How Poor IAQ Impacts Your Family and What You Can Do About It
There’s a lot in the media about poor indoor air quality – IAQ. There’s a lot of advice helping you clean up the air that you breathe.
Some companies will try and sell you air purifiers. These mobile units can move from room to room. Depending on the make and model, they can help clean your air.
But it’s a temporary fix.
Why Poor IAQ Is Bad
The problem with poor IAQ is you never know how it will impact each individual member of the family. Health, age, the amount of time spent inside the home – many different factors go into determining how exposed a person is and the overall impact on their health. Some may experience symptoms right away. For others, it can take years.
In the short term, a person might complain of headaches, fatigue, cold-like symptoms, or even increased allergies or asthma.
In the long term, symptoms can worsen over time. It can lead to serious, life-threatening illness including hypertension, cancer, or respiratory diseases.
It can also continue to damage your home.
It Also Impacts Your Home
If poor IAQ exists in your home, it may be caused by many factors:
- Maybe the air filter is clogged in your HVAC system
- Maybe excess humidity settles into your home, allowing biological growth to form
- Maybe your furnace and air conditioner work overtime trying to compensate for a system that is anything but efficient
All of this can take a toll on your home. It means you’ll have more repairs needed to keep your equipment operating, and you’ll have to replace expensive parts long before their lifespan reaches end-of-life.
Steps To Take To Reduce Poor IAQ
While there isn’t a magic cure, there are steps you can take to reduce poor IAQ.
Keep your home clean … naturally. Be conscious of the chemicals you bring into your home. Pay attention to labels on cleaning solutions, and select fragrance-free and low or no VOC whenever possible.
Dust frequently. Use a damp cloth to eliminate dust bunnies instead of a dry cloth that merely moves them around.
Vacuum. If you have carpet, vacuuming with a machine that has a HEPA filter will remove buildup of pollen, pet dander, and other pollutants.
Keep humidity at acceptable levels. If your AC unit isn’t working properly, it will allow humidity levels to grow inside your home. That gives biological growth a better chance of thriving.
Improve the ventilation system in your home. If there are leaks in your ductwork, your attic has air leaks, or bathroom and laundry rooms aren’t adequately ventilated, fresh air won’t be able to circulate in while stale air circulates out. If you don’t know if your home is properly ventilated, the best place to start is with an energy audit. This will tell you where your problem areas lie, and where the simplest changes will give you the biggest results.