Is Indoor Air Quality Worse Than Outdoor?

While winter may be a wonderfully refreshing time for getting outdoors, things aren’t so cozy indoors. Today, we’ll be going over indoor air pollutants, allergens, and what you can do to freshen things up inside. By the end, you should have a basic plan for restoring the purity of your home’s air supply. You’ll certainly feel the improvement!

Is Air Quality Better Indoors?

A Woman Sneezes Into Tissue

Have You Started to Experience More Allergy Symptoms Inside Your Home?

Indoor air quality in winter is remarkably worse than any other time of the year. Why is that? Because homeowners work hard to insulate the house to prevent warm air from getting outside. After they complete their roof repair in Fresno, CA (or wherever they may be) and apply a fresh caulking and sealant around the house, air impurities get trapped inside without a way to get out. Thus they recirculate throughout the house, over and over again.

Is Indoor Air Quality Serious?

Air quality has ramifications for your health, appliances, and budget. So yes, it’s very serious. Unless you want to start spending extra money on medications and repair bills, your air needs to be carefully regulated. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the strain on your air filter and bring fresh air back into the home!

Indoor Air Quality Issues

The first step to cleaning up the atmosphere in your home is understanding what sort of pollutants you’ll be dealing with. This will make it easier to plan your to-do list later on. There are 7 categories of pollutants.

What are the 7 Major Indoor Air Pollutants?

  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Radon
  • Secondhand Smoke
  • Nitrogen Dioxide
  • Mold Spores
  • Asbestos
  • Lead Particles

Any of these can be find within the home. The first four are gases; the last three are airborne particles. In winter, they become more concentrated due to the increased insulation. Take note we use the term “pollutants” rather than “allergens“. We’ll discuss allergens in a little while.

Common Issues

What is the Most Common Indoor Air Pollutant?

The most common threats to indoor air quality from our list above would be radon, mold spores, and carbon monoxide. While radon is a gas that is present in every home, it’s rarely in sufficient quantities to be harmful to humans. However, sufficient levels can cause lung irritation, persistent coughing, wheezing, and even cancer (with long-term exposure). 

Carbon monoxide is even more dangerous. When natural gas is burned within your home, one of the products is carbon monoxide. It has neither odor nor taste, but inhaling the gas interferes with natural breathing. This gas is particularly dangerous for those who are sleeping or otherwise incapacitated. Sufficient exposure may result in shortness of breath, blurred vision, lost consciousness, and even suffocation.

While mold spores may not produce the deadly consequences of these gases, they can provoke allergic reactions in those with sensitivities. Mold spores can be found lying dormant in almost any environment. Give enough time and moisture, they will rapidly reproduce and expand into surrounding areas. Potential symptoms of mold inhalation include lung & throat irritation, asthma, aches, problems maintaining focus, infections, and unpleasant smells.

Health Effects

Indoor Air Quality and Health

While some air pollutants have dangerous health ramifications (such as those we already described), most air quality problems just make living in your home fairly unpleasant. This is where allergens come into play, and there are certainly a lot of them. Some of the most common allergens include:

  • Dust mites
  • Bug debris
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Mold spores
  • Certain house plants

These substances can produce some undesirable physical responses, such as nasal congestion, threat irritation, throat problems, and eye irritation. If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, it may be time for a thorough cleaning. Speaking of which…

HVAC System

Indoor Air Quality and HVAC Systems

Your heating and cooling systems have a big impact on your home’s indoor air quality. How does your HVAC hardware affect quality? The fans, ducts, and vents that distribute cool (or warm) air also circulate allergens throughout the house throughout the house. A special filter manages to capture the vast majority of these impurities, but that only works as long as the filter is changed out regularly.

How Can I Improve Indoor Air Quality?

A Relaxing Indoor Environment

Cleaning the HVAC System (Including the Filter) Will Greatly Improve Indoor Air Quality.

The best place to start is in your air ducts! While it’s nigh impossible to eliminate 100 percent of allergens in your house, HVAC system cleaning can neutralize a large percentage. After cleaning out the ducts and vents (or having a professional do it), you can follow up with dusting, vacuuming, and mopping throughout the house.  If you haven’t changed the air filter in a while, consider switching to a high grade HEPA filter. This will reduce strain on your HVAC appliances, which won’t have to work once the clogged filter is gone.

These simple steps will greatly improve the cleanness of your air. Every once in a while, you can also open up the windows for an influx of fresh outdoor air. Keep in mind that more serious air pollutants may require professional cleaning services to remove completely.

Schedule Your Air Purification Today!

Is it about time to schedule a whole home air purification in Riverside, CA or another nearby city? Our team at Trabuco Hills Air would love to help restore your indoor air quality! Give us a call today at (951) 824-7172 and get a quote for your home.