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For maximum heating efficiency, a warm home, and decent energy & gas bills it is essential that you take the steps to seal up your home during these cold, winter months. Unfortunately, this can have a negative effect on the quality of your indoor air. The more airtight your home is designed, the lower your bills will be - but this also deters fresh, clean air from entering your home. The result? Dirty, polluted air that is actually capable of making you and your family physically sick. What most people do not know is that even in the most polluted, industrialized cities – indoor air is typically even more polluted than the air outdoors. Research shows that people spend an average of 90% of their time indoors. This is a big problem when it comes to our health. For people making sincere efforts to maintain healthy lifestyles, it is a huge deal to have poor indoor air affecting their health. This week, we will look at why we suffer from poor indoor air quality.
What are the causes of poor indoor air quality?
One cause, as we already discussed, is that homes are designed to be airtight. This has its good side, but it results in poor ventilation. All fresh air is kept out of the home – therefore, keeping all of the poor air in the home.
There are also quite a few pollutant sources that may or may not be found in your home. The EPA gives us an extensive list of sources that can cause extremely poor indoor air quality:
Combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, and tobacco products; building materials and furnishings as diverse as deteriorated, asbestos-containing insulation, wet or damp carpet, and cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products; products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies; central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices; and outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides, and outdoor air pollution.
Some sources, such as building materials, furnishings, and household products like air fresheners, release pollutants more or less continuously. Other sources, related to activities carried out in the home, release pollutants intermittently. These include smoking, the use of unvented or malfunctioning stoves, furnaces, or space heaters, the use of solvents in cleaning and hobby activities, the use of paint strippers in redecorating activities, and the use of cleaning products and pesticides in housekeeping. High pollutant concentrations can remain in the air for long periods after some of these activities.1
Next week, be sure to tune in when we discuss how to determine if you have poor indoor air quality in your home or business.
For more information about Anchor, your local heating company – please give us a call at 770-942-2873 or contact us on the web: www.anchorac.com. You can also find us on Facebook where we share daily tips, useful articles, and even prize giveaways.