Most people would assume that symptoms such as headache, sinus congestion, coughing, and sneezing herald the arrival of a common cold. After all, most of us would assume we were getting sick… but it’s possible that it’s not a pesky cold after all. Indoor air quality can have a massive effect on how you feel.
In fact, we’re betting that most people would be surprised by how many things in our homes can affect indoor air quality. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air has anywhere from 2 to 5 times the number of pollutants than outdoor air!
Indoor air quality can be negatively affected in several ways. Some common factors are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), germs, viruses, mold, and particulates. We’ll review how those affect indoor air quality… as well as how you can fix it!
How do VOCs affect indoor air quality?
Volatile organic compounds, also known as VOCs, are chemicals that release gases. They can come from household products such as cleaners/disinfectants, craft supplies, aerosol sprays, pesticides, wood paneling, furniture, and office equipment. Formaldehyde and polyurethane are commonly known VOCs and are found in wood stains, insulation, personal care products, and even mattresses.
Depending on the amount of time of exposure and levels of VOCs in the air, symptoms can range from headaches, stuffy nose, and cough to a sore throat. Prolonged or extreme exposure can lead to damage of the central nervous system and organ damage. VOCs can also create unsafe levels of ozone which can be harmful to both humans and the environment.
How do biological pollutants and particulates affect indoor air quality?
According to the United States Consumer Safety Commission, biological pollutants are organisms that are airborne and usually go unseen. This includes mold, pollen, pet dander, germs, and dust that can be inhaled through the air. This can lead to allergic reactions similar to the reactions from VOCs.
How to fix poor indoor air quality
- Open up windows and doors to let outdoor air in
- Change HVAC filter monthly
- Make sure exhaust fans in bathroom and kitchen are working correctly
- Vacuum and dust the house regularly
- Use “green” and environmentally friendly cleaners and store them properly
- Do arts and crafts outside, or with a window open
- Install a whole-house air purification system such as the iWave-R or REME Halo, which can fight both germs/viruses as well as help to reduce particulates in the air such as pollen, dander, etc.
- Install a UV light into your HVAC system, which can help to both increase the life of your system as well as help reduce germs that cause mold, viruses, etc. and can work alongside a whole-house air purification system as mentioned above
How AA Temperature Services can help increase the air quality in your Florida home
Our professional HVAC technicians are here to help you improve your air quality today. We provide professional consultation and installation of a variety of indoor air quality solutions.
An iWave-R uses equal amounts of positive and negative ions which attach to particulates and dust so that the matter can be more easily caught by your HVAC filter. This whole-house air purification system is installed right into your ductwork and requires little to no maintenance. The iWave-R (as well as other whole-home air purification systems such as the Reme Halo) can help kill the germs that cause mold and viruses. Plus, it can help to reduce odors and other particulates.
An HVAC UV light can also help to purify the air by reducing airborne pathogens, along with controlling mold growth in the system and ducts, improving the overall life of your HVAC system. However, unlike solutions such as the iWave, UV lights are generally not used to increase the amount of particulates caught by your air filter. So, whole-home air purification systems and UV lights can often be installed together as well — giving you the best protection and advantages of both options.
More Helpful IAQ Resources
- How your HVAC System can Affect Indoor Air Quality
- Whole Home vs. Portable Air Purification
- More info on HVAC UV Lights and Whole Home Air Purification