Indoor Air Pollution & How to Clean the Air Inside Your Home or Business
When you hear “air pollution,” your mind might jump to smoggy streets and hazy skylines. You probably don’t think about the air inside your home or business — but perhaps you should.
According to the EPA, the air inside your home is generally 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside. This, plus the fact that people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors makes indoor air pollution a legitimate threat. In fact, the EPA lists poor indoor air quality as the fourth largest environmental threat to Americans.
So what causes indoor air pollution, how does it affect our health, and how can we clean the air inside our homes and businesses?
Read on to find out.
What affects indoor air quality?
According to the EPA, most indoor air pollutants originate inside the building, although some can originate outdoors. Typical pollutants include:
- Combustion byproducts, like carbon monoxide and tobacco smoke
- Substances of natural origin, such as pet dander and mold
- Chemicals from cleaning supplies, paints, and other commonly used products
- Pesticides, lead, and asbestos
- Soil and dust (along with their pollutants) carried inside inadvertently
Other factors involve climate, weather, and occupant behavior. If, for example, you live in a humid climate and tend to keep your windows open, your home may be more susceptible to indoor moisture and mold growth, which can impact air quality.
How does indoor air pollution affect our health?
Unfortunately, indoor air pollution carries with it a host of negative effects on human health, including the below as reported by the EPA:
- Irritated eyes, nose, and throat
- Headaches, dizziness, and fatigue
- Aggravated or worsened asthma symptoms among asthmatics
- Long-term effects including respiratory disease, heart disease, and cancer
How to clean the air inside your home or business
Two culprits of polluted indoor air are dirty air ducts and carpets. If not cleaned, they can house allergens and bacteria that contaminate the air inside your home or business.
Dirt and dust continually accumulate on their inside of your ductwork. If left unattended, this can cause mold, bacteria, allergens, and fungi to grow and reproduce, contaminating the air that circulates through your home or business.
We recommend cleaning your air ducts every 3-5 years minimum (some buildings might require more frequent cleaning depending on their location and usage).
The benefits to regular duct cleaning are two-fold:
- Health benefits: Routine duct cleaning can eliminate dander, dust, and chemicals that negatively affect respiratory health and autoimmune disorders.
- Financial benefits: Regular duct cleaning can also improve heating/cooling efficiency, saving you money.
Cleaning air ducts is not a do-it-yourself job. It requires special tools and training; improper cleaning can damage the ducts, leading to expensive repairs. Our recommendation? Call in the professionals.
Let’s face it: your carpet is probably dirtier than you think. Dust, dirt, food, hair, and even dead skin cells can easily become embedded in a carpet and difficult to remove — even with regular vacuuming.
There are many tips and tricks to keep your carpets clean, even outside of regular vacuuming — like placing rugs in high-traffic areas and removing your shoes before you walk on the carpet (a fine option at home — perhaps less so at work).
But the best way to truly remove nearly all traces of allergens and bacteria in your carpet is to get them professionally cleaned. We recommend professional cleaning every 12-18 months for high-traffic areas and every two years for the entire carpeted area.
Get in touch
Due to COVID-19 and social distancing, we’re spending more time indoors. This means it’s more important than ever that the air circulating through our homes and offices is clean. If you’re concerned about your indoor air quality and would like to speak to an expert, our team is ready to help. Click here to get in touch.
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