Did you know that about 3.8 million people globally die every year due to indoor air pollution? The quality of indoor air plays an important role in your health. This is because pollutants such as dust, pollen, mold spores, and airborne bacteria are the cause of serious respiratory ailments such as cancer, poor lung function, asthma, and respiratory inflammation. Additionally, poor indoor air quality reduces human productivity and affects one’s ability to process information.
We have prepared a guide on how you can monitor your indoor air quality to ensure that your home always has pure clean air. Check it out below.
Pollutants to Look Out For
The first step to monitoring the quality of indoor air is knowing which pollutants to look for in the air. Most pollutants that affect the quality of air come from sources located inside the building. Some of the most common indoor air pollutants include:
Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are the major contributors to poor air quality indoors. They are organic chemicals that are emitted in form of gases from different types of products or processes. You can detect the presence of VOCs in the air because you can smell them. The major sources of VOCs indoors include:
- Air fresheners
- Cleaning agents
A new carpet can give off formaldehyde gas, which is a form of VOC. Sources of volatile organic compounds from outside the building include polluted groundwater that contains volatile chemicals.
Particulate matter can be found both outdoors and inside the building. It consists of a mixture of liquid droplets and solid particles suspended in the air, such as pollen, soot, dust, and smoke. Although particulate matter exists in different sizes, the most dangerous ones have the smallest size. This is because anything with a diameter of 10 micrometers or smaller can be easily inhaled.
When you inhale particulate matter, it is likely to irritate your heart and lungs. Outdoor sources of particulate matter include burning fossil fuels and construction processes, which release the particulate matter into the environment. Once released, the pollutants find their way indoors through ventilation. Indoor activities, like smoking cigarettes or lighting fireplaces, can also release particulate matter into the atmosphere and lower the quality of indoor air.
Unlike volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide does not have any smell, taste, or color, which makes it one of the most fatal indoor air pollutants. At low concentrations in the air, carbon monoxide causes impaired vision, fatigue, and chest pain. When released in high concentrations into the atmosphere, carbon monoxide can lead to death. Some of the common carbon monoxide emitters in or near your home include:
- Faulty boilers
- Poorly maintained furnaces
- Automobile exhaust e.g., from nearby idle vehicles
Mold occurs indoors because of high humidity levels. If you have a faulty HVAC system, it could cause the amount of humidity in your home to be abnormally high, which will trigger the growth of mold. When mold spores are released into the atmosphere, they can trigger allergic reactions and lead to serious respiratory conditions. The EPA recommends that homes and buildings maintain humidity levels of between 30 to 60% to minimize the growth of mold.
How to Monitor the Quality of Indoor Air
Does your home have high-quality air? There are various ways that you can measure and monitor the quality of your indoor air to look for the presence of pollutants. They include:
Air Quality Sensors
Sensors are designed to detect a specific type of input in each area e.g., temperature, light, and motion among others. Once the sensors detect the input, they transmit the information in form of a signal, which is then electronically measured and transmitted. Air quality sensors detect the presence of pollutants in the air and transmit the signal to alert you that the air is contaminated.
The main categories for measuring indoor air quality using sensors include:
- Carbon monoxide
- Particulate matter
Additionally, indoor sensors can also detect the presence and amount of bioaerosols and methane in the air depending on the activities that take place within your building. Air quality sensors should be placed in strategic areas within your house or building. Get in touch with an HVAC expert for professional installation of air quality sensors.
Another way to improve the quality of your indoor air is by buying air purifiers. Air purifiers can significantly lower the number of allergens and particulate matter in your home or building to help ease the symptoms of people struggling with allergies and asthma.
There are two methods that air purifiers use to clean the air. One is to release negatively charged ions that attract the pollutants. This causes them to stick on the surfaces of the ions, thereby withdrawing the pollutants from the air. The second method is using HEPA filters to collect the particulate matter from the air, leaving the air fresh and clean.
If you want to install air purifiers in your home or building, get in touch with an HVAC professional ASAP.
Air Quality Professionals
Perhaps you have installed air purifiers and air quality sensors in your home or building but you still suspect your home has poor indoor air quality. Do you or any other residents in your home experience the following symptoms?
- Irritation of eyes, throat, or nose
If the above symptoms are common in your home, then you still have poor quality air in your home, and you need to bring in an HVAC professional. If you have spotted mold growing in the vents or walls, remodeled your home recently, or just opened your home’s wall or building’s wall to repair the plumbing system, then chances are high that your indoor air quality is poor.
Although air quality sensors and purifiers are effective for the most part, some air quality problems, like mold spores and radon, can be quite elusive to such devices and require you to bring in a professional. Long-term exposure to air pollutants causes serious illnesses, such as humidifier fever and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
Therefore, ensure that you get in touch with HVAC professionals immediately so that they can carry out professional air quality testing in your home or building and identify potential sources of air pollution.
Get Started With Professionals
Looking for an HVAC company you can trust to measure the quality of indoor air in your home/building and detect any pollutants in the air? If you are, Blue Best Heating & Air is the company to work with. We provide the best indoor air quality services in Bountiful, UT and other surrounding areas. Our HVAC experts can also help you upgrade your air filter choice for improved indoor air quality.
You can trust our team to take care of all your HVAC needs. Some of the services and products that we will use to improve the air quality in your home include dehumidifiers, air purifiers, whole house dehumidification, ventilation, and filtration. We also offer heating and cooling services. Call us today to upgrade your home’s indoor air quality.