How Important Is Indoor Air to Health?

You already know how polluted outdoor air can make you sick. But if you think that indoor air can’t affect your health, think again. Believe it or not, indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air. Owing to the fact we spend about 90 percent of our time indoors, it’s crucial for you to pay great attention to your home’s air quality. Making sure that you’re getting clean air in your home is crucial for ensuring your best health at home, which is why you might want to take a look at the Best Duct Cleaning Companies if you’re concerned about the cleanliness of your air. Read on to learn more about the connection between indoor air quality and your long-term health.

What’s the Importance of Indoor Air Quality?

Breathing in the quality indoor air is important for good health. Exposure to indoor pollutants can cause immediate symptoms like eye, nose, and throat irritation, headache, dizziness, and fatigue. Exposure to the pollutants for an extended period can bring about serious health conditions such as respiratory problems, heart disease, and cancer.

A troubling fact about poor indoor air quality (IAQ) is that you may never know when you’re at risk. You may fail to experience any clear physical reactions. Alternatively, you may feel sick for no apparent reason, a condition known as sick building syndrome (SBS). In general, the preexisting health issues, age, and individual sensitivity determine how your body reacts to indoor pollutants.

What Causes Poor Air Quality?

Let’s take a look at the major pollutants you may be inhaling along with the air inside your home:

  1. Tobacco smoke: Tobacco smoke comes from smoking cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. Unfortunately, smoking doesn’t only affect the smoker. Second-hand smoke can cause breathing complications and aggravate asthma. For children, it increases their risks of experiencing ear infections and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

  2. Dust: All indoor spaces tend to have a certain amount of dust. However, exposure to too much dust can cause itchy or watery eyes, sneezing, wheezing, coughing, stuffy or runny nose, and shortness of breath.

  3. Radon: While smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer, this radioactive gas is the second leading cause. It can get into your home through holes, cracks, and other improperly sealed openings. Older houses are more likely to have elevated levels of radon than newer ones. Radon poisoning can cause chest pains, wheezing, recurrent coughs, coughing up blood, and difficulty in breathing.

  4. Combustion byproducts: These include pollutants like nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. They’re produced by burning materials and improperly vented fuel-burning appliances like wood stoves, water heaters, fireplaces, and space heaters. Both nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide are colorless and odorless hence hard to detect. Nitrogen dioxide can cause irritation to the throat, eye, and nose, difficulty in breathing, and increase the risk for respiratory infections. Carbon monoxide can bring about fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Extreme amounts can be fatal.

  5. Mold: Standing water, wet surfaces, and water-damaged materials serve as breeding grounds for these biological contaminants. They release toxins that can cause symptoms like coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, lethargy, dizziness, fever, digestive problems, and shortness of breath.

How Can You Improve Indoor Air Quality?

Now that you know some of the common toxic particles that degrade your home’s air quality, the next thing to learn about is the steps you can take to control them and enhance IAQ.