Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality
According to the EPA, the air in your home can be more than 5-times more polluted than the air you breathe when you are walking outside. Oftentimes, poor indoor air quality goes unnoticed, but in some extremes you’ll find that you can’t ignore the discomfort.
There is a wide variety of reasons of why that is and below are the most common ones:
Without proper ventilation air circulation is impossible. There are many opportunities to track dirty, polluted air into your home as you, your pets, and your guests carry them in.
Without the opportunity for the air to circulate and welcome fresh, clean air into your home, the continuous accumulation of dirty air will result in a stale, stagnant environment full of harmful contaminants.
Indoor Moisture & Humidity Levels
High humidity levels create an ideal environment for mold, mildew, bacteria, and germs to grow, and often in places that can’t be seen – carpets, vents, floors, and walls. Overtime, it can even get absorbed into these structures and lead to rot and accumulation of termites and other pests that love warm, wet environments. As these contaminants grow and are released into your home it can directly affect your health. It’s also not uncommon for it to cause an unpleasant stench while being difficult to identify the source of the smell.
On the other hand, low levels of moisture pose other different problems. Dry indoor air can irritate your skin and throat-especially unideal for those suffering from asthma and allergies. As for your furniture, excessive dryness can lead to cracks in wood floors, shrinkage of wood furnishings, gaps in molding, peeling wallpaper, and loose drawers resulting in expensive repair costs. Another sign of dry air are static shocks, which are never pleasant.
A Variety of Air Contaminants
Dust, pollen, pet dander, mold, bacteria, viruses, and odors are just a fraction of the list of air contaminants commonly found indoors.
Most of these are too small to be noticed, but as they accumulate not only do they become more noticeable but they become downright unpleasant. They can cause unsightly build-up on your furniture and induce allergy symptoms like watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, and irritated throat. If left untreated, these contaminants can even lead longer lasting respiratory health effects.
Temperature imbalances in your home can affect your comfort on a daily basis–and you’re not alone! This is a common annoyance among homeowners, and for good reason. In addition to it being uncomfortable, in many cases, it can influence your monthly utility bill.
Temperature differences between rooms and floors can be a result of an inefficient HVAC system, like leaky ductwork. Up to 30% of airflow can be lost from just your ducts alone, and rooms that are further away from the HVAC or furnace may not receive the air needed to balance the temperature.
Poor insulation is another common culprit in many old homes. Homes that can’t retain heat or cool air is a waste of energy, and homeowners often spend more money trying to balance the temperatures throughout the house by running systems longer than necessary.
It is also not uncommon to find the wrong sized HVAC or furnace to your home that causes an imbalance of temperature. Because of this, some rooms may not get the airflow you need and can even cause damage to your system over time.
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