Poor Indoor Air Quality: Sources and How to Avoid Them

Poor indoor air quality can affect your health.  Learn how to improve the air you breathe.

During the summer, people tend to spend most of their time trapped indoors. Due to hot weather, most parks remain empty, and the only outdoor activity that you witness is either before dawn or after dusk. However, spending most of the time in the comfort of air-conditioned interiors can have bad implications if the indoor air quality is poor. If you spend a lot of time indoors, then it is important that you consider the air quality inside your home.

Air Pollutants Inside Your Home

Your house may have a perfect ambient temperature, but there might be air pollutants lurking around that can cause several health problems. If you think that pollutants are just present outside your home, then you need to think again. There are various types of air pollutants that can cause health problems, such as dry eyes, nasal congestion, allergies, nausea, fatigue, and several other health problems. In severe cases, poor indoor air quality can also cause serious diseases such as lung cancer, infections, and chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma.

If someone in your family is already suffering from some kind of respiratory illness, then poor indoor air quality can aggravate the pre-existing condition. Consider some harmful pollutants that may be present inside your home.

Biological Pollutants

Biological pollutants that affect indoor air quality include pollen, bacteria, dust, molds, animal dander, and mites. These pollutants can cause allergies and infections. To avoid these pollutants, HVAC technicians recommend that one should clean bedding regularly, keep pets clean, and disinfect and clean the home properly. To counter mold, homeowners should keep the moisture levels under check. A dehumidifier can be a perfect solution to the problem of excess moisture in the air.

Second-Hand Smoke

Tobacco smoke contains toxic pollutants such as formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and other carcinogenic compounds. Second-hand smoke is often dangerous and can even prove fatal for non-smokers. The only solution to this problem is to avoid smoking in the home.

Combustion Pollutants

Furnaces, heaters, and gas stoves emit pollutants known as combustion pollutants. They include nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. These pollutants can be very dangerous and are hard to detect because they are odorless and colorless. They hinder the body’s oxygen-carrying capacity. To control these pollutants, you should ensure proper installation and maintenance of combustion appliances. Let a professional HVAC company take care of the maintenance part.


Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. It is also the second leading cause of cancer in the United States. It enters internal air through cracks in the foundation, windows, and through other openings. To control radon exposure, you should get your home inspected and treated.


Upon inhalation or skin contact, asbestos can cause deadly diseases such as scarring of lung tissue, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. This compound is normally present in insulation and roofing materials. To prevent toxic asbestos exposure, you must remove or tightly seal the source materials.

To prevent health problems caused by poor indoor air quality, homeowners should prevent the pollutants from entering the air stream in the first place. Proper maintenance of the HVAC system can also go a long way in keeping you comfortable and healthy. Call Thomas Hoffmann Air Conditioning & Heating LLC at (314) 471-7625 to schedule periodic maintenance.

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