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Poor Indoor Air Quality and The Health Hazards

mom and daughterThere’s nothing quite like a breath of fresh air. When you’re outdoors, it’s easy to inhale deeply and get a feel of nature in its purest environment. When you’re indoors, a clean breath of fresh air isn’t always guaranteed. Many homes are susceptible to poor indoor air quality, especially if they are older. Air quality can decrease due to the presence of appliances or the location of the home. Because low-quality air is dangerous to your health, it’s important to address this issue right away. Let’s take a look at poor indoor air quality and its health hazards.

Source of Low-Quality Air

Where does low-quality air come from? This can be a difficult question to answer as it varies depending on the home. For starters, the presence of appliances can lead to poor air quality. Appliances such as furnaces and stoves can release toxic gases into the air and make it unclean. Usually, these gases disperse fairly quickly and don’t cause a problem in the long run.

However, smaller, enclosed homes can trap gases and cause a significant issue. In particular, the room that your furnace is located in is at the highest risk of low-quality air. Appliances usually have safety measures as well that capture used air and dispose of it safely. But sometimes these methods of mitigation break down and fail on their own. It could be dumping low-quality air into your home without you even knowing it.

It’s important to note that the low-quality air is not always evenly dispersed in your home. Rooms that are closer to the ground level and the basement have a higher chance of being contaminated. This doesn’t matter too much as it’s not feasible to forgo the bottom half of your home for an extended period of time. You’ll want to find a long-term solution, one that could be provided by a professional AC/Heat service.

Health Hazards

Low-quality air is never a joy to breathe, and the effects it can have on your body are even worse. After inhaling low-quality air for a couple of hours, you might feel light-headed. Not enough oxygen is getting to your body, which leads to a sense of dizziness in your head. If you feel dizzy and suspect that the cause is your air quality, move away from the room immediately. Open as many windows as possible and spend the rest of your time in a room with lots of ventilation.

Another health hazard is carbon dioxide poisoning. In this case, the air is overly saturated with carbon dioxide, which can be deadly to humans. The presence of carbon dioxide leads to nausea and headaches. Once again, you need to evacuate the room in question right away. Until you can determine the cause of this carbon dioxide pollution, do not reenter the room at any cost.

Another type of low-quality air is simply the same type of smoke that emits from a cigarette or campfire. As you likely know, smoke is harmful to your lungs. In particular, if you like to exercise in your home, you’re at a very high risk. Taking deep inhalations of smoke while doing cardio workouts is one of the worst things you can do to your body. The good news is that the presence of smoke is easily detected by scent.

Restoring Clean Air

Once you know that your home has poor air quality, the next step is to solve this problem. You need to identify the source of the issue. As discussed above, furnaces and stoves are two common places that low air quality can originate from. Any appliance that emits heat is a candidate. If you do identify the source, make sure to block off the area to prevent your children from entering. A simple warning isn’t enough; kids are known to wander around in a carefree manner.

Any time there is the presence of fumes or gases, there’s a possibility that foul odors are being emitted as well. These gases are invisible to the naked eye, so you can’t see the emission at first glance. When the air is tainted, you may or may not be able to smell a difference. Even the most sensitive noses won’t be able to detect certain gases that have no odorous qualities. One approach that could potentially help is the assistance of friends. You might be accustomed to the poor air quality after a while, and a second opinion might detect it right away. Anyhow, you’ll want to contact a team of professionals that will conduct further experiments to locate the source.

Naturally Poor Air

On other occasions, your appliances might not be an issue at all. The poor air quality might simply stem from the location of your home. Maybe you live in a city filled with smog. Maybe you live right beside a highway that is a source of traffic pollution. In either case, the air is a bigger, systemic issue that goes beyond the scope of your home. Nevertheless, not all hope is lost. You can improve the air quality inside your home via preventive measures. Sealing all your windows and entrances is a good start. This will prevent contaminated air from billowing into your home on a regular basis. Of course, you want to leave some places for the air to permeate so you’re not only recycling air inside the house.

At the same time, there’s no reason for you to let in volumes of contaminated air. Air purifiers are other good alternatives. These purifiers sit in your home, much like a dehumidifier, and suck in air. However, their purpose is far more significant. The device spits out clean, fresh air that is safe for you to breathe. You’ll want to position your purifier as close to your desk as possible. It may even be a good idea to move the purifier from your desk to the sofa to the kitchen table as you move about the house. The closer the purifier is to your location, the more purified air you will be able to breathe.

Combating Poor Air Quality

In light of the above, it’s important to address poor air quality right away. Prolonged exposure to low air quality is extremely bad for your health and can lead to serious conditions down the road. Individuals who have preexisting health conditions are even more at risk for further health problems. In order to look at your AC/Heat systems that could be the cause of poor air quality, contact us at Rite Way Heating, Cooling and Plumbing for an immediate assessment. We know exactly how dangerous it can be for you to inhale this toxic air day after day.

Our engineers will identify the source right away and come up with a fix for the safety of you and your family. In Tucson, AZ, there are no better choices for AC/Heat services than Rite Way Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We also offer heating, cooling, plumbing, water heater flushing and water softening services.