide a plan for remediating them. To learn more about the importance of indoor air quality, contact Gainesville Mechanical at (770) 532-9130.

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