Why Indoor Air Quality Matters?

Smog, car emissions, and other outdoor air pollutants are a major problem needing solutions now more than ever.

Why Indoor Air Quality Matters?

But, what we aren’t talking enough about is the importance of healthy indoor air, too. Indoor air quality directly impacts the health and well-being of you and your family. Here’s why…

More Time Indoors

In America, as well as many other developed countries, more and more of our time is spent indoors. The EPA states that Americans spend 90% of their time indoors these days. From work to school, to recreation and home life, we have become mostly indoor people. When you think about that in terms of how much fresh, outdoor air you breath in, it becomes clear why indoor air quality needs to be a priority.

Indoor Air is More Concentrated

The EPA also found that indoor air can contain 2-5 times higher concentrations of particular contaminants than outdoor air. Our homes are increasingly filled with synthetic materials from beauty products to furniture and cleaning products that negatively impact the air quality. Without proper ventilation, your home traps chemicals, dust, pathogens and other air pollutants. With no where for these contmainments to go, you eventually breath them in. 

Health Effects of Air Quality Now and Later

The cumulative effects of air quality on an individual over a lifetime is difficult to measure. Our bodies react differently to various stimuli as we are all genetically unique beings. Yet, there is significant data that shows indoor air quality can impact a person’s health in both short and long term cases. 

Health Effects of Air Quality Now and Later

Immediate Health Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality

  • Irritated eyes, nose, throat
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue/Lethargy
  • Chronic disease (asthma and other respiratory problems)

These symptoms can have a variety of root causes like colds, flus, and even food allergies. Yet, it is a good idea to have your home’s air quality checked if you’ve been dealing with any of these symptoms for some time. 

Another immediate, negative effect of poor air quality is productivity. Research suggest that indoor air quality in schools and offices impacts a person’s ability to focus and be productive.

Concentrating and be productive is just as important at home. Your children spend hours and hours doing homework and school projects there. If you work from home, you don’t want to struggle with poor concentration. 

Make it easier on you and your children by improving the indoor air quality of your home.

Long Term Health Effects of Poor Air Quality

  • Respiratory diseases
  • Heart disease
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Neurological disorders
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Cancer

Although the short term health problems listed above are problematic, they will typically clear up when the pollutant is removed. On the other hand, these long term health problems - that can be brought on by breathing in dirty air over time - become chronic and debilitating health conditions with high costs. 

Practicing prevention is the best way to keep these conditions at bay. Just like eating a healthy breakfast, getting good sleep, and exercising for thirty minutes every day, the air you breathe can play an important part in living a long and healthy life.

Common Indoor Air Pollutants

A pollutant is anything that adversely affects the quality of another resource. Most often we think of pollution that harms our natural environments like greenhouse gases. But, pollutants can be a range of different contaminants that lower our quality of life.

Common Indoor Air Pollutants

Environmental Tobacco Smoke

Also known as secondhand smoke, environmental tobacco smoke is a dangerous indoor air pollutant. According to the World Health Organization, when you breathe in secondhand smoke, you are taking in thousands of toxic chemicals including: lead, ammonia, and carbon monoxide - just to name a few.

Secondhand smoke lingers in a house indefinitely. It becomes ingrained in the carpet, furniture, and even walls. Eliminating secondhand smoke in a home can be a major task.

Gases

Gases are the second most dangerous indoor air pollutants. This is because many can be colorless and odorless - making them difficult to detect. Common gases polluting indoor air today include: 

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Radon
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  • Formaldehyde

Breathing in large quantities of these gases can lead to serious health problems and even death. Having sensors in place to check the level of these contaminants in your home is a great way to prevent their build up. 

Biological Allergens

A biological allergen is a living organism that negatively impacts the air quality. Some examples include:

  • Animal Dander 
  • Dust Mites
  • Mold
  • Bacteria
  • Pollen
  • Bugs (Cockroaches, etc.) 

Particle Pollution

Everything from your indoor pets to bacteria tracked in the house on your shoes can be considered a biological allergen.

Particle Pollution

Particulate matter that pollutes the air in your home ranges in size - some even being invisible. Your lungs work to filter out these particles, but doing all you can to eliminate them from your environment will make it much easier for your body to keep you healthy. 


  • Dust
  • Soot
  • Smoke
  • Pollen 
  • Animal Dander
  • Drops of liquid

Woodstoves and fireplaces are primary sources of indoor particle pollution. If you have one of these in your home you need a strong air filtration system to prevent dust, soot, and smoke from lowering your indoor air quality. 

Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality at Home

You can’t eliminate every threat to the indoor air quality of your home. But you can take steps to increase your home's airflow and minimize the buildup of contaminants. These are our top suggestions to begin improving your home’s air quality today!

Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality at Home
  1. Increase Ventilation

    Evaluating your home’s airflow and ventilation should be the first step to improve indoor air quality. Here are just a few ideas to help you achieve healthy airflow.

    Open Windows

    Ideally, the outdoor air surrounding your home will be fresher than the air inside. Opening the windows as much as possible will increase ventilation and improve indoor air quality. Placing fans in windows also helps to draw fresh air inside.

    Whole House Fans

    When properly installed, whole house fans will improve air circulation. Whole house fans are installed in the attic and have many benefits. Their main goal is to cycle cool, fresh air in and draw warm, stale air out. We are certified installers of Quiet Cool Whole House Fans. These superior quality fans are made right here in California! Call us today (telephone number) to have a whole house fan expertly installed in your home.

  2. Make Cleanliness a Priority

    A clean home will prevent the build up of particles and biological allergens. Dust and pet dander gets recirculated as people move through your home. Keep surfaces dusted and floors swept to lower this recirculation. A clean home will also prevent bugs like cockroaches from hanging around, as well as deter the growth of mold and bacteria. We’ve implemented a ‘shoes off at the door’ policy in our home to prevent dirt and other contaminants from being tracked inside. Little steps like this can make a big difference in creating healthier indoor air.

  3. Eliminate Problematic Products

    Becoming aware of ingredients in our everyday products will help you make informed decisions around which products are suitable for your home. One of our main goals is to shed light on the questionable ingredients found in many products today that may impact your health with longtime use.

    Everyday Products

    Limiting the use of certain products in the home will prevent the buildup of contaminants in the air. Perfumes, hair sprays, and other products we use directly on our bodies emit small amounts of contaminants into the air we breathe. Obviously, the more products we have and use, the more toxic our air becomes.

    Home Improvement

    Another huge area of concern is the chemicals used in building materials and home furnishings today. These materials emit chemicals into the air that become concentrated when brought indoors. When buying a new area rug or piece of furniture, place it in a garage or even outside (provided it doesn’t rain) before bringing it in.

  4. Monitor Humidity

    Using humidifiers and dehumidifiers will help to regulate the humidity of a room and improve indoor air quality. Too much humidity in the air breeds mold and other pests. But, too little humidity makes the air dry causing pollen and particulate pollution to easily travel through the air. Keeping the indoor humidity around 30-50% is suggested for a healthy home.

  5. Green Up Your Home with Houseplants

    Houseplants make great air purifiers. They take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. Their leaves also collect particulate matter - reducing particle pollution from the air.

    Popular houseplants to grow for better air quality include:
    • Spider plants
    • Ivy
    • Pothos
    • Peace Lilies
    • Lavender

    Houseplants turn any space into a green oasis. We have them placed throughout our home to bring a touch of nature indoors. Be careful not to overwater though, as this can cause mold to grow in the soil - further contaminating the air.

  6. Let Natural Light In

    Sunlight makes you feel happier, but did you know it can actually improve the air quality in your home, too? A recent study found that sunlit rooms had about half as much bacteria in the dust than that of darkened rooms. Not to mention, mold, mildew and pests love dark, damp places. Letting natural light in will make these pesky allergens less likely to hang around. Consider adding screen doors to any man door that gets direct sunlight, or changing curtain styles to make it easier to open them and let sunlight in throughout the day.

  7. Invest in a Quality Air Filter

    In-room air filters are great to have on hand. I always use one when sweeping the floors and cleaning the house. We’ve tested many air filters over the years, and these have shown the best results at purifying the air. Air filters are perfect for traveling and staying in hotel rooms, too!

Fresh Air For All

We have witnessed first-hand the health benefits of having good quality air flowing through our home. And we want to share that goodness with you. We believe everyone has the right to breathe clean, fresh air at home. Becoming aware of the hazards in our modern world is the first step toward making informed decisions to improve your home's indoor air quality.

Fresh Air For All

Don't be overwhelmed by all the information. Pick a starting point and make small, sustainable strides toward the goal of having good indoor air quality at home. Give us a call or send us a message to discover how we can help you have healthy, fresh air flowing through your home today! Sources: