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Poor Indoor Air Quality? Here’s How to Fix It!

September 21, 2016

You may think that the walls, roof and overall structure of your Harrisonburg, VA home are doing an adequate job of preventing outdoor air from entering your home, or conditioned, indoor air from exiting. Realistically, air is constantly entering and exiting your home, and where air goes it brings heat, moisture and pollutants with it. Americans spend around 90% of their days indoors, so ensuring the air inside your home is clean and contributing to your health in a positive way is essential.

Types of Indoor Pollutants

Many seemingly harmless items in your home can be contributing to indoor air pollution. Air infiltrating from the outdoors can also contribute to indoor air quality issues. The large variety of possible pollutants affecting IAQ include:

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – VOCs are dangerous chemicals commonly found in substances such as cleaning products, varnishes, solvents, paints and candles, among other items.
  • Off-gassing of materials – Common items such as drapes, carpets and plywood can off-gas VOCs over the period of a few days to years.
  • Smoke and cooking-related pollutants – Smoke from cigarettes, stoves, fireplaces and even candles greatly decreases the quality of your home’s air.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) – Incomplete combustion from appliances such as furnaces or gas stoves can release CO into your home’s air. At high levels, this colorless and odorless gas is deadly, although even at low levels it can cause severe symptoms.
  • Dander and dust – Microscopic bits of skin and hair from animals and dust can cause allergic reactions and various eye, skin and throat irritations.
  • Mold – Mold can cause allergic reactions and serious illnesses, with mold spores having the ability to travel through the air and infect you, even without direct contact with the source.
  • Car exhaust – Fumes from the garage or windows close to the driveway can allow toxic car exhaust into your home.
  • Moisture – Ideal relative humidity for the home should be between 40-60%. Too much moisture in the air can cause respiratory and comfort issues, while increasing the chances for mold growth.

The Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Poor indoor air quality can cause and worsen indoor allergies, while also aggravating asthma symptoms. Some of the effects of indoor air pollution include runny noses, sore throats, coughing and itchy eyes, among others. While inconvenient, these are just the short-term effects; long-term effects may include respiratory disease and cancer. Apart from significantly influencing your health, poor indoor air quality is also taxing on your comfort at home.

Indoor Air Quality Solutions from Excel

Excel Heating and Cooling provides solutions to get rid of poor indoor air quality. We can help increase your home’s IAQ with:

High indoor air quality is key to your health and happiness at home. Let Excel’s solutions make your Shenandoah Valley home healthy and pollutant-free.

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