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Many people in Kissimmee, FL, spend most of their time indoors, whether at home or at the office. As such, indoor air quality is very important as it directly contributes to productivity and health at home and work. Below are some of the major IAQ threats to your home’s indoor air.

Biological Pollutants

Fungi, bacteria, viruses, pet saliva, rodents and cockroaches are among the main biological pollutants found in homes. These pollutants come from several sources, including pets, people with airborne diseases, mites, pests, plants and others. According to the EPA, you can eliminate most of these biological contaminants by reducing relative humidity at home.

Ensure there is no stagnant water or wet surfaces, and keep the relative humidity between 30% and 50%. Areas with a lot of moisture, such as bathrooms, humidifiers, cooling coils and condensate pans, are more prone to the growth of biological contaminants.

Biological pollutants can trigger allergic reactions, including allergic rhinitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis and can also exacerbate asthma. Diseases such as measles and influenza also spread through air.

Particulates

These are minute particles of soot, dust, smoke and several other compounds. These particles come into your home on pet’s skin, clothes, through openings in any part of your home or on furniture.

Because these particles are only 10 micrometers in diameter, it’s possible to inhale them. Once inhaled, the particles can affect the lungs and the heart, and in some cases, they cause severe health effects. The very minute particles go deep into the lungs, and some even end up in the bloodstream.

Particulates affect people with asthma, coronary artery disease, heart or lung disease and respiratory diseases more. They can also cause nose, eye and throat irritation, premature death for people with chronic heart or lung conditions and exacerbation of respiratory diseases.

Gases and Volatile Organic Compounds

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gases and odors from cleaning agents, perfumes, paints, pesticides and several other household agents. Exposure to VOCs can cause headaches, respiratory irritation, nausea and several other problems, including cancer. Other gases that can pollute your indoor air include radon, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide.

You can avoid the effects of these gases by ensuring your home has sufficient ventilation, using only the recommended amount of products with VOCs, choosing products with little or no VOCs and discarding used containers well.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is an ingredient in several household products and building materials. It also tends to occur due to certain natural reactions. Exposure to formaldehyde causes irritation of the eyes, skin, nose and throat while prolonged exposure can cause cancer.

Composite wood products have the highest amount of formaldehyde. When shopping for these, consider those certified as compliant to ensure the safety of your family. You can also reduce the rate at which composite wood products release formaldehyde by keeping air conditioning on and controlling relative humidity at home.

Cigarette Smoke

Cigarette smoke is a common indoor air pollutant. If you or your partner smoke cigarettes, you expose the entire household to second-hand smoke, which is as lethal as first-hand smoke. If you have to smoke, do it outside in a breezy area so that nothing comes back to the house.

Both first-hand and second-hand smoke from cigarettes are Group A carcinogens according to the EPA. There is no risk-free level of smoking, and even a small volume of smoke inhaled can cause severe health issues. Secondhand smoke can lead to lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular disease and other serious health issues.

Although you can have a well-maintained indoor air quality system, the best way to avoid cigarette smoke is to prohibit smoking indoors. This way, you never overwork the air purifier and also avoid respiratory diseases.

A qualified HVAC technician can help you install, repair and maintain an indoor air quality system. Call Frank’s Air Conditioning in Kissimmee, FL, for HVAC installation and indoor air quality services.

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