Indoor air pollution refers to the contamination of indoor air by either biological, chemical or physical means. In many cases, it results in adverse health effects. During winter, the indoor air becomes prone to pollution since you can’t have doors and windows open regularly.
Read along to find answers to some of the frequently asked questions about indoor air pollution.
1. What Are the Sources of Indoor Air Pollutants?
According to a report by the National Safety Council, there are many sources of indoor air pollutants. The most common ones include not only pesticides and cleaning products but also chemicals. In some instances, simple tasks such as bathing, cooking, and heating your home cause pollution.
2. What Are the Different Types of Indoor Air Pollutants?
There are three main types of indoor air pollutants. Micro-organisms: viruses, bacteria, mold, influenza, and germs. Toxins such as formaldehyde, pesticides, smoke, and carbon monoxide. Particulates: carpet fibers, dust, and animal dander.
3. How Do I Know If Indoor Air Pollution Has Become a Danger to My Health?
As the National Safety Council puts it, determining pollutants that are the source of your ill health isn’t an easy task. Additionally, it’s even more challenging to know whether indoor air pollution is the problem. Your senses, such as smell, can’t detect most indoor air pollutants.
Moreover, their symptoms are ambiguous and, at times, similar, thus making it hard to link them to a specific cause. Furthermore, you won’t notice some of the symptoms until years later.
However, you shouldn’t be shaken. Some of the common signs and symptoms of exposure to indoor air pollution include dizziness, itchy nose, scratchy throat, and headaches. More severe effects are cancer, asthma, and also other breathing complications.
4. What Are Combustion Pollutants?
Combustion indoor pollutants include tobacco smoke, outdoor air, exhaust from the car, and home activities such as soldering. These pollutants can also come from both unvented and vented combustion appliances such as gas ranges, furnaces, ovens, and space heaters.
LP gas, kerosene, wood, and natural gas are some of the most commonly used fuels in these appliances. Furthermore, these fuels produce pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, Sulphur dioxide, and carbon monoxide.
Through combustion, condensation occurs, which in turn produces water vapor as an end product. Although water vapor isn’t considered a pollutant, it might act as one. The wet surfaces and high humidity that result from it enhances the growth of biological pollutants such as molds and bacteria.
Additionally, the amount and type of pollutant produced majorly depend on the type of appliance, the kind of fuel it uses, and also how well it’s maintained and vented. Other pollutants produced by these appliances are aldehydes and unburnt hydrocarbons.
5. What Are Biological Pollutants?
Biological contaminants include molds, viruses, cockroaches, cat saliva, pollen, and animal dander. Many sources cause these contaminants. For instance, viruses are transmitted by both animals and people, and pollens come from plants.
Furthermore, contaminated air handling systems can also provide breeding grounds for mildews, molds, and other biological contaminants that get distributed to your entire house.
6. What Steps Can I Take to Reduce Exposure to Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide results from incomplete carbon oxidation in combustion. It’s essential to ensure proper maintenance and adjustment of your combustion appliances. This helps in the regulation of carbon monoxide in your home. Other ways you can efficiently minimize exposure to carbon monoxide include:
- Using vented space heaters
- Using vented exhaust fans over gas stoves
- Opening flues when using fireplaces
- Choosing adequately sized wood stoves
- Have a trained professional tune up your central heating system
7. What Should I Know About Formaldehyde and Indoor Air Pollution?
Some of the sources of formaldehyde in your home include un-vented burning appliances, smoking, and also fuel-burning appliances such as kerosene space heaters. Formaldehyde serves a lot of purposes in manufactured equipment.
For instance, it not only adds a permanent-press quality to clothing but also acts as a preservative in paints. At homes, pressed wood products are the likely sources of formaldehyde. These products also contain urea-formaldehyde resins.
As an indoor air pollutant, formaldehyde causes asthmatic symptoms. Additionally, its effects on the airway are proportional to the duration of exposure, thus making it risky in inflamed as compared to healthy airways.
Rely on the Experts
Since 1978, Bone Heating & Cooling has been in business, providing affordable heating and cooling services in Festus and the surrounding areas. Moreover, our certified and experienced technicians have enabled us to gain an A+ rating from the BBB. From fireplace installation to AC maintenance and repair services, we’ve got you covered. Additionally, we specialize in fabricating custom ducts from sheet metal. For more information on indoor air pollution, contact Bone Heating & Cooling today.