Everyone knows that outdoor air can be polluted. Contaminants from industrial/manufacturing and vehicle exhaust are among the top outdoor air pollutants. Pollen from plants and trees is also a big problem, particularly in the spring and summer. Although pollen isn’t considered to be “pollution,” it does cause respiratory problems for people with allergies.
What many people don’t realize is that indoor air can be (and often is) polluted too. In fact, some professionals estimate that indoor air pollution may be up to five times greater than outdoor pollution.
Contamination levels are affected by numerous different factors, of course, like building size, occupants habits and type of furnace/HVAC system. Not all indoor air is so polluted. But even a little bit of indoor air pollution can wreak havoc on a person’s respiratory system. It’s in everyone’s best interest (whether in a residential or a commercial building) to keep contaminant levels as low as possible.
What Causes Indoor Pollution?
Contaminants and pollen which are present in outside air inevitably end up inside. They find their way in every time you open a door or window. click on this article They also get blown in through a home or building’s ventilation system.
Other contaminants originate inside the home. Pet dander (from dog or cat hair), pet waste (from the kitty litter box) are two sources. Other sources include people (who expel germs into the air), wood-burning fireplaces/stoves, dust and certain by-products of cooking.
How to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution
Reducing indoor air pollution is a relatively simple matter. It takes just a little bit of attention and effort, particularly to these six tasks:
1) Get your furnace/HVAC professional inspected annually. A properly-maintained and working furnace or HVAC system will filter many contaminants out of the inside of your residential/commercial building. Furnace repair and maintenance professionals recommend that you have yours inspected once every 12 months. Inspection is relatively inexpensive and will ensure that you become aware of potential problems (some of which can be deadly) before they happen.
2) Change your furnace filter as frequently as is recommended by the manufacturer. Often this is every 3-6 months, but may be as frequently as monthly, depending on the make/model of your furnace or HVAC system. Filters are inexpensive, and you may be able to do this job yourself without calling in a professional.
3) Consider using a HEPA filter. “HEPA” stands for “High-Efficiency Particulate Air.” This type of filter is designed to remove more contaminants than regular filters. In fact, they are able to remove 99.97% of particles that are larger than 0.3 micrometers.
4) Have your air ducts cleaned regularly. A majority of particles get blown through your air ducts and get caught in your filter. However, some, particularly bigger ones, may settle deep inside your ducts. The only way to remove these particles is by getting the ducts professionally cleaned. Professionals recommend having them cleaned once every 12 months.