Factors Affecting Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

Factors Affecting Your Home's Indoor Air QualityUnhealthy indoor air quality is a predictable result of a variety of measurable factors. About 80 percent of the breaths you and your family take in an average year are inside your house, so the quality of indoor air exerts a major influence on your ongoing health and comfort. More than ever, in today’s tightly-sealed, energy-efficient structures, the indoor environment may harbor particulates and pollutants that far exceed levels present in the great outdoors.

Here are some factors that impact the status quo of your indoor air quality:

Chemical Vapors

Fumes and vapors gradually released from building materials as well as products like carpeting and furniture may accumulate inside an enclosed home. Chief among these are the class of chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the most familiar of which is formaldehyde. Long-term exposure to VOCs and other solvent and chemical fumes are a known cause of health issues.

Inert Particulates

Dust, dirt, lint fibers and other particles are buoyant and typically airborne. By the EPA’s recommended standards, air samples taken over a 24-hour period should contain no more than 35 micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter of air. Household amounts frequently exceed that level, however, and may trigger physical irritation and allergic reactions in susceptible persons when inhaled.

Microbial Contamination

Dormant mold spores exist everywhere in nature and present few issues. Once activated by exposure to moisture, however, growing mold begins releasing airborne reproductive spores in extremely high concentration. These microscopic organisms are toxic to many persons if inhaled and are a known cause of a spectrum of physical symptoms and illness.


Indoor humidity over 60 percent supports mold growth, mildew and other microbial contaminants. It also degrades household comfort as the performance of air conditioners and furnaces are impaired by high water vapor content in the air. Low humidity below 30 percent often causes respiratory and eye irritation as well as increasing the airborne transmission of cold and flu virus.

To learn more about effective solutions to air quality issues, contact the professionals at Paitson Bros, creating healthy home environments since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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