Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants (EPA, United States Environmental Protection Agency).
Indoor air quality plays an important role in our health. Poor indoor air quality has immediate or long-term effects on the residents’ health, which may include running nose, itchy eyes, and headaches. Some people would even have other more severe allergy reactions and asthma. Some other symptoms may not show up until years later. Before you notice it or not, poor indoor air quality may be the trigger of severe diseases like cancer or heart disease.
Better home indoor air quality can help reduce your risk of indoor health concerns. Here are some easy actions to take to improve your IAQ and reduce the indoor air pollutants:
1. Air Ducts Cleaning
Air ducts in your heating and cooling system are the places where the dust and debris accumulates. Mold may also grow inside the ducts or the other components of the system, such as coils, fans and units. Families with pets even find lots of pets’ hair sitting inside of the ducts as well. Once the heating or cooling system is turned on, these contaminants circulate inside your house through the air flow.
Having a professional air duct cleaning service provider to inspect the duct lines and units would be one of the easy ways to check your system. The professional may help remove any blockage in the duct lines, clean the heating and cooling units, fans and other components, which will improve the efficiency of the system. You can also choose to use chemical biocide for example tee tree oil to reduce germs and mold.
Carbon monoxide test is done to check if there is any gas leakage in the system. Regular monitoring is necessary to ensure the system functions normally.
2. Reducing Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand smoke usually generates from burning of tobacco products, and is exhaled by the smoker. Secondhand smoke is harmful for the involuntary inhalers, both the grown-ups and children. Homes and cars are the common place where it occurs. It can cause lung cancer, asthma, or heart diseases.
The best way to reduce secondhand smoke is to avoid smoking inside houses or inside cars. Smoke-free environment can be created if a smoke free policy is implemented. Now the law has carried out the rules to make sure inside public spaces are smoke-free. While in the private properties, such as homes and cars, increasing the ventilation can help reduce the secondhand smoke. There are also some air purifying and filtration products available on the market, which are helpful to improve the indoor air quality.