The Importance of Indoor Air Quality
If you live in Chino Hills, Corona, Rancho Santa Margarita, Yorba Linda, or one of the surrounding cities, odds are you spend a good portion of your time indoors, with little exchange of air. According to the EPA, the average person spends up to 90% of their time indoors, and about 65% in their home. The EPA also states that the air inside your home is 7-10 times more polluted than the air outside! Those facts make the importance of indoor air quality painfully obvious. In today’s society we place a lot of emphasis on the importance of eating healthy and exercising, but no one seems to acknowledge the impact air, specifically the polluted air in our homes, has on our health.
How Clean is the Air in Your Home?
We tend to think of air pollution as an entity that is polite enough to stay outside unless asked to come in -- smog, ozone, or haze hanging in the air, especially during summer months. But the truth is, the air inside your home is likely more polluted than the air outside. The air inside your home may be contaminated by asbestos, formaldehyde, fire retardants, radon, even volatile chemicals from fragrances used in conventional cleaners. Some pollutants are tracked into the home through your clothing, your skin, and even on the soles of your shoes. Others arrive via a new furniture, carpet cleaners, or a coat of paint on the walls.
In that assortment of toxins, you'll also find microscopic dust mites -- a major allergen -- plus mold and loads of pet dander. How could you have pet dander if you don’t have pets? The fact is that even if you don’t have pets you probably have pet dander in your home. Pet dander is what is known as a “community allergen.” Meaning: You can’t get away from it! For every one person who does not own pets, there are two that do, and these individuals carry the pet dander with them everywhere and, of course, they love to share.
Indoor allergens, irritants, and other pollutants have become a growing concern in the past few decades for two reasons. First, with the advancements in technology, entertainment, and the internet people are spending more time indoors. Second, in an effort to increase efficiency, modern homes are built to be “airtight,” especially homes in cities like Chino Hills, Corona, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Yorba Linda.
Consider the Facts About IAQ
According to the American Lung Association of Minnesota, elements within your home and workplace have been increasingly identified as threats to our respiratory health. The most common pollutants in American homes are radon, combustion gasses, biologicals (molds, pet dander, pollen), volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), lead dust and asbestos.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists poor indoor air quality as the fourth largest environmental threat to our country.
According to the EPA, the air inside your home is 7-10 times more polluted than the air outside.
There are an estimated 40 million individuals in the U.S. who suffer from allergies. Learning how to control your the environment in your home to reduce allergen levels is critical for managing allergies and asthma. Family members who suffer from asthma, or other respiratory ailments, may be at a greater risk for health complications associated with poor air quality in your home.
The prevalence rate of pediatric asthma has increased from 40.1% to 69.1%,— a 72.3%increase. Asthma is the sixth highest ranking chronic condition in America and the leading serious chronic illness of children.
In your home, poor indoor air quality can result in structural rot within the walls, attic, wooden floors, and crawl spaces due to excess moisture. Pollutants can also enter your home through air leaks in the bulding structure.
Common issues from poor IAQ include:
- Musty odors
- Mold growth
- Structural rot
- Peeling paint
- Back-drafting appliances
- Damp crawl spaces and attics
- High energy bills
Still not convinced? Recently, federal and local governments have established strict standards on IAQ and consider it a growing concern.
If you reside in Orange County or the Inland Empire, and have questions about your indoor air quality, give us a call today and one of our HVAC Technician's will help you sort it out.