Indoor Air Quality: What You Can't See Can Hurt You
The Environmental Protection Agency has named indoor air quality as one of the top five environmental risks to public health – indoor air may be up to 100 times more polluted than the air outside. With Americans spending 90 percent of their time indoors, purifying indoor air is paramount to keeping families healthy – especially those with family members suffering from asthma and allergies.
"Poor indoor air quality has been linked to a host of health issues such as headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea, fatigue, heart disease and chronic respiratory disease," says Megan Leick, spokesperson for Aprilaire. "For individuals that suffer from asthma or allergies, air particulates such as pollen, dust and dust mites are known triggers for asthma attacks and allergic reactions."
More than 25 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma and 50 million suffer from allergies. Dust alone is comprised of dead insects, dust mites, mold spores, pollen, dander, skin flakes and other particulates that can be harmful to health. Controlling indoor air quality can provide relief for asthma and allergy sufferers and protect your family from getting sick. You can improve indoor air quality with a few simple steps:
1. Prevent Irritants from Entering the House. Take measures to make sure dust, dirt and other pollutants are prevented from entering the house. Simple activities like removing shoes before entering the household, closing windows during high pollen days and not allowing smoking indoors help keep dirt and other irritants from entering the household.
2. Install a whole-home air purification system. A whole-home air purification system is installed as part of the central heating and cooling system to capture and eliminate airborne contaminants. Whole-home air purification systems remove up to 98 percent of airborne contaminants down to one micron in size and are 40 times more efficient than a standard furnace filter. Each time the air system runs, the whole-home air purification system removes dust, dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, pollen, viruses, fungi, mold and other dangerous substances from the air throughout the entire home, rather than just the air in the immediate vicinity like a portable air cleaner.
Other important considerations include maintaining humidity levels as well as proper ventilation; especially if your home is newer or has been recently updated with tighter materials for more energy efficiency.