Households throughout the Louisville area face common indoor air quality issues that affect their health and comfort when spending time at home. Thankfully, you are able to use HVAC systems and solutions to deliver cleaner air and avoid these issues.
Jarboe’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing explains how indoor air quality issues affect you in the home and why they require attention. We also explain some of the trusty HVAC solutions that are used to deliver better indoor air quality within your Louisville home. For help addressing your indoor air quality issues, call Jarboe’s today!
The term ‘air pollution’ typically evokes thoughts of looming smog, and is considered by many to be an issue that affects the air outdoors. Unfortunately, if you consider air pollution to only be an outdoor problem, you skip over the air quality that is most important and impactful to you personally – indoor air quality.
The air inside your home can be much more polluted that outside air. In fact, contaminant concentrations can be as much as 5 times higher within your home, compared to outside. This is often due to the construction measures we take to help our homes retain energy – while heating and cooling energy is kept in, unfortunately so are contaminants.
All sorts of different contaminants can exist in your home’s air supply, and exposure causes very real effects. Over short periods, exposure to airborne contaminants leads to eye, nose, and throat irritations, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and other symptoms similar to those of a cold – which also makes indoor air quality issues difficult to differentiate from being sick. Those who suffer from allergies and asthma are more likely to suffer symptoms and asthma attacks due to the near-constant exposure to their triggers. Over many years, exposure to poor indoor air quality has been linked to serious health issues including heart disease, respiratory conditions, and even lung cancer.
Why are indoor air quality issues such a concern? Well, because most of us spend the overwhelming majority of our time indoors, whether it be at home, work, or elsewhere – 90% of our time, on average. Indoor air pollution impacts the average American 90% of their time, increasing the risk of the health issues mentioned above.
Pollutants make their way into a home’s air supply through many different sources, from outdoors and even the seemingly harmless things you bring into the house. Common pollutants found when a home has indoor air quality issues include:
Homes typically don’t experience the level of natural ventilation needed to keep contaminant levels low within the air supply, especially newer residences built with a focus on energy conservation. Without a good circulation of clean air, incoming contaminants remain and build up to levels that create symptoms.
Louisville households are often faced with one or more indoor air quality issues. Oftentimes, these problems persist for a long while because they are difficult to detect – most airborne contaminants cannot be seen by the naked eye. However, they do produce symptoms that alert you to their presence, affecting your health and your comfort levels.
Below, we share more information about these common indoor air quality issues and what HVAC solutions help you put an end to them:
People, pets, and the activities we perform in our homes increase the number of contaminants in our air. We add them doing everyday tasks without even knowing. Without a way to manage them, contaminant concentration increases – when it’s too high, it starts to cause symptoms.
Contaminants are added to the home’s air supply through things like:
With high contaminant levels in your home, occupants experience those cold-like symptoms mentioned above. One way to tell if it is a cold or indoor air quality issues is if the symptoms subside when you leave the home, but increase when inside your home. High concentrations of airborne contaminants are especially a problem to household members with allergies or asthma – they are constantly exposed to higher volumes of their triggers, which leads to increased symptoms when indoor air quality issues are present.
The easiest way to lower contaminant levels in your air supply is to reduce the number of contaminants you add. This is achieved with some changes in your lifestyle:
When a Louisville resident faces high levels of airborne contaminants in the home, we often recommend the following indoor air quality products to keep them under control:
Many homes experience indoor air quality issues related to humidity. Stuffiness and mugginess are two signs your home has too much humidity in the air. When there is excess moisture, contaminants are able to exist at higher concentrations, plus a moist environment creates the potential for mold growth.
Exposure to high humidity in the home makes you feel symptoms like:
When the humidity in your home is too high, it is also difficult to achieve comfortable conditions. When air is too moist, your body feels warmer than the air really is. Humid indoor air also burdens your air conditioner, as a secondary function of this system is to dehumidify – it uses more energy in attempts to control moisture.
Relative humidity levels in the home need to be kept between 35% and 50% to avoid related indoor air quality issues. To achieve this, we recommend:
Because your home does not benefit from the same level of natural ventilation as the outdoors, it is easy for contaminants and moisture to build up inside. This leaves you with stale-feeling air and causes issues maintaining comfort levels with your HVAC system. Because poor ventilation causes contaminant concentrations to increase, you also experience those cold-like symptoms caused by indoor air quality issues.
Radon exposure is a serious concern when ventilation is poor within a Louisville home. It is formed as underground rock and soil decomposes, and seeps into homes through foundation cracks. Without good ventilation, radon concentration increases – radon is a carcinogen and exposure has been linked to lung cancer.
To increase ventilation inside your home and avoid indoor air quality issues, we recommend:
If you experience any of the indoor air quality issues discussed above, we have solutions to help. Contact Jarboe’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today to learn more about the indoor air quality products we offer that help your HVAC system deliver cleaner, healthier air across your home.