Is the Air in Your Home Threatening Your Health?

You may not realize it, but the air inside your home can be dirty and hazardous to your health. In fact, indoor air can be even more polluted than the air outdoors.

In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence indicates the air we breathe in our homes and other buildings can be more polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. In fact, a 2012 study proved that indoor air pollution was linked to 4.3 million deaths globally, compared with only 3.7 million for outdoor air pollution.

Most of us spend approximately 90% of our time indoors. And, those most susceptible to indoor air pollution are those who are home the most: Children, the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses such as respiratory or cardiovascular disease. Children breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults do, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies found pollutant levels indoors can be two to five times higher than levels found outdoors and, in some instances, even 100 times higher than outdoors.

Thankfully, indoor air pollution is a risk you can do something about. Apex Heating and Air Conditioning can manage your indoor air quality with a purifier to maintain the health and wellbeing of your family. Keep reading for all the details.

What Indoor Air Pollution Does to Your Body

Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, unfortunately, many years later.

A few of the immediate effects of exposure to air pollutants (or repeated exposures) include: Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. These issues usually last only a short while and are easily treatable. Often, the best treatment is to simply eliminate the source of the pollution if it can be identified. If you suffer from asthma, some indoor pollutants can bring on sudden attacks or make an episode worse than normal.

Some reactions to pollutants are so similar to symptoms experienced with a cold or other viral disease it becomes hard to figure out if the problem is actually the air inside the home. If your symptoms fade or go away when you’re away from your home, do your best to identify indoor air sources that may be possible causes.

Other health effects may show up years after exposure has occurred or only after long or repeated periods of exposure. These effects, which include some respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer, can be severely debilitating or fatal. As you can see, protecting the quality of the air in your home can literally save your life.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the home. High temperature and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of some pollutants.

Indoor air pollution in any home can come from many sources, including combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, and tobacco products; building materials and furnishings like asbestos-containing insulation, wet or damp carpet, and furniture made of certain pressed wood products; products for household cleaning and maintenance; and outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides, and outdoor air pollution.

You’re not helpless when it comes to dirty air, though. Ryan Allen, an environmental health scientist at Simon Fraser University, has shown that using commercially purchased air filters in your home can significantly improve several measures of health, including levels of inflammation and blood vessel function. In one 2011 study, his team found that those using a filter have nearly 30% lower levels of C-reactive protein, which is linked to inflammation, than those who did not.

Apex Heating and Air Conditioning Has the Solution

Home comfort is more than just temperature—it’s also about maintaining good indoor air quality. Carrier’s Infinity™ air purifier is a premier air cleaning and purification solution with patented Captures & Kills™ technology, providing the highest tested germicidal effectiveness with a 99% inactivation rate against selected viruses, bacteria, and fungi. At MERV 15, it achieves the highest air cleaning efficiency of any Carrier model. This replaceable filter can provide several months of filtration.

The filter can both capture and kill airborne viruses, bacteria, mold spores, and allergens by combining superior filtration efficiency MERV 15 with pathogen-killing technology to deliver maximum air purification. It requires no cleaning and maintenance is as simple as a quick replacement of the special media cartridge.

Schedule a quote today to see how Apex Heating and Air Conditioning can improve the quality of the air in your home! Call (919) 467-8823 or use our contact form.

About Apex Heating and Air Conditioning: Founded in 1969, Apex Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. provides complete sales and service of heating and cooling products. As a Factory Authorized Carrier® Dealer, the company is proud to offer top-notch customer service and expertise. Whether you’re in need of routine service for your HVAC system, or you require installation of a new heating or cooling system, the knowledgeable staff will work with you to ensure you’re given the information you need to make the best decision for your family or business.

(Sources: American Lung Association; U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission; Environmental Protection Agency; North Carolina Health and Human Services; National Safety Council; Science Daily; Simon Fraser University; and Newsweek.)