The quality of air within living spaces and the immediate environment is known as Indoor Air Quality. Controlling this indoor air quality is an important aspect of home maintenance and improvement, as poor quality of air is linked to several health issues in humans and pets alike. Health issues arising from exposure to indoor air pollutants may be experienced in the short term or even several years after such exposure.
What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
- Day-to-day indoor activities and hobbies are a potential source of indoor pollution, for instance, tobacco smoke, fumes from cooking, and cleaning products.
- Building materials and finishing may contribute to indoor air pollution. These include new flooring, paint, furniture made of certain types of wood, and insulation materials.
- Defective appliances can release harmful levels of pollutants. A leaking air conditioning unit for example may release refrigerants which becomes harmful when the liquid evaporates into a gas.
- Poor ventilation systems, whether natural or mechanical, result in a slow rate of air exchange and consequently high pollution levels.
- High humidity levels also result in indoor air pollution as moisture build-up encourages the growth of mold.
Improving Indoor Air Quality
Improving the indoor air quality of a home or other space, whether new or old, entails deliberate effort on the part of homeowners and occupants. There is a general misconception that new buildings are free of pollution, however, spaces may be polluted before occupancy as a result of materials used during the construction and furnishing stages. The following are useful tips for improving indoor air quality:
- Identify and eliminate sources of air pollution. While some pollutants may be identified and eliminated easily, others may only be identified through a professional inspection. This is especially essential in older buildings.
- Use environmentally friendly materials during construction, finishing, or when carrying out home improvements.
- Check for and fix defects in appliances.
- Inspect and clean air ducts regularly. This is an important part of home maintenance, routine air duct cleaning should be scheduled with a professional. While several companies offer this service, homeowners are advised to use professionals like Franklin TN duct cleaning that carry out chemical-free cleaning. Professional duct cleaners should use only state-of-the-art equipment for best results.
- Regulate indoor humidity to eliminate moisture build-up.
- Add indoor plants to your space. Indoor plants not only beautify a space but also act as natural air purifiers.
- Make use of extractor fans when cooking.
- Maintain general cleanliness in and around the home and other spaces.