Poor ventilation increases pollutant levels. Air-sealing and duct-sealing offers advanced filtration to optimize health.
In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within our homes contains more pollutants than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities.Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.
Sources that emit gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of IAQ problems in homes. Poor ventilation can increase levels of these pollutant levels by not directing them outside and by not bringing in enough “fresh” outdoor air to dilute indoor pollutants. High temperature and humidity can also play a role.
Indoor air pollutants can cause a variety of health problems including irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, fatigue,asthma,and even eventually respiratory disease, cancer, and heart disease. The young, the elderly, and the chronically ill, especially those suffering from respiratory or cardiovascular disease, are most susceptible to the effects of poor indoor air quality.
Even if your family doesn’t have noticeable symptoms, you should think about improving the air in your home:
- Source Control—reducing or eliminating pollutant sources is generally the best and most effective way to improve your home’s IAQ. Some sources, like paint cans and some cleaning products, can simply be removed. Others, like gas stoves and water heaters, need to be adjusted to decrease the amount of pollutants they emit into your home. Air-sealing,duct-sealing, and moisture control—all major components of the GreenHomes home performance approach—also help keep pollutants out of your home.
- Ventilation Improvements—adding or replacing bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans that remove contaminants and dump them outside is another way to improve IAQ.Ventilation, whether mechanical or natural like opening your windows,brings in outdoor air and reduces the concentrations of indoor pollutants. Examining ventilation is another key element of home performance.
- Air Cleaners—installing the right air cleaners to remove pollutants from the air canbe an important part of an overall IAQ strategy. We use advancedfiltration and even UV technologies, depending on your needs. AtGreenHomes we use this strategy only after source control andventilation improvements have been tried. For more information see EPA’s Indoor Air Quality site.