Like most Canadians, you likely spend a great deal of your time indoors, be it at home or a work. This means that the quality of the air you breathe in indoor spaces have have a strong impact on your health.
Poor quality indoor air, which can be caused by gases, chemicals and other pollutants, can result in a host of health problems, like headaches, dizziness, nausea, difficulty concentrating, eye irritation, allergies and fatigue. More serious pollutants can cause certain kind of cancer and other long-term health issues.
What causes poor indoor air quality?
One of the primary causes of a decrease in indoor air quality is exposure to airborne chemicals. These can be produced by a variety of products, like furnishings, building materials and other household and office products. these can emit thousands of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particles into the air. Of all the culprits that can have a negative impact on indoor air quality, chemical emissions are the most harmful, and contribute to to a wide range of health problems
Mold is another common source of indoor air pollution. Mold can also emit VOCs and particulates, compromising indoor air quality and leading to health problems.
Particulates are microscopic solid or liquid matter suspended in the atmosphere, and can be emitted from furnishings, building materials and other household and office products. They can also come from dirt and dust that is tracked in from outdoors. Particulates can trigger allergies and other respiratory problems in many people.
Most of the buildings in which people spend the majority of their time are tightly sealed and insulated to keep out unconditioned outdoor air, both hot and cold depending on the season. Furthermore, most ventilation systems are designed to continuously recirculate the indoor air that has already been heated or cooled. This strategy is effective for minimizing energy costs, but it can have a negative impact on indoor air quality.
Get a door mat (or two)
Placing walk-off mats at doorways is a quick, cheap and easy strategy for limiting pollutants in the home. This is simply because they help prevent dust, pollen, mold and other pollutants from being dragged into the house on your family's shoes!
Change your furnace filters
You should be changing your furnace filter every 4 -6 weeks during heating season, and every month when the air conditioner is running. This is especially important if there are multiple people living in your home, if you have pets, or if anyone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma. Changing your filters frequently and regularly will help you maintain healthy air quality, and it will also help your system run more efficiently!
Regular system maintenance
Ideally, you should have your HVAC system inspected, serviced and cleaned once a year to ensure that it operates at peak efficiency. As your HVAc system runs, it accumulates dust and dirt, which not only affect the efficiency of your system, but the quality of your indoor air as well.