On hot days, you probably hear about air quality warnings on the news. They warn seniors, people with breathing problems, and children to stay indoors because of issues with the air quality outside. You might not put any thought into the air inside of your home. The truth is that poor air quality in your house could be causing just as much harm as the outside air when these warnings are in effect.
Pollution and Your Health
Your health can suffer when you’re exposed to pollution. In fact, air pollution is responsible for more deaths in a year than conditions like malaria or AIDS. It’s estimated that about one in every nine deaths can be contributed to pollution. It’s a serious issue. Pollution can cause a wide variety of health problems. Air pollution contributes to lung cancer, heart disease, strokes, and respiratory infections.
It makes complete sense that poor air quality can impact diseases and conditions that are associated with breathing, but scientists are finding that pollution goes beyond the cardiovascular system. Researchers have found that air pollution is negatively impacting our cognitive function. Our brains are seeing declines due to poor air quality.
Signs of Poor Indoor Air Quality
Be on the lookout for certain signs that poor indoor air quality may be an issue in your home. If you or a loved one seem to be having respiratory problems, it’s possible that the cause is something other than allergies or a cold. You might be reacting to the poor air quality in your home. Another sign of air quality issues is dust and dirt around your HVAC system’s vents. You may also notice little spots of dust floating in the air after turning on your HVAC system. Yet another sign to look for is that your air smells musty, damp, or otherwise dirty.
Ways to Improve Your Air Quality
Image via Flickr by Loimere
There are some things you can do around your home to help improve your air quality. It can be as simple as replacing your HVAC system’s air filter or adding a few plants around your home. Your HVAC system could be pushing air through dusty, dirty filters that can no longer trap the particles that cause air pollution. A new filter gives your airflow the chance to go through a filter without any prior blockage. Your ventilation system may be clogged up and in need of a thorough cleaning, as well.
Plants are natural filters that can clean your air. Putting a few around your home in different rooms will help. Daisies, ivy, and more can be excellent for this purpose, while helping to brighten up your home.
You may find it necessary to make some more significant changes, depending on your home’s air quality. For instance, you may need to install an air cleaner to go along with your HVAC system or have an entire new system installed by a certified professional such as McDevitt Air.
Your home should be a refuge away from pollution and issues with air quality. Understanding the health impacts of poor air quality and recognizing the signs of problems in your home can help you find ways to improve the air you and your family breathe.