Studies have repeatedly shown that the air in our house can be worse than the polluted air outside. Because people can spend up to 90% of their time indoors, this presents a serious health risk. Following are some common pollutants that promote poor air quality in the home.
1. Dander. One common pollutant is animal and human dander. Yes, animal and human. It’s not just our four legged friends that contribute to indoor pollutants. Our own dander – miniscule hair follicles and dead skin, etc. – also contributes to the pollutants in our homes.
2. Mites and Cockroaches. An even more surprising (and disgusting) contributor to poor indoor air quality are the dust mites and cockroach particles (both living and dead) that may be hiding in the dark corners of our homes. Imagine that right now you could be breathing dead cockroach parts flying into your home through your air heating or cooling systems.
3. Bacteria, Viruses and Pollen. Let’s not forget the infectious agents, like bacteria, viruses and pollen. These pollutants can be found in every home no matter how clean it is. The perfect breeding ground for these dangerous pollutants need only contain moisture and nutrients. Unfortunately, even the most spotless home contains these two environments. They can be found in bathrooms, basements, carpet, furniture, and wet appliances like air cooling or warming units, humidifiers, and dishwashers. Wet appliances put moisture into the air, helping to create this pollutant breeding ground.
A multitude of diseases and illnesses have been linked to pollutants in the indoor environment. According to the American Lung Association, airborne particles 5 microns or less are considered to be an inhalation hazard because our bodies are unable to effectively filter particles and prevent them from entering our lungs, causing allergic reactions.
Here is a list of common places pollutants may be found in your home:
- dirty heating/cooling systems
- dirty humidifiers
- bathrooms with no vents or windows
- kitchen without vents or windows
- dirty refrigerator drip pans
- laundry rooms with unventilated dryer
- unventilated attics
- basement floor carpeting
- closets located on outside walls
- water damage around roof, windows, or basement
One of the best things that you can do to eliminate the threats caused by these indoor air pollutants is to have an in-home air quality assessment and install an appropriate air filtration system to manage and eliminate them.