Generally speaking, we feel safe when we are in our homes. Safe from the dangers of the outside world. As part of our safety, we take for granted that the air we are breathing in our homes is clean and healthy. It just makes sense to us that the indoor air quality (IAQ) has to be better than the air quality outdoors. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, some studies show that the indoor air quality in our homes could be 2 to 5 times worse than it is outdoors. Because we spend roughly 90 percent of our time indoors – and as much as 70 percent of that time is indoors in our homes – it is important that we pay closer attention to our indoor air quality.
Armstrong Plumbing, Air & Electric has taken care of the HVAC needs of the Lubbock, Texas area since 1934. Over time, some of those needs have evolved and maintaining good indoor air quality is one of them. We take it seriously, so let’s look at what affects indoor air quality and how it can impact your family’s health.
INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Indoor air quality can be affected by many factors, including:
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are compounds that easily become vapors or gases. They are emitted from burning fuel such as gasoline, wood or charcoal. They are also released from many cleaning, consumer and industrial products such as paints, cleaners, disinfectants, insect repellants, building materials and even copy machines.
- Dust Mites. These microscopic creatures live indoors in your bedding and carpets and feed on skin particles that humans shed.
- Fumes from Combustible or Gas-Fueled Appliances such as your furnace, oven/stove, clothes dryer and water heater can emit harmful fumes.
- Allergens & Germs. This includes pet dander, mold, dust and other debris that can come from family pets and from the air outdoors that makes its way into your home. Also, any germs brought into the home – such as cold and flu bugs – can linger and may be spread throughout your home by the HVAC system.
- Lack of Maintenance. Your AC system needs periodic maintenance, or it can’t do its job. A big part of its job is removing all of the afore-mentioned pollutants, germs, and allergens. Your filters are the front line of defense, so check and change them regularly. Also, schedule regular maintenance on your system by a licensed professional. A great way to do this is through the Armstrong Service Agreement Plan (ASAP). Call today to learn all about the member benefits of ASAP.
INDOOR PLANTS VS. POOR IAQ
Poor indoor air quality can affect your health in a variety of ways. It can cause minor symptoms such as eye and throat irritation similar to the cold or flu. It can also lead to more serious health issues, such as respiratory illness/disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Here’s where indoor plants come in. Some plants, such as Snake Plants, Rubber Plants, Bird’s Nest Ferns and Philodendrons actually help to remove your indoor air. These and other plants can improve IAQ by absorbing toxins, increasing humidity, and producing oxygen.
So, it’s time to take improving your home’s indoor air quality seriously. Invest in a few of the afore-mentioned plants and don’t forget to change your air filters. For more aggressive solutions – such as whole home air purification systems or ultraviolet light systems – give Armstrong a call today. And don’t forget to keep up with us on social media!