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Indoor Air Quality: The Dirt on Dirty Air

Pollution is a big problem today. And that's not just air pollution or water pollution - there's even indoor air pollution inside our homes and workplaces.

Indoor Air Quality and Pollution

To have indoor air pollution, you need two things: contaminants to pollute the air, plus a lack of ventilation inside the building.

Indoor air pollution is a continuing problem in developing countries, where organic materials like wood, coal and manure are burned inside the home for cooking or heat, without ventilation in the room or adequately vented stoves.

Our indoor air is polluted by a cocktail of radon from the ground, secondhand smoke, VOCs, chemical cleansers, asbestos, mold spores, dander, animal hair, and other biological contaminants like pollen, dust mites, and cockroach debris. As buildings have been designed to be more energy efficient, drafty windows and other sources of fresh air have been blocked off. Because of the reduced air circulation, indoor air in your home can actually be several times more polluted than the air right outside the window. In some office buildings, the windows don't even open!

How Indoor Air Quality Affects Health

Poor indoor air quality can make people sick. Sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, congestion, headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness; all of these symptoms can come from indoor pollution. Allergens can aggravate allergies or even trigger life-threatening asthma attacks.

The effects of breathing contaminated air are made worse by Americans spending 90% of their time indoors, going from the house to the car, and then from the car to work, or school, or the supermarket. We just are exposed constantly to these pollutants in our living and working environments. The development of asthma in children has seen a significant increase in the last two decades, likely due to the declining quality of our indoor air and the amount of time the children are exposed to it.

Tips for Improving Your Indoor Air Quality

Luckily, there are ways to improve the indoor air quality in your home or office.

  • Natural sunlight can kill many things in your indoor air - many people keep the blinds drawn much of the time for privacy, to keep out excess lights, or to protect furniture or wood floors from the damage that direct sunlight can cause. Letting the light in is a great first step towards improving indoor air quality
  • Use natural, green cleaning supplies - chemicals can hang around a long time in the home, and pollute the air
  • Dispose of food properly to keep away pests - cockroach droppings can be particularly potent allergens
  • Professionally clean carpets, rugs, upholstery and air ducts to reduce dust, mold spores and biological contaminants in the home
  • When having new carpets installed, ask the installer to air out the carpets for a day or two to give the VOCs a chance to go away before it is brought into your home
  • House plants and using bathroom and kitchen ventilation fans can help to remove VOCs from the air

Dustless Duct is expert at locating and getting rid of the sources of environmental contamination that can lower the indoor air quality in homes and businesses. Call 888-758-1835 today and breathe easier.

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