We think of our homes as a haven, but as we explained in a previous blog post, our indoor air is often full of hidden pollutants. There are several ways to lessen the impact of these pollutants, but sometimes it’s easier to ignore the problem. However, ignoring poor indoor air quality can wreak havoc with your health.
The Impact of Poor Indoor Air Quality on Your Sleep and Mental Health
Struggling to get a decent night’s sleep despite spending money on a comfortable bed and mattress? Your indoor air quality could be to blame.
Poor air quality can affect your mood and mental health. High levels of pollutants can infiltrate your nervous system, increasing inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are indicators of inflammation and contribute to the development of anxiety and depression.
The Impact of Poor Indoor Air Quality Health — Allergies and Asthma
When the pollen rates are high, hay fever sufferers tend to stay indoors. Yet our indoor air quality is also likely to be a guilty party in causing allergy symptoms.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, approximately 25 million Americans have asthma. Asthma attacks are scary and can prove fatal if not treated quickly and managed with medication.
Irritation to Your Eyes and Nose
Irritated eyes can burn or itch; they may feel scratchy, tired, or watery. The cause of this discomfort can be difficult to pinpoint. But if it happens a lot while inside your home, chances are it’s due to indoor air pollutants.
Eye irritation can result from chemical fumes, smoke, or dust in the environment that come into contact with the conjunctiva (the protective membrane covering the eyeball).
Eyewashes might help, but irritation will continue if the cause of the problem isn’t identified and eliminated.
Easy Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality Health
It’s not all doom and gloom. Follow these simple tips to improve your indoor air quality and reduce the risks to your health.
Keep Your Vents Free from Dirt and Dust
As part of your spring-cleaning routine, it’s a good idea to clean the air vents in your home. Over time, they can collect dust, pet hair, and other debris that can interfere with the quality of air in your house.
If you have central forced-air heating and cooling, start by turning off the power at the HVAC system and the circuit breaker panel. Then, carefully remove the vent grille or register so you can get access to the ductwork behind it. You can clean out the debris with a vacuum or by hand.
Install a Kitchen Exhaust Fan
Ventilation is one of the key elements for a well-functioning kitchen. It can keep the air fresh, clean, and healthy. A kitchen exhaust fan is an ideal way to remove cooking odors, smoke, and steam out of the air in your kitchen.
Another benefit of using a kitchen fan is that it prevents mold and mildew growth caused by moisture buildups. What’s more, if you use a gas stove, you put yourself at risk due to the gas’s toxic fumes. A kitchen exhaust fan carries these fumes out and away from your home.
Open Windows Regularly to Help Circulate Fresh Air
One of the best things you can do to improve indoor air quality is to open windows. Opening windows allows fresh air to circulate throughout your home. However, keep in mind that if you live in a polluted area or pollen counts are high, limiting the time the windows are open might be better.
Keep Up with Regular HVAC Maintenance, Including Changing Your Air Filter and Scheduling Tune-Ups
Schedule annual tune-ups of your heating and cooling system by a professional technician to help keep the unit running at peak performance. A qualified technician will inspect your unit internally, cleaning away the dust that can clog working parts, lubricate motors and check for duct leaks that might be releasing dust, debris, or mold into your home.
Worried about the quality of your indoor air? Schedule an appointment with JW Plumbing, Heating, and Air, and let us put your mind at rest.