Though summer invites an increase in outdoor activity, sometimes, it’s more comfortable to wait out the hottest hours of the day indoors. But if your home has poor indoor air quality, spending considerable time inside could end up compromising your health. How? The air purification specialists at Steve’s Plumbing & Heating have the details below.
1. Your Household Air is More Polluted Than the Air Outside
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside the average home is up to five times more polluted than the air outside it — yikes. And that statistic holds true even in more polluted urban areas.
Because the majority of indoor pollutants come from inside your home (think chemical residues, VOCs, pollen, dander, etc.), and your home’s air gets recycled by your HVAC system, allergy sufferers are particularly at risk for health issues indoors. And unless those pollutants are regularly removed from the air, bothersome symptoms are inevitable.
Fortunately, household air purification systems — whether they’re portable or service the entire home — can filter out up to 99.7% of even the most microscopic particles floating around in your indoor air.
2. Even Brief Exposure to Poor-Quality Air Can Be Detrimental
According to the EPA, even a single, relatively brief exposure to polluted indoor air can leave you with bothersome symptoms. If you feel like you have more headaches when you spend more time indoors but can’t seem to figure out why, low-quality air could be the culprit.
Exposure to indoor air pollutants can also cause dizziness and nausea, but when you get out of the polluted area, your symptoms should dissipate rather quickly. If you’re worried your indoor air quality might be lower than you realize, try staying out of the house for several hours each day or spending a few days away from home. Document how you feel.
When you return home, pay attention to how to feel. If you get a headache or any other mysterious symptoms, it’s time to seriously consider implementing an air purification system. You can also situate houseplants throughout your home to help clean up your indoor air.
3. Long-Term Exposure to Pollution Is Linked With Chronic Health Conditions
The EPA also says that years of exposure to air pollutants, whether that exposure is continual or occurs over repeated periods, can contribute to several chronic health conditions, including:
● Heart disease
● Respiratory illnesses
Unfortunately, there is currently no concrete data on the periods of exposure necessary to produce these chronic, health-harming conditions. And, because each person reacts differently to common air pollutants, it’s tough to say what exactly the outcome of long-term exposure might be.
Ultimately, improving your indoor air quality is your best bet for protecting yourself and the other members of your household from pollutant-related chronic illnesses.
4. HVAC Filters Don’t Catch Everything
Even if you routinely replace your HVAC filter, it can’t catch many of the harmful airborne particles that are present in your indoor air. HVAC filters aren’t designed to capture the tiniest microscopic particles, and unfortunately, it’s those airborne bits that often cause the most significant allergies and health problems.
However, mold spores, viruses, bacteria, and harmful chemical residues don’t stand a chance against HEPA filtration systems, which you’ll find come standard in the vast majority of household air purification systems.
5. Dust Accumulation Can Trigger Allergies
Ever heard of dust mites? Most people never think twice about what kind of organisms might be lurking in their household dust, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Dust mites aren’t inherently harmful; however, their carcasses and feces trigger allergy symptoms in many people. If you or your loved ones frequently experience any of the following symptoms indoors, you may have a dust mite allergy:
● Sneezing, runny nose, or post-nasal drip
● Red, watery, or itchy eyes
● Trouble breathing or wheezing
● Itchy skin, nose, mouth, or throat
● Persistent coughing
Because dust mites are some of the most microscopic arachnids on the planet, air purification is an effective tool in mitigating the mite population inside your home. Because HEPA filters effectively control the number of potentially harmful, airborne particles inside your house, if you routinely experience allergy symptoms, you can benefit from an air purifier.
6. Radon and Carbon Monoxide Can Easily Accumulate
Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless gas that can seep into your home via cracks in the foundation or cracks in your drains or walls. Other small openings can also allow radon into your home since this gas naturally exists within the soil beneath and around your home. Carbon monoxide, as you likely know, is another odorless, colorless gas; however, this gas is typically produced by fuel-burning appliances.
Both radon and carbon monoxide are tough to detect without designated sensors, so if you don’t have these sensors, you could be in trouble. Without any detection equipment, these toxic gasses can build to unsafe levels inside your home and cause health symptoms like:
● Extreme fatigue/tiredness
● Respiratory issues, including wheezing, persistent cough, hoarseness, and chest pain
High levels of carbon monoxide can result in fatal poisoning, and continual exposure to high levels of radon indoors can result in lung cancer. Using a whole-house air purification device to improve your indoor air quality is one of your best defenses against buildup of these dangerous gasses.
Steve’s Plumbing & Heating: Your Central Wisconsin Source for High-Quality Air Purification
If you or your loved ones spend considerable time indoors, your health can benefit from an air purification system. At Steve’s Plumbing & Heating, we specialize in a wide variety of HVAC maintenance and upgrades, so don’t hesitate to contact our team to discuss your indoor air quality improvement options. To learn more, request a service estimate, or schedule an appointment, give our team a call today at 715-421-1800.