What Kind of Impact Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Have on Your Health?

Texas residents may recognize the importance of energy efficiency for both personal and community needs as costs are reduced and as the environment is improved through reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. However, you might be surprised to know that the EPA has developed indoor environment protocols addressing the approach to residential energy upgrades. Although reductions in energy usage are a priority for the environment, a residential setting can be negatively affected by poor indoor air quality. Poor indoor air quality is a worldwide problem, but it may be a surprising concern for the U.S. resident who has an efficient home. A tightly sealed home can result in poor air quality levels as higher concentrations of pollutants affect your health.

Unhealthy Particulates and Compounds

Second-hand smoke is one of the most recognized indoor pollutants because of its obvious odors and potential health impact. In fact, air purification may be easily viewed as a necessity in the home where a smoker resides. However, what are the risks in a non-smoking home? You might be surprised at some of the pollutants that are in your own air space:

  • Cooking emissions
  • Chemical components of construction materials and finishes
  • Gaseous pollutants from printer inks and other office supplies
  • Ingredients in air fresheners
  • Pet dander

Indoor air is not simply affected by dust and visible materials. It can be impacted by particulates such as mold and mildew, which are believed to cause allergies as well as other types of health effects. It can also be affected by cancer-causing pollutants that are gaseous in nature. An air purification system is a helpful solution for solid particles, while good ventilation is important for addressing gaseous irritants.

Compromised Immunity

Inside air quality is also affected by humidity levels. Low indoor humidity in the winter can result in reduced immunity levels. Winter humidity in the home is typically lower because outside levels are lower during cold weather. Additionally, heating activity can cause an indoor environment to become dry. If the relative humidity drops below 20, coughing can be triggered. Below a Relative Humidity (RH) of 15, your indoor air can cause your mucous membranes to dry out, resulting in reduced defenses against winter germs.

Discomfort

Humidity swings can also affect your health by compromising your comfort levels. Some of the most common issues are dry skin, chapped lips, and frequent nosebleeds during the winter months. Dry conditions can lead to serious skin issues, which can lead to increased potential for infections of various types. Summer’s higher humidity levels, meanwhile, can make indoor conditions uncomfortable enough to affect your sleep and your general health.

An IAQ evaluation is ideal for establishing a baseline of information about conditions in your home, especially if you are prone to having trouble with allergies, winter illnesses, or other comfort and health issues. The pollutants in your home can be identified, and appropriate equipment options like air purification units can be recommended based on our findings. Learn more about how to enhance the air in your home by reading Beckham & Jones Heating & Air Conditioning’s Indoor Air Quality Services page, or give us a call at (936) 755-4249 to discuss your concerns.