Indoor Air Quality
We love blue skies and clean air here in Austin, Texas. And while we do what we can to limit pollution to ensure our outdoor air is clean, we may be entirely missing our indoor air, which is a huge mistake. As Americans, these days we spend much more time indoors than outdoors, and our home’s indoor air quality, or IAQ, is considered much lower than our outdoor air. In most cases, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), our home’s indoor air is compromised with indoor pollutants two to five times more than outdoor pollution levels. Fortunately, your AiRCO Heating and Air Conditioning HVAC system can play a large role in helping to improve your indoor air quality.
What’s the Harm?
Indoor air is vented inside from the outdoors. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the outdoors air is clean, nor does it mean once it’s in the house that it remains clean, even if it begins clean. The outside air can contain many pollutants that are now trapped inside your home and can make their way to you. On the other hand, if the outdoor air is clean, it can still become contaminated once inside. Indoor air can be affected by many factors, especially anything that releases particles or gas, or causes combustion. There are many sources falling under these categories, such as personal-care and cleaning products, building materials, air fresheners, furnishings, carpets, tobacco, fuel products (kerosene, gas, oil, coal, wood), and the list goes on.
While one source alone may not be at a danger level, the combination of all sources in your home can contribute to health issues. Many times homeowners assume the people in their homes are suffering from allergies, colds, or the flu, but these symptoms could actually be an alert that the home has poor indoor air quality. Other signs of poor indoor air quality are fatigue, coughing, sneezing, headaches, sore throats, dizziness, nose bleeds, and congestion. Unchecked, poor indoor air quality can trigger or cause the development of more serious, and often, chronic illnesses, or even life-threatening conditions like cancer.
How HVAC Helps
As bad as this sounds, the good news is your HVAC system can be your game changer. Properly maintained, your HVAC system provides proper ventilation and filtration in your home, preventing many of these contaminants from ever reaching your lungs. Cleaned air ducts and filters only transfer clean air throughout your home. Keeping your humidifier and dehumidifier in good order also prevents mold and bacteria from growing and being a possible source of illness to you. Your HVAC system is the first and last line of defense against poor indoor air quality, as well as the first and last line of offense in promoting good indoor air quality.
Keeping up with your system’s regularly scheduled maintenance is paramount to quality air inside your home. A clogged air filter, a dirty humidifier, or poorly sealed ductwork can have a much more detrimental impact in your home than you may have originally thought. This is particularly true if you have pets or if someone in your home has allergies, has a chronic illness, or smokes.
At AiRCO Heating and Air Conditioning, we take indoor air quality very seriously. Not only is your health much better with cleaner air, but your home is more comfortable as well. Call our knowledgeable and experienced technicians at 512.537.1234 to talk about your home’s indoor air quality today.