Understanding the Link Between IAQ and Health

Understanding the Link Between IAQ and HealthIndoor air quality issues—also known as IAQ effects—are an increasing concern to health experts.

The average American takes at least 15,000 breaths each day inside their own home. Exposure to potential toxins escalates as residential construction becomes more air-tight to increase energy efficiency. Pollutants tend to concentrate indoors and air quality degrades.

Included in the list of potential IAQ effects are respiratory reactions such as asthma and allergies as well as headaches, eye irritation and decreased immune function. Research by the American Heart Association in 2004 also suggests that the risk of developing heart disease—as well as the severity of symptoms in existing cases—increases where indoor air quality is compromised.

What’s In The Air?

Typical household pollutants that may cause IAQ effects include:

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde.
  • Fumes from paint and cleaning substances.
  • Microscopic airborne mold spores.
  • Pesticides.
  • Dust and lint.
  • Automotive exhaust.
  • Tobacco smoke.

Improving IAQ

  • Ventilate efficiently. Dilute polluted indoor air with fresh air. Dedicated ventilation systems such as heat recovery ventilators (HRV) remove stale indoor air and induct an equal volume of filtered outdoor air.
  • Evaluate your air filter. Cheap fiberglass panel filters do little to remove pollutants except visible dust and lint. Install pleated cotton or polyester air filters with a MERV rating of at least 8 to remove particulates down to a size of 3 microns. Change the filter monthly.
  • Maintain your HVAC system. Have your system checked annually by a qualified professional to confirm that air circulation and filtration functions meet specs to cleanse air effectively.
  • Choose alternatives to toxic substances. When shopping for products such as household cleaners, paint and pesticides, look for options that are certified to be VOC-free. When using products that may cause reactions, ventilate the house adequately.
  • Eliminate mold. Mold growth inside a house continuously taints the indoor environment with toxic airborne spores that trigger allergies and illness. Removal of active growth eliminates symptoms.

Let the air quality experts at Paitson Bros. reduce the risk of IAQ effects in your home. Since 1922, we’ve been dedicated to preserving the health and comfort of the indoor environment.

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 other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859. 

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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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    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

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