Air Purifier helps with IAQ

5 Factors That Impact IAQ in Opelika, AL

July 28, 2023

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is the quality of the air inside a building or other structure, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of the people inside. Indoor air quality in Opelika, AL is affected by a number of factors, including pollutants from outside the building, pollutants from inside the building, poor ventilation and moisture. Here is more information about some of the main factors affecting IAQ.

1. Pollutants From Outside

Pollutants from outside can still enter your home through open windows, doors and ventilation systems. Traffic exhaust and industrial emissions are prime examples of pollutants that can reduce the air quality inside a building.

Traffic exhaust contains a variety of pollutants, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. All of these can affect your health. Similarly, if the building is near an industrial zone, you will likely be exposed to sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and heavy metals.

2. Pollutants in Your Home

Building materials and furnishings inside a home also contribute to IAQ. A lot of buildings contain volatile organic compounds that can cause breathing problems.

These volatile organic compounds come from paints, carpets, furniture, cleaning products and other household items. Such chemicals evaporate easily and can become airborne through air conditioning systems.

When you cook or heat your home, you can release pollutants such as carbon monoxide (due to combustion such as a gas stove), nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly if it builds up to high levels.

Likewise, nitrogen dioxide is a reddish-brown gas that can irritate the airways and lungs. Inhaling these gases is detrimental to human health.

3. Poor Ventilation

Building design, airtight construction, maintenance issues and building occupancy patterns often cause poor ventilation. Modern buildings are often built to be very airtight, which can help to conserve energy. However, this can also lead to poor ventilation, as there is less fresh air coming into the building.

If there are a lot of people residing in a building, or if there are a lot of activities that generate pollutants, the ventilation system may not be able to keep up with the demand for fresh air.

Over time, ventilation systems can become clogged or blocked, which reduces their effectiveness. Therefore, it’s important to regularly inspect and clean ventilation systems to ensure that they are operating properly.

4. Moisture

Moisture is yet another key factor that affects indoor air quality (IAQ). The presence of excess moisture in a building can contribute to biological growth that can cause allergies and respiratory problems. Moisture can also contribute to the buildup of dust and other pollutants, which can further deteriorate IAQ.

Leaks, humidity levels and poor ventilation often cause excess moisture. For example, leaks can allow water to enter the building, which can create a humid environment; a lack of fresh air flowing into your building can cause humidity to accumulate with no outlet.

High humidity levels outside your home can contribute to high humidity levels inside the building. A musty odor, dirt buildup and respiratory problems are signs of humidity.

5. Personal Habits

Personal activities can have a significant impact on our indoor air quality (IAQ). Some activities, such as smoking, using aerosol sprays and burning candles, can release pollutants into the air. Other activities, such as cooking and chemical cleaning, can produce moisture, which can affect indoor air quality.

If you’re concerned about the IAQ in your homes, it’s important to be aware of the personal activities that you engage in. You can take steps to reduce your exposure to pollutants and moisture by making changes to your habits. If you can’t quit smoking, make sure you only smoke outside.

Similarly, you should avoid using aerosol sprays. Aerosol sprays release VOCs into the air, which can be harmful to your health, so consider using pump sprays or powders. If you need to use an aerosolized product, make sure your space is well-vented and that air is circulating well

As a full-service dealer, we take pride in providing our customers the best choices in the industry for indoor air quality. Call us at Sensigreen Heating, Cooling & Insulation for indoor air quality inspections and HVAC installation and repair.

Image provided by iStock

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