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Indoor Air Quality - Your Full Guide To Perfect IAQ
Your Complete Guide To Improving Your Homes Air Quality
Want your questions answered by one of Tampa Bay’s friendliest HVAC technicians? CALL US NOW AT 813 231 4400
Improving our home’s air quality is often overlooked when we decide to make healthier lifestyle choices. Almost everyone’s first thought is to improve diet and exercise first when it comes to health, and rarely ever go further. The truth is there is a whole lot more to it than that.
Your home’s air quality can have a much bigger impact on your quality of life than you may think.
For example, multiple studies have shown that indoor air pollution is linked to one in every nine deaths worldwide.
And even worse, it’s usually not an overnight process where your health dramatically increases or decreases. It may be decades of breathing polluted air before the effects become detrimental.
Usually it just starts with you feeling tired, getting some headaches, and getting sick a few extra times in the colder months.
And if you or anyone else in your home have allergies, you may know right away when your air quality is poor.
Some of the most common symptoms of poor air quality look like this:
According to the EPA: “In the last several years, a rising body of scientific evidence has specified that the air in homes and other buildings can be more critically polluted than the outdoor air in even the greatest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people devote approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Therefore, for most people, the risks to health may be larger due to more contact with air pollution indoors than outdoors.”
From pollen, dust mites, dog and cat dander to chemicals, your allergies could be much milder or much worse depending on the air in your home.
A big reason for this issue is, surprisingly, because of how well our homes are built now. The more airtight your home is, the more energy efficient it is. Which is great for saving on utility bills, however it seriously restricts the amount of fresh air getting inside your home.
And that’s how all those allergens get trapped inside your kitchen, bedroom, living room, and eventually, your lungs.
In short, these allergens in your home can cause coughing, sneezing, a stuffy nose, red or watery eyes, difficulty breathing, poor sleep, and feeling tired.
Chronic Fatigue or Dizziness
Without proper air flow and filtration, carbon dioxide can build up in the bedroom and can prevent your brain from getting the oxygen it needs to get into that deep “REM” sleep stage. If you still feel tired in the mornings after a full 7-8 hours of sleep this may be the cause.
Chemicals can build up and can keep your body in “defense mode” which will also hinder sleep quality. It can also cause you to feel dizzy waking up in the morning and throughout the day. This problem is also solved simply with a proper filtration system and better airflow in your bedroom.
Allergens can build up and can cause more breathing issues, which will also affect how much oxygen is getting to your brain and body.
All of these can be solved with an air purification system and better air flow. Ensuring that you wake up every morning feeling refreshed.
Did you know: Studies have shown that patients who slept in a room with a constant flow of fresh air reported feeling better in the mornings, AND reported higher scores on cognitive tests?
Coughing and Congestion
Breathing in pollutants every day can have a drastic effect on your lungs. If you notice that you get a cough that sticks around for weeks and weeks, you could have an air quality problem.
If you are getting sick often, not enough humidity could definitely be the cause. Particles in the air move freely when your home is overly dry, getting into your lungs that much easier, and that much more often.
As mentioned, chemical build up can occur when your home doesn’t have the proper air filtration and flow. And this can cause headaches and even migraines.
Dry and Irritated Skin
Overly humid or dry air can cause rashes, bumps, acne, flaking or peeling, you name it. If you find that you are constantly reaching for the moisturizer, get your air quality tested and fix the root cause.
Now that you know how to spot the most common symptoms of poor air quality, you get to decide whether or not it’s time to get an air quality test, or just go straight to installing a system in your home to solve these problems.
One of our HVAC technicians will be happy to help with either. Call us now for a free quote at 813 231 4400.
The Most Common Indoor Air Pollutants in Florida
Here we’ve compiled a list of the most common air pollutants in Florida, so you know exactly what you’re up against.
Whether it’s smoke from cigarettes, cooking, or burning wood, all can cause issues in your home, and your body. Secondhand cigarette smoke alone has hundreds of toxic chemicals, and around 70 of those are known to cause cancer.
Did you know: Tobacco smoke sticks around in more ways than you think. A portion of the smoke that’s exhaled after a cigarette turns into dust. Not even including the ash. These dust particles have all the same carcinogenic (cancerous) properties as the actual smoke itself. And even worse, if your HVAC system is connected with your neighbors, and THEY smoke indoors, that can cause just as many issues in your home as if you smoked. The solution is air purification and filtration in your HVAC system.
Carbon Monoxide and Nitrogen Dioxide
Most common in homes that use gas-powered appliances. Stoves, ovens and gas clothes dryers. Gas powered space heaters can cause issues too. Blocked chimneys in homes with wood fireplaces can cause a buildup of carbon monoxide, even if there is still airflow going out of the chimney. And lastly, idling cars and generators in your garage can allow carbon monoxide to seep into your home.
