What Is Indoor Air Quality & Why Is It Important?

Mar 25, 2022

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) references the air quality within a residential home and how it pertains to the health and comfort of your loved ones. HVAC systems preserve indoor temperatures and control comfort within your home through heating, cooling, ventilation, and the overall indoor air quality within your home. At New Albany Heating & Cooling, we want to take some time to stress the importance of IAQ and how it could be affecting your health as well as the steps to take to improve the air within your home.

Why is Air Filtration and Ventilation Vital for IAQ?

We should consider three air quality pollutants when discussing ventilation and air filtration: particulate matter, volatile organic compounds (VOC), and carbon dioxide (CO2). 

Particulate matter pollution is a global problem. 91% of us live in regions where air quality levels surpass the limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO). As outdoor air is drawn in by

your HVAC system to replenish the building, particulate matter can easily taint the air inside. Thankfully, we can aid you in removing this particulate matter via filtration! After all, the ventilation system’s air filters are your home’s best way of protecting yourselves against particulate matter!

Unlike particulate matter, volatile organic compounds are chemicals typically radiated by indoor by-products. We can significantly reduce the concentration of VOC by replacing certain products with low-emitting alternatives, such as opening windows and utilizing fans; however, the ventilation system is the most efficient way to handle VOCs inside buildings. Fortunately, we can help you and your home by increasing the supply of fresh, outdoor air and exhausting VOCs through return vents to weaken concentrations to safe levels!

Let’s look now at Carbon dioxide (CO2). While CO2 is not necessarily considered an air pollutant, high indoor concentrations are still a cause for concern for the health and well-being of those living within the home. Like VOCs, we can utilize ventilation to eradicate high CO2 levels and restore the fresh air inside your home. So while all of this may seem overwhelming, we hope you find comfort in knowing that our experts at New Albany Heating & Cooling are here to help!

How Do We Bring in Fresh Air?

While the answer to this question may feel obvious, there is more that we can do to better our air quality than just opening doors and windows. The movement of air associated with infiltration and natural ventilation exists because of the wind and the temperature differences between indoors and outdoors. Natural ventilation and infiltration are excellent, don’t get me wrong, but mechanical ventilation is a significant advancement that we have at our disposal! When there is little infiltration, natural ventilation, or mechanical ventilation, the air exchange rate will decrease, increasing pollutant levels.

Why is IAQ Important?

As we go about our lives daily, there are things that we don’t typically feel the need to dwell on because they happen without much effort. Breathing is one of those things that most of us don’t have to work hard to achieve, thanks to our human anatomy. But unfortunately, this doesn’t mean we can go around breathing in everything and anything without the possibility of consequences. For this reason, we must take care of our bodies and do what we can to avoid breathing in things that can and will harm us! When we think about pollution, most of us focus more on the outer world, and while it is essential, so is your home environment.

What Are the Short-Term Effects of Pollutant Exposure?

Some symptoms that may show up shortly after pollution exposure include but are not limited to irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. While these ailments are typically treatable, the preferred treatment would be to prevent exposure to the pollution first and foremost. In addition, if you or your loved ones are asthmatic, you must understand that indoor air pollutants can aggravate and worsen the symptoms associated with this disease.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Pollutant Exposure?

Long-term effects tend to be more devastating than the short-term, making the need for quality air indoors that much more crucial. These effects can be severely impairing and even fatal; respiratory disease, heart disease, and cancer are among those. Therefore, we must improve the indoor air quality in our homes even if exposure to pollution isn’t immediately evident. Unfortunately, there is still some uncertainty about what concentrations or duration of exposure are responsible for these specific health problems. For this reason, our experts at New Albany Heating & Cooling can help you take action now for the betterment of your and your family’s overall health!

All in all, at New Albany Heating & Cooling we hope you learned something new about indoor air quality and, as a result, find peace in knowing that we can and will help you breathe easier. Remember, we are only one phone call away to help better your home’s indoor air quality for you and your loved ones! We are eager to hear from you! Call us today at (614) 636-5002, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!