If you aren’t giving much thought to your home’s indoor air quality, then it’s time for a wake-up call. If the Environmental Protection Agency places this as a paramount issue, then it’s time for you to listen up and know more about indoor air quality. Below is all that you need to know about IAQ.
The root of all indoor air problems.
Indoor pollution is caused by the release of noxious gases and other airborne particles which leads to the diminished quality of indoor air. This is exacerbated by inadequate ventilation which leads to the accumulation of air pollutants because outdoor air is not being introduced enough to sufficiently dilute the indoor air, consequently the polluted indoor air is not being carried out of the house properly adequately. Concentrations of pollutants increase commensurately with increases in temperature and humidity.
Air pollution can come in a number of forms including combustion sources. Burned coal, gas, kerosene, oil and wood can give out harmful byproducts including carbon monoxide. Tobacco products are also lumped into the category of combustion sources. Materials used in building homes as well as other furnishings may also give off toxic airborne particles such as asbestos, which is often used in insulation, cabinets made with pressed wood, and damp carpets. Substances often used outdoors such as pesticides are also often implicated as indoor air pollutants. These sources may emit substance either continuously, as in asbestos, or intermittently, as in stoves and furnaces.
The role of ventilation in indoor air quality.
When not enough indoor air is being released outdoor and insufficient outdoor air is being brought into the home to dilute the indoor air, the level of pollutants may significantly increase. However, due to various weather conditions, it is still possible for indoor air quality to be compromised even when the ventilation system for that house is working appropriately.
The leakage of outdoor air into and out of a home occurs in a number of ways including natural ventilation, infiltration and mechanical ventilation. Air travels naturally through windows and doors with natural ventilation while it flows through small openings and cracks in the home in the process of infiltration. Mechanical ventilation is made possible with the installation of outdoor-vented fans which function to continuously bring outdoor air into the home and indoor air out in order to facilitate healthy distribution of air. Depending on how your home is constructed or where you are geographically located, you may or may not require mechanical ventilation.
Phil Farell is a blogger who loves to share many awesome tips about indoor air quality.