Overall, the quality of indoor air is a very important thing for you to care about. It is because you and your whole family are breathing this air every single second you are inside your house.
Moreover, most people spend a significant amount of time inside, both home and buildings. They are the places where there are chemicals, gas, and other pollutants. Those can cause many different health problems such as eye irritation, allergies, headaches, and fatigue. Some other serious pollutants can even lead to certain types of cancers as well as other long-term health conditions.
Indoor air is much more polluted than outdoor air (about 2 to 5 times)
As mentioned above, it is the fact that most of the exposure to those environmental pollutants occurs by breathing the inside air. Unfortunately, the indoor air has a lot more pollutants than the outside, especially in public places like schools, gym, and your home also. They come from products, activities, and materials you use every single day.
The signs of bad indoor air quality
Now, you may ask: “How can I know if it is bad indoor quality or not?”. You just need to look for the followings warning signs indicating that you have a bad home air quality.
- The indoor air is not circulating properly
- You or someone else feels sick at home but better when you are outdoors.
- There is extra dirt, especially around heating or cooling devices.
- You can easily spot mold in some humid places in the house like bathroom.
- The indoor air always smells stuffy or old.
- The humidity levels are high, leading to condensation.
- There is an odor in the air which is difficult for you to get rid of.
- Your flue or chimney is damaged badly.
How contaminants get into your home
Now, you already know about the contaminants which result in the bad air quality but do not know why or how they can get into your house. The answer will be mentioned below for you.
It is obvious that indoor air can be filled with different pollutants including dust, pollen, fungi, formaldehyde, viruses, and so on. But unfortunately, you cannot see these particles with your naked eyes because they are too small. That is also the reason why they can easily get into your house and your body, especially the lung, causing respiratory problems.
In details, these particles like dust or pollen can fly into your home in any ways such as going through doors, chimneys, cracks, or open windows. But more importantly, some of them like bacteria and mold are even able to reproduce constantly in order to stay alive longer.
In addition, pets are also a common allergen source causing bad indoor air quality due to their hair, dander, and saliva. For examples, you cannot keep your pets inside all the times because they really need to run around and go outside. Remember that the pet allergens are generally made up of microscopic particles which always shed from their body, especially in dogs.
Other sources of contaminants include perfume, cleaning supplies, paints, and cooking fumes.
What are the causes of your bad indoor air quality?
Generally, when it comes to bad air quality, you may probably think about a whole place covered by a thick layer of allergens. However, the pollution of indoor air is also a really serious problem. As you know, the quality of indoor air can be even worse than that of outdoor air.
We all assume that bad air quality only comes from factories, ozone layer, or vehicle emissions. Thus, it is quite difficult for us to realize that even contaminants like dust mites, mold, or mildew inside your house can totally cause the bad air quality.
However, keep in mind that the main causes of this problems are those contaminants or allergies, they are just the consequences. Actually, it is basically because of poor ventilation, high humidity.
If you are looking for more specific information, here are the two reasons why your indoor air quality is bad:
Poor ventilation is one of the most common reasons for the bad air quality, particularly in new houses. It is the fact that the ventilation system is commonly sealed tightly so as to conserve energy. But as a result, this will cause a lack of airflow, so the fresh air cannot get inside easily, leading to accumulated contaminants outside your ventilation system.
Keep in mind that without proper ventilation, the indoor air cannot circulate, so it is likely to become stagnant and stale. Thus, there is obviously no way for the contaminants to escape, so they will float around indoors. Furthermore, this will probably cause discomfort, allergic reactions, and other serious health problems.
The second reason for a bad home air quality is humidity. You have to know that too much moisture in the air can lead to serious problems. In details, high humidity will allow mold, dust mites, mildew, bacteria, or viruses to spread quickly in your home. The point is these tiny contaminants are released into the indoor air and then they can get into your lungs easily with every breath you take.
Besides, the high levels of humidity can also promote some household materials to release harmful chemicals like formaldehyde into the air. These chemicals are usually colorless strong irritant which can have a bad impact on your nose, eyes, throat, and even skin.
The effects of bad indoor air quality
All the contaminants as well as humidity levels are all the reasons why you may feel uncomfortable when breathing the indoor air. Just imagine how terrible it is when you cannot stop sneezing or rubbing your eyes for 1 minute. The problem can be even worse if you are allergic because it will take you a certain period of time to go through it.
It is obvious that allergens like dust, pollen, bacteria, mold, or pet dander can trigger asthma, allergies, other respiratory problems. Therefore, they are extremely harmful to your health. Especially when you already have allergies, they will increase as well as develop the symptoms, if so, you need to go to the doctor immediately. Furthermore, chemicals and odors can also result in fatigue, headaches, and some allergic reactions.
How to get rid of the bad home Air Quality
Are you looking for a method for this? An air purifier can be a perfect choice for you. It is because main purpose of the device is to remove unwanted pollutants from the indoor air and prevent the old air from continuously circulating around. Therefore, it can provide a better air quality. Pollutants that can affect air quality in a home fall into the following categories.
In addition, another recommendation for you is dehumidifier. Why? Do you remember that one of the causes of the contaminants is high humidity? Yes, this device will help you keep the moisture at the right level, so there will be no perfect environment for any harmful contaminant to develop.
However, keep in mind that an air purifier or dehumidifier alone cannot help you solve the bad indoor air problem. In fact, you have to consider removing all the pollutants at the source and try to stop it before it happens. Therefore, do not depend on any device too much, because if the indoor air is full of contaminants, even 10 machines like that cannot do anything to help you.
You all become informed thoroughly about the bad indoor air quality as well as its causes, and now, we will show you some tips for getting rid of this problem.
- Clean the household furniture, using nontoxic paints, more frequently
- Do not buy furnishings which emit a large amount of chemical vapors
- If you have an air conditioner or humidifier, maintain them properly and keep the humidity levels between 30 % and 60 %
- Do not allow smoking inside the house
- Make sure that all gas appliances are vented well.
- Buy some exhaust fans for the bathroom or kitchen
- Wash your bedding often so as to get rid of dust, dirt, and other allergens
- Keep your pets out of the bed and bathe them carefully