While our home is our sanctuary, its main function is to protect us from the outdoors. But, it’s a symbiotic relationship. Our home depends on us to care for and maintain it. One maintenance item is INDOOR AIR QUALITY (I.A.Q.).
Most modern homes are sealed so tight against outdoor elements that they prevent indoor air pollutants within our home from escaping. As a growing concern worldwide, we are beginning to recognize the critical role indoor air quality plays in our health and wellness. Understanding indoor air quality and the interplay between indoor pollutants and our bodies is the first step in improving and optimizing your air.
EPA’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) House Virtual Tour
Get a quick glimpse of some of the most important ways to protect the air in your home by touring the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) House. Room-by-room, you’ll learn about the key pollutants and how to address them:
TYPES OF INDOOR AIR POLLUTANTS
We’ve compiled a list of some of the EPA’s top Indoor Air Pollutants. Click on each for a link to EPA Website. This will help you understand what each is, what their indicators are, health risks associated with each, and what actions you can take to improving I.A.Q.
- Dander, Dust Mites, & other Biological Contaminants
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
- Carbon Monoxide (CO)
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s)
- Indoor Particulate Matter (PM)
The federal government recommends that you measure the level of radon in your home. Without measurements there is no way to tell whether radon is present. Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas. Contact us today (540-860-0744) to schedule your test.
Molds are part of the natural environment. They can be found everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Mold is not usually a problem, unless it begins growing indoors. The best way to control mold growth is to control moisture. The EPA website (LINK) provides guidance about mold and moisture for homes.
DANDER, DUST MITES, & OTHER BIOLOGICAL CONTAMINANTS
Biological contaminants (EPA LINK) include:
- animal dander and cat saliva,
- house dust,
- cockroaches, and
By controlling the relative humidity level in a home, the growth of some sources of biologicals can be minimized. A relative humidity of 30-50 percent is generally recommended for homes. Click on the above link to learn more.
Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is a colorless, odorless gas that is naturally abundant within the atmosphere. Outside, carbon dioxide accounts for just 0.033 percent of Earth’s atmospheric gases. But within the home, this level can increase. At low levels, carbon dioxide is harmless to humans. But elevated values can lead to a range of health problems, including headaches, fatigue and breathing difficulties. There are several causes of elevated carbon dioxide levels in homes. Learn More at:
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you are aware it is in your home. The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person. Factors such as age, overall health and the concentration and length of exposure. Follow this LINK to the EPA website to learn more.
VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals. Some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands. Check out the EPA web site (LINK) for more information.
INDOOR PARTICULATE MATTER
Particulate matter is a form of air pollution created by other ambient pollutants. For instance ozone, nitrogen oxides, or directly through both outdoor and indoor combustion. For example, items such as stoves, heaters, fireplaces, chimneys, candles, etc.
The government created a web site, www.AirNow.gov to help you keep an eye out for local AQI readings to protect your and your loved ones from particle pollution. These tiny particles can sneak into our homes through windows, doors, and walls.