Poor Indoor Air Quality is Everyone’s Problem

 I speak very confidently when I say that all of us have spent more time indoors in the past couple of years than we’d like. A majority of that time was probably spent in our own home, giving us all ample time to figure out just exactly what we don’t like about it. One of the things that may not be at the top of your list of complaints is indoor air quality, but it is affecting you. Given the link between the spread of any infectious disease, and the accessible flow of air, it has been on many people’s minds recently. We have had so many questions about how to measure indoor air quality as well as how it can be improved that this seemed like a great topic to address today. 

   As they see safety measures being taken at work many people are asking us to come to assess their air quality at home, and many of our customers have been pleasantly surprised to find out that it is included in our home comfort consultation. Poor air quality is almost always a cause of another problem rather than a standalone issue. The great news is that many of the same treatments for poor air quality at your home also work to prevent it. 

   Poor air quality in a home, office or any indoor area is treated by using at least one of these 3 different tactics: Source identification and control, improved ventilation, and air cleaners.

   Source identification and control sounds really fancy, but essentially it means finding what is causing the issue with air quality and removing it. This could be an object in front of a cold air return, an obstruction in the heating ducts, or anything else that is contributing to diminished air quality in your home.

   Ideal indoor air quality relies upon ample and adequate ventilation. Whether there is an airborne pollutant present, or just pockets of warmer or colder air, proper ventilation and increased airflow can help to reduce or remove the irritant. Introducing fresh air to a room that is lacking in ventilation can also help to lower the humidity in the room. High indoor humidity can be caused by many things and usually result in the presence of mold in the house. A healthy level of relative humidity is 30%-60% and can be monitored by a hygrometer. If we notice that the humidity level is elevated, we will take steps to increase the ventilation in the affected area. Sometimes structural changes need to be made to allow for the introduction of fresh air into an indoor environment, and other times we just need to open the windows. Whenever possible you should let fresh air into the house, the benefits are numerous. 

     The third tactic that is often used to address poor indoor air quality is an air cleaner or air filtration system. There are literally dozens of models, varieties, and types of air cleaners available. Choosing the right one is important, and depends upon the type of irritant or abnormality present. Some air cleaners specialize in removing particles from the air.  These highly-technical machines can arrange and sort particles so that only those harmful ones are removed. The effectiveness of an air cleaner can be judged by the volume of air that it circulates, as well as how effectively the particles, pollutants, and/or other irritants are removed or filtered out.

   Indoor air quality is kind of like the black sheep in the family. When you have good air quality, it goes overlooked and underappreciated. However, when issues arise inside your home, anything from high humidity, to stuffiness is blamed on air quality. If you have questions about your air quality, including indoor pollutants or airflow, reach out for a home comfort consultation.

and many people were unaware of air quality testing, or even that equipment and products are used to improve air quality.