28 Feb How Clean is the air you breathe?
Here an important health question: How clean is the air you breathe? When we think about the air we breathe, most people think about the outside air. According to the EPA air pollution comes from many different sources such as: vehicles, power plants, dry cleaners, factories and natural occurring sources like volcanic eruptions and windblown dust.
The EPA also states that the air inside most modern homes is one hundred times worse than the air outside. Indoor pollutants include: animal dander, mold, dust mites and carbon monoxide. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like pesticides, household cleaners, spray products like air fresheners, candles, carpet fresheners, etc. are present in many homes today.
Also according to the EPA, we spend more time indoors than we do outdoors. In fact, we can spend up to 93% of our lives indoors. So, good indoor air quality should be a very important consideration for you and your family. But what can be done about it? Affordable filtration and air purification systems are available to clean your indoor air. A good thorough professional duct cleaning is recommended followed by a good filtration system.
There are other substances that can pollute the air in your home including: invisible gases like radon and CO2, as well as gas-emitting chemicals like formaldehyde used in making modern carpeting, drapery, household cleaners, furniture, and building materials. Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Radon is known to be the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer. Radon attaches to dust and tobacco smoke and is breathed into the lungs. It is estimated that one in 5 homes in Kentucky have radon present.
The state of Kentucky, working along with the EPA, has a radon program which is designed to educate the public about the dangers of and prevention of radon.
The Kentucky Radon Program provides radon test kits free of charge to Kentucky residents through grant funding from the EPA State Indoor Radon Grant. You can read more about it and find out your eligibility by going to their website: https://chfs.ky.gov/ and search for radon. More information on radon can also be found at uky.edu.
Common airborne pollutants in your home include pollen, viruses, dust and dust mites. Mold and mildew can grow and breed in damp areas or where there is standing water. Every air conditioning coil is damp and this is an area where all of the indoor air circulating through our house is passing through. A REME HALO air cleaner can destroy these harmful microbes. Combined with a whole house media filter, the air in your home can be scrubbed clean for a healthier home.
Today’s homeowners are more aware of the importance of IAQ and should learn about the options for addressing the issues that IAQ can resolve. Don’t just treat the symptoms — remove the problems from the air in every room of your house with an air purification system.
Why better filtration?
Cheap air filters are inefficient for catching dust in your heating and air system. If you have one of these inefficient filters, try the salt test. Get some fine salt and pour some on your filter. Shake the filter and see if the salt falls through it. Dust particles are much smaller than salt particles. According to the American Lung Association: “Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to the development of chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.”
More facts to know:
- Each person inhales over 3,500 gallons of air each day. Children inhale more particles for their size than adolescents or adults.
- Polluted air causes 94% of all respiratory problems.
- More than 31 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma, about 1/3 are children under 18.
- About 40,000 dust mites, a common household allergen, can live in one ounce of dust.
- An estimated 10-15% of the entire population may be allergic to cat or dog dander.
- A person sheds up to 700,000 skin flakes per day which dust mites feed on.
Author Butch Garey is a 40 year veteran of the HVAC industry. He is the owner of 1st Service Heating and Air and is an Indoor Air Quality Certified Professional. 1stservicehvac.com
Now we have answered that important health question: How clean is the air you breathe?