You may have heard the statement that indoor air can be around 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Since so much emphasis is being placed on the prevention and control of outdoor air pollution, indoor air quality problems are seriously neglected.
In this article, we will look at some common factors that affect air quality within your homes and commercial spaces that many of you may not be aware of.
It goes without saying that indoor air quality and temperature go hand in hand. Humidity levels have been found to play an important role in indoor air quality. High humidity can lead to mold growth, which is detrimental to your health.
Also, it’s worth noting that indoor temperature is more difficult to control due to external factors such as heat gains from sunlight, the ventilation rate of outdoor air, and outdoor conditions that are beyond your control.
Many pollutants that affect indoor air are released from sources inside a building, while some are also extracted from outside. Some of the more common contaminants include:
Volatile organic compounds
VOCs are one of the main contributors to poor indoor air quality. These are essentially organic chemicals that are emitted in the form of gases from different products and processes. Common sources of VOCs include disinfectants, dehumidifiers, and cleaning agents.
VOC contamination from outside includes chemicals that exist in contaminated groundwater that are introduced into indoor spaces during water consumption.
Particulate matter is also found both inside and outside. It is a mixture of liquid droplets and solid particles in the air such as pollen, smoke, dust and soot and can be produced by smoking, chimneys and other similar activities. These particles can be inhaled and can have a harmful effect on your heart and lungs.
Outdoor particulate matter, on the other hand, is generated during construction or due to the burning of fossil fuels and can easily enter buildings through ventilation.
You may not know this, but carbon monoxide is impossible to smell and see. If your indoor spaces have a low or moderate concentration of carbon monoxide, it can cause vision problems, fatigue, and chest pain. High concentrations can be extremely fatal to your health. Sources of carbon monoxide include poorly maintained furnaces and boilers, generators, and automobile exhaust.
It cannot be denied that ventilation is an important element in indoor air quality. It is a combination of processes involved in supplying and removing air from indoor spaces. These processes provide fresh air, condition it and distribute it throughout the building. Even if one or more of these processes don’t work as they should, it can have an impact on your indoor air quality.
Although routine maintenance of your HVAC systems will help keep them running efficiently, you should consider bipolar ionization air purification solutions to maintain a healthy indoor environment. These solutions work by attacking and removing airborne pollutants and viruses to improve indoor air quality.