Beware of These Indoor Air Pollutants
As in most parts of the United States, residents of Carrabelle, Florida, have to deal with different types of indoor air pollutants throughout the year. Although a single air pollutant might not pose a significant health risk, many homes have more than one contaminant present. And while some pollutants are little more than nuisances, others can cause serious health problems. Here are some of the most common types of contaminants to look out for in your home.
Pollens such as oak pollen are prevalent in our region. These fine particulates can infiltrate your indoor air through windows and doors or get tracked into your home on shoes and clothing. Sufficiently high levels of pollen suspended in the air you breathe can cause respiratory issues and exacerbate asthma. Keep pollen at bay by sealing leaky windows and doors, using an air purifier, and replacing dirty air filters frequently.
Moisture as an Indoor Air Pollutant
Excessive moisture is one of the least-recognized indoor air pollutants. Moisture-related problems often result from warm, moist air coming into contact with cool surfaces such as windows or mirrors.
Areas where moisture collects can become breeding grounds for biological growth and dust mites, both of which can cause or trigger asthma or allergy attacks. High humidity levels can also cause structural damage to homes and hasten the release of toxic substances from furniture or household cleaning products.
Radon is another common indoor air pollutant but not many people are aware of. This gas is actually the second-leading cause of cancer in the United States. Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in soil and can make its way indoors through the ground. The amount of radon present in a home varies depending on the region and even the specific location.
The good news is you can reduce radon concentrations in your home by a considerable degree via inexpensive and easy-to-implement solutions. One of the most common methods is using a radon fan that’s connected to a PVC pipe. This system helps reduce the pressure of radon in the soil, causing it to dissipate harmlessly into the air.
Combustion Systems and Indoor Air Pollutants
Most homes have some type of combustion device, any one of which could be a source of indoor air pollutants. Among the most common culprits are furnaces, heaters, cooking ranges, and other gas-operated appliances. These can emit harmful substances such as carbon monoxide.
Problems with gas-operated appliances typically occur with improper ventilation or when negative air pressure around them causes a backdraft. Either of these scenarios could cause air pollutants to build up inside your home.
Carbon monoxide poses an especially significant risk because it is virtually impossible to detect without a specially designed detection device. Any unvented combustion device could be a potential carbon monoxide source, including heaters, gas-operated appliances, and furnaces. Carbon monoxide can also make its way into the home from nearby vehicle exhausts.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) comprise several types of evaporated substances. One of these is formaldehyde, which building materials, furniture, and even carpets can emit. Other types of VOCs present in the home can come from scented candles, gasoline, and pesticides.
Not all VOCs pose health risks. Some, such as the fumes from freshly baked bread or cooking onions, might be harmless or even pleasant-smelling. But substances such as formaldehyde definitely fall into the category of harmful indoor air pollutants. These substances are especially dangerous because they can be difficult to detect.
Cigarette smoke is one of the most familiar types of indoor air pollutants. The harmful effects of tobacco smoke are well-documented, and researchers have determined that it can be just as detrimental to nonsmokers as smokers. Due to the sheer amount of harmful gases and particles contained in cigarette smoke, it’s one of the most dangerous types of indoor air pollutants from a health and environmental standpoint.
Indoor air pollutants can cause serious health issues. Advanced Air Care Heating and Cooling has the solution. Check out our full range of services, or call us at 850-688-9265 to find out how we can help.
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