The Importance Of Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is the quality of air in and around structures, it is generally combined with the health and welfare of the buildings occupants.
Did you know the Canadian spend an average of 90% of their time indoors? This is why it is so important to have good indoor air quality.
Homes and offices maintain many substances may be hazardous to our health, when we look at indoor air quality we look at the indoor air pollutants, we break them down into two categories:
The first is minor irritants such as dust and animal dander.
The second is major irritants like mold and chemical vapors that may be emitted from building materials and furnishings.
In general indoor air quality contaminants can also be divided into two categories, the first is Chemical pollutants and the second biological pollutants.
Chemical pollutants are things such as gases and particles from combustion of appliances or other things such as tobacco smoke, household and personal care products, various building materials and outdoor air. Many materials in your home such as cupboards, carpets, flooring, furniture, paint, cleaning products and some cosmetic products Will emit a gas into the air, this is called off gassing.
Deteriorating building products may release dust into the air, this dust can be toxic if the source material is also toxic. An example would be insulation material containing asbestos or paint containing lead.
Gas stoves, fireplaces and furnaces create carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. All of these can increase the level of pollution in your indoor air and negatively affect your health.
Pollution from combustion appliances can include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and wood smoke.
Biological pollutants are living organisms such as mold, bacteria and dust mites. Some other common biological pollutants include volatile organic compounds or VOCs, pollen, viruses and insect fecal matter.
Mould is one of the most common biological indoor air pollutants, the importance of mould has an indoor air pollutant has grown significantly in recent years. North American studies show a relationship between mould and the following symptoms: Eye, nose, throat irritation, Coughing and phlegm buildup, wheezing and shortness of breath and allergic reaction’s.
Although mould can worsen the symptoms of asthma it is still unclear whether or not you can actually cause asthma in healthy people.
For indoor air quality has also been linked to sick building syndrome, which is a combination of symptoms thought to be caused by the environment of where an individual lives or works.
Some of the factors at play a major role in indoor air quality are:
- Moisture control
- proper ventilation
- air exchange
Moisture Control and Indoor Air Quality
Moisture control is the process of eliminating and repairing sources of moisture to reduce relative humidity inside the building. Mold thrives inside a damp environment, where there is a moisture problem, there is likely a mold problem.
Most mold problems are a result of moisture problems, these problems come from leaky pipes and roofs, flooded basements, cracks in walls and foundations and also every day activities such as cooking, washing and drying and showering. If the home does not have an effective ventilation system in place the potential for mold growth and poor indoor air quality increases.
Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality
A lack of ventilation especially any new air tight buildings is a key factor impacts indoor air quality. Because newer homes are built to be airtight there are more susceptible to indoor air quality problems.
Airtight buildings result in a lower exchange of air between interior condition space and the exterior of the building. This lessons the dilution of moisture, and harmful interior pollutants such as Formaldehyde, VOCs, radon and carbon dioxide.
Indoor Air Quality and Outside Air
The quality of indoor air is influenced both by the quality of the outdoor air and by the indoor sources of emission. In almost all enclosed spaces there is a continuous exchange with the air outside, therefore all contaminants of outdoor air are likely to be present inside your home or office.
This is why when performing air-quality test it’s important to take two tests, we take one test inside the home and one test outside the home. This access the control group which we can compare the results.
Having Your Home Or Office Tested
It is a good idea to have a certified indoor air quality expert come to your home and inspect to determine if your indoor air quality at home or in your office is good.
We spent almost 90% of our time indoors, it is important for us to know that the air we are breathing is healthy and safe.
Contact Home Pros Group at 780-455-1188 to book an inspection.