A Beginners Guide to Improving Your Indoor Air Quality

Feb 15, 2021

Living in a desert climate here in the Tri-Cities makes us aware of air quality reported in the local weather forecast, and makes it even more important to keep track of the air that gets indoors. This is especially true during the summer months when heat and smog combined can frequently cause unhealthy air quality

The outdoor air quality can be unhealthy for many reasons that could include wildfires, smog, and industrial pollution, to name a few.  Outdoor air quality can receive ample coverage in the news media, but indoor air is even more relevant to our health and well-being. 

Indoor air quality is just as important to be aware of as the quality of the air outdoors. People tend to spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, with many of those hours being at home. This places a premium on having fresh and clean indoor air. Believe it or not, a typical home’s indoor air quality is two to five times worse than the air outside. 

Here we present some practical and relevant strategies for controlling and improving your indoor air quality. 

A grandfather lifting his grandson in the air

What Affects Indoor Air Quality?

There are several contaminants that have the capability of diminishing indoor air quality. They are combustion pollutants and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  Combustion pollutants originated from the burning of materials, for example.  Other sources of concern are clothes dryers and fireplaces that do not have adequate ventilation to expel pollutants. The potential lethal pollutant carbon monoxide is one of the most dangerous contaminants because it has no odor or color. 

VOCs are typically released in a gaseous state from specific building materials or products. Some fabrics, solvents, adhesives, paints, and cleaning products can generate these VOCs, and they pose both short-term and long-term health risks. As a result, you could suffer from irritation of the throat, eyes, and nose with exposure to these unhealthy contaminants, as well as nausea, headaches, and other symptoms. 

These pollutants can also create a breeding ground for allergy-inducing conditions in your house. These allergy triggers can include pet dander, mold, pollen, and secondhand smoke. 

If you suffer from allergies or asthma, poor air quality usually worsens their symptoms. Your congestion, sinus pressure, itching, or dry eyes will likely be exacerbated by these indoor pollutants. 

Many of these common symptoms mimic those of illnesses like colds, as well as allergic reactions. It could be a challenge to determine if your coughing and sneezing is happening as a result of particles generated by your fireplace or furnace, or if you are catching a cold. Three tell-tale signs that indoor air pollution is to blame are if more than one person in the home is affected if these symptoms start suddenly, and if they coincide with an activity you’re engaged in. 

Other Long-Term Effects of Poor Indoor Filtering

There are several long-term effects of indoor air pollution, and they include respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer. Another health ailment that can be caused by polluted air is chronic, obstructive pulmonary disorder, or COPD.  Other health conditions connected to long-term poor air quality are heart failure, myocarditis, and heart attack. 

What’s more, you could develop long-term effects from even short duration exposures to indoor air quality. For example, if you are exposed to asbestos fibers just once, you can develop mesothelioma 10 years or longer after the initial exposure. If you breathe in a high concentration of radon for a brief period, you are in danger of developing lung cancer as long as a couple of decades after the exposure. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. 

Ways to Improve Air Quality Indoors

You can take comfort in knowing that there are numerous ways to address pollutants in indoor settings like your home or office, which ultimately will improve your indoor air quality. The effective methods for combatting these contaminants will depend on their type and source. 

For example, if you have shedding pets in your home, regular home and carpet cleaning that includes vacuuming, can help mitigate the exposure to these contaminants. When it comes to combustion pollutants, having your HVAC system frequently serviced and replacing your system’s filter monthly can be an effective dual solution. 

Other simple remedies for improving air quality can include opening the windows to let fresh air in and keeping moisture-prone areas like basements and bathrooms well-ventilated with fans.  A HEPA air purifier can also reduce harmful particles. 

Look to Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning for HVAC Systems & Products that Promote Healthy Indoor Air!

Look to the HVAC experts at Apollo to improve your indoor air quality by ensuring your energy system is in excellent condition and operating at optimal efficiency, while also helping to keep your indoor air of the utmost quality!  

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning wants to make you aware of a product that pro-actively treats every cubic inch of conditioned air in your home or business.  The In-Duct LED Air Purifier is a whole-home air purification system that reduces airborne and surface contaminants, viruses, and pollutants, all through bi-polar ionization. 

Apollo field technicians will work closely with you in deciding what HVAC system is the best, and tailor it to fit your unique needs and preferences, and indoor environment!  We are committed to delivering premium quality HVAC service, maintenance, products, and documentation in Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, and beyond!

Learn more by contacting Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning!  Call us at (509) 396-COLD (2653).