Like outdoor air pollution, Indoor air pollution can be defined as the contamination people are exposed to in their home, office or in the commercial buildings they frequent. The term “indoor air quality” or “IAQ” refers to the overall makeup of the air breathed indoors. While the contaminants and their sources may vary, outdoor and indoor air pollution are both dangerous to the health and safety of those exposed.
What Are Common Sources of Indoor Air Pollution?
Sources of indoor air pollution can typically be grouped into four categories:
- Pollen, Dirt and Dander
Dust mites, dander, mold, mildew and pollen are just a few of the various “biological” agents that can count as indoor air pollution. These pollutants build up naturally in homes and offices over time.
- Building Supplies
Building supplies (both past and present) are oftentimes made or reinforced with toxic chemicals. It’s possible for them to off-gas or otherwise release harmful chemicals into the air. Pollutant-laden building supplies may include everything from insulation to treated wood and particleboard to finishes, varnishes, glues, caulks, primers and paints.
- Cleaning Solutions
Cleaning supplies are notorious for contributing to indoor air pollution. Commercially available cleaning supplies, especially those with a strong odor, are oftentimes made of toxic chemicals that contribute to indoor air pollution.
- Smoke, Fire or Combustion Sources
It’s no secret that tobacco smoke is an indoor air pollutant that is harmful to human health, but what about other combustion sources? Smoke from fireplaces, gas stoves and even candles and incense can release carbon monoxide, methane, fluorocarbons and nitrogen dioxide.
Chemicals found in additional sources of indoor air pollution include:
- VOCs (volatile organic compounds), (paint, perfume, hairspray, printers, etc.)
- Radon (invisible radioactive, carcinogenic gas that seeps into foundations from the ground)
- Asbestos (a hazardous fire retardant common in outdated insulation and popcorn ceilings)
- Formaldehyde (furniture, particleboard, insulation, plywood)
- Pesticides (used by homeowners, past and present in your home, to control ants, fleas, etc.)
What Other Factors Affect Indoor Air Pollution?
It’s not just the materials found or used in a space. Other factors that affect the indoor air quality include ventilation, humidity and building practices. Ensuring proper whole-home ventilation, a proper level of humidity (not too wet, not too dry), proper HVAC cleaning, and air quality testing and monitoring can help mitigate many of the problems associated with indoor air pollution. Working with a professional and reputable HVAC company like Aire Serv can help home and business owners improve the quality of the air they breathe.
Improve the Quality of the Air You Breathe, With Help From Aire Serv
At Aire Serv, we understand that the quality of the air you breathe is paramount to the health of those you care about. We work with home and business owners to test, mitigate and monitor the indoor air pollution commonly found in their interior environments. Our technicians use the latest technologies to test and improve air you breathe, indoors.
Don’t settle for breathing pollution-laden air in your own home. Contact your local Aire Serv to learn how our indoor air quality testing and indoor air quality services can reduce the indoor air pollution in your home. Schedule an appointment online or call us to get started.