Common Household Chemicals
From formaldehyde and xylene to toluene and benzene, there are plenty of hard to pronounce chemicals that are released from drywall, carpets, paints, glues, and plastics. And if these common chemicals are not either filtered or replaced with fresh air, they can be detrimental to one’s health.
Radon is a naturally occuring, radioactive gas, produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. It can seep into your home from the earth, usually through cracks in the foundation. Radon is known to cause lung cancer and is related to 21000 cancer deaths annually. – It’s no joke once you hear the stats. Luckily, testing is relatively easy.
Moisture in the home can cause mold, mildew and dust mites in the blink of an eye. This is why ensuring your home’s temperature is regulated properly. All mold is bad for us to breathe in, but not all mold strains are created equal. Whether its pathogenic mold, allergenic mold, or toxic mold, you will want it taken care of asap.
You’ve probably heard of how bad lead is for us. Lead exposure from a young age has been shown to cause a whole host of problems. Inhibiting a child’s physical growth, cognitive function, ability to learn, hear and speak just to name a few.
You may not have known that breathing it in is the most harmful form of absorbing lead. The most common sources of lead in the home are from paint, dust, soil, and drinking water. Lead is most common in paint used up until 1978 when it was banned, and is incredibly toxic to the human body.
Newer homes have less lead issues usually, however it never hurts to get a test from one of our technicians at B&B, and therefore, peace of mind. If you do happen to have lead issues in your home, then our technicians will provide with exactly the options you have, what the process will look like for each, and most important, how much it will cost. We’ve been serving the Tampa Bay Metro for over 25 years, and would be delighted to have another Pinellas, Hillsborough, or Pasco county resident as our client. If that’s you, give us a call at 813 231 4400.
Why A Test Is A Great Idea If You’re Buying A Home
Getting a lead, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, allergen, radon, formaldehyde, or any other air quality test helps for some obvious reasons. You know if your current or future home is going to cause health issues and negatively impact your life, and then your indoor air quality technician has a clear path on fixing your home’s issues, because they know exactly what’s causing them.
But there’s more.
This test can now be used in legal matters as official proof of the problem. Getting a better price on your dream just got a whole lot easier now that you can say “The home has lead/radon, here’s the test, here’s our revised offer.” Or, even better, the test comes back with no signs of pollutants and now you know you DO really have the dream home on your hands.
By now, you’ve probably got a rough idea of why indoor air quality is so important.
It causes or worsens:
- Winter Colds/Coughs/Flu’s
- Shortness Of Breath
- Dizziness, Disorientation Or Brain Fog
- Chronic Fatigue
- Eye, Throat Or Skin Irritation
It’s more common than you think. Asthma rates have increased to 72% in recent years. Indoor air quality has been rated a top 5 health concern by the EPA.
Toxins are in everyday products we use. Those air fresheners in your car and home? Toxic. Dryer sheets and fabric softeners? Toxic. Paraffin candles? Toxic. Home printers and photocopiers? Toxic. The list goes on and on.
You can do hours and hours researching all the household items that are contributing to the chemical build up in your home. A quicker (but not perfect) solution would be to simply increase your air flow coming in and then filter it to be extra safe.
And this is where our technicians here at B&B Professional Plumbing and Air come in. Give us a call and have one of our Indoor Air Quality specialists come out to your home to see what we can help with.
We offer a wide variety of IAQ solutions, to fit your needs.
Solving your air quality problem could be literally as simple as removing the excess gunk out of your AC system. Particles build up heavily in your ducts, especially when they havent been used for a significant amount of time. The dust then gets pumped into your home as soon as you turn on your AC or heat.
The most efficient way to get rid of bacteria, mold spores, and other pollutants, is by killing them with light. Usually your UV Light system will be installed directly in front of your AC system, or in your ducts. A huge benefit of using UV lights is that there is zero reduction in air flow. They are completely safe to use, for family, and pets.
An acronym for “high efficiency particulate air” these are the “top dogs” in air purification. They remove 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns. Which is basically everything you would want to remove from your home’s air. Actually, these filters were first invented in the 1940’s for the scientists working on building the atomic bomb. The HEPA filter is what stopped them from inhaling the radioactive waste they were being exposed to. And then later on again, HEPA filters were used by astronauts during the moon landing.
We offer custom case by case solutions for individuals and businesses who need to go above and beyond in their air purification process. If this is you, give us a call now to speak with one of our HVAC Technicians.
With more than 50 friendly technicians, 24/7 emergency service, flat rate and up front pricing…
We will not disappoint.