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Why Your Indoor Air Quality Matters

  • May 05, 2015
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We often hear about the pollution we face outdoors from businesses, automobiles, and other sources.  While the cruciality of outdoor air quality remains, however, we can’t forget the quality of the air inside our homes and offices.

Poor indoor air quality can pose health dangers, and also affects energy levels and productivity. Protect yourself from harmful hazards by monitoring your indoor air quality.

Consider the safety that comes from monitoring your home’s temperature, humidity, and toxin levels.

Maintain Temperature

The temperature of a room is a noticeable factor of comfort. But temperature greatly influences your health and sleep, too.

When it’s too hot, you may experience:

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue

  • Irritability

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

Prolonged heat exposure can also cause heat stroke, which often requires medical treatment.

Low indoor temperatures also create problems. If your home is too cold during the winter, condensation can collect in your house and cause mold growth. If you breathe mold, you may develop respiratory problems.

People also associate cold indoor temperatures with the following problems:

  • Higher blood pressure

  • Increased heart rate

  • Greater arthritis pain

  • Poor sleep

  • Fatigue

  • Diminished alertness

  • Discomfort in the extremities

Cold temperatures may elevate your vulnerability to sickness by drying out your mucous membranes, making them unable to filter out toxins and viruses as well.

Either extreme in temperature can wake you up in the night and prevent a good quality sleep. A comfortable, healthy temperature range for indoors varies per person. However, between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit is an ideal range.

Control Humidity

Humidity also plays a large role in the comfort and safety of your home and health. Humidity measures the level of water vapor in the air. Air that is too moist or too dry can cause a variety of problems.

High humidity prevents heat from escaping by evaporation or through perspiration. In this case, you may feel warmer and less comfortable.

Too much relative humidity indoors dampens your building and damages the building’s structure. It also provides the perfect atmosphere for mold, mildew, and bacteria to grow. This generates bad smells and health risks.

Also, high indoor humidity often worsens respiratory problems like asthma and allergies.

Moisture is important, though. If humidity indoors is too low, you may face some of the following issues:

  • Dry skin and hair

  • Itchiness

  • Chapped and cracked skin

  • Static electricity

You may also be more susceptible to sickness from dried-out mucous membranes.

Like temperature, comfortable humidity levels vary from person to person. However, between 40 and 45 percent is ideal. This maintains an optimal level of moisture in the air and also limits mold growth.

Oust Pollutants

Pollutants invade our homes in many ways. Exhaust, smoke, dust, and dirt can enter through windows and doors. Fungal spores, bacteria, and viruses can also enter in the air, on our bodies and clothing, and on animals.

Pollutants can also come from equipment, rotting food, cooking, painting, and cosmetic products.

If the air in your home is full of toxins, your immune system will become more susceptible to illness. For some people, polluted air induces dizziness and headaches, irritates the throat, eyes, and nose, or even causes rashes.

In more severe circumstances, it can aggravate existing conditions like asthma. And in some cases, toxins can lead to life-threatening health problems.

Address this problem with a filter or purifier. Air filters and purifying systems reduce harmful substances in your air by filtering them out and preventing buildup.

Breathe Easy

Comfortable, breathable air has many important factors. These factors—heat, moisture, and pollutants—interact with your body and your home in significant ways.

Foster a healthy breathing environment indoors by keeping your ventilation system well-maintained. Up-to-date systems are less likely to aggravate allergies and illnesses.

Try to keep your indoor temperature steadily in a comfortable range, and lower your thermostat slightly at night. Watch your humidity levels and search your home for signs of moisture damage and mold. Lastly, eliminate as many pollutants as realistically possible with cleaning and filtering systems.

By doing these things, you can minimize hazards for a healthier, happier you.