When we think about pollutants, we often think about those found outside whether in the air, the ground, or in waterways. Indoor air quality, though, is just as vital to our everyday lives and health, and the pollutants found inside should concern us just as much, if not more.
Let’s take a look at some information on indoor air quality standards, classifications, and more to highlight what families need to know about their indoor air quality and why utilizing a fresh air ventilation system is key.
The Value of a Fresh Air Exchange System
Breathing quality indoor air is critical for good health. Most Americans spend a significant amount of time indoors—either in the home, office or other types of buildings—where gases, chemicals and other pollutants can cause headaches, eye irritation, allergies and fatigue. Serious pollutants can cause certain types of cancers and other long-term health complications.Clean air through a house fresh air system can prevent many environmental health hazards such as asthma, which, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, affects 25 million people in a given year, including 7 million children. Asthma accounts for nearly 17 million physician office and hospital visits.
Common indoor air pollutants include:
- Secondhand smoke – A serious indoor air pollutant which can worsen symptoms for asthma sufferers, increase risks of ear infections in children and increase risks for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- Radon – A dangerous gas pollutant identified as the second leading cause of lung cancer, Radon enters homes through cracks and other improperly sealed openings.
- Combustion pollutants – These gases, which include carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, come from burning materials or improperly vented fuel-burning appliances such as space heaters, wood stoves, gas stoves, water heaters, dryers and fireplaces.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas which is not easily detectable by human senses, and interferes with oxygen delivery throughout the body. Carbon monoxide causes headaches, dizziness, weakness, and nausea. Toxic amounts can lead to death.
Nitrogen dioxide, which is also a colorless and odorless gas, causes eye, nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, and an increased risk for respiratory infections.
Indoor air quality is a critical public health issue that continues to be addressed at the local, state and federal levels, with fresh air exchange systems being a major way homeowners can greatly improve the air quality in their homes. Recognizing the importance of indoor air quality, states such as Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin have implemented broadly encompassing legislation to address health concerns.
For instance, in Wisconsin, a statewide indoor smoking ban has already improved air quality in restaurants and bars by more than 90%, according to findings from the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health which compared results to indoor air quality standards.
Before the law, air quality in 21% of all tested establishments were rated hazardous, the most dangerous level according to the standards set by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. After the law was enacted, over 97% of restaurants and bars had good or satisfactory indoor air quality ratings.
What You Can DoIndoor air quality continues to be a critical concern that requires immediate action from governments and homeowners alike. For your home, you can incorporate a house fresh air system that can significantly reduce pollutants, toxins and allergens and greatly improve your indoor air quality.
At UltimateAir, we offer a variety of fresh air ventilation systems, known as ERVs (energy recovery ventilators), for use in homes and commercial spaces.
If you have any questions about our fresh air exchange systems, be sure to contact our dedicated team today, We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.