What is IAQ and Why Does it Matter?

IAQ graphic

IAQ, which stands for Indoor Air Quality, refers to the air quality within and surrounding buildings. It especially relates to the comfort and health of the occupants within the building. Indoor air quality is important because when it’s suffering, it can lead to a number of health concerns such as headaches, fatigue, lack of concentration, and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Additionally, poor indoor air quality will also lead to a decrease in overall home comfort.

Throughout this blog post, we will be discussing what indoor air quality is, its importance in everyday life, and ways you can improve it and prevent pollution at home.

How does air quality affect your health?

The quality of air inside of your home impacts all aspects of your life. One of the most prominent and most important ways is through your health. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the most common health effects include:

  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat
  • Headaches, dizziness, and fatigue
  • And most drastically, respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer

In fact, there is even something called “sick building syndrome” that refers to an illness that is a result of typically a commercial building with poor ventilation and air circulation. It occurs when occupants experience similar symptoms after entering a particular building, with symptoms fading after they leave the building.

How can I improve my home’s IAQ?

There are several ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality, here are some of the top methods we recommend:

Change Your Air Filters Regularly

The air filters in your home need to be changed every 30 to 90 days, depending on a few factors. If you live alone, and you don’t have any health problems or pets, then you can get away with going 90 days between replacements. However, if you have young children, pets, someone who smokes, or anyone with sensitive allergies, then you’ll need to change your filters every 30 days.

Invest in an Air Purifier

An air purifier will do wonders for your indoor air quality. While filters will prevent most dirt from circulating through your HVAC system, an air purifier will help to eliminate any contaminants that are already circulating throughout your home.

There are many air purifiers to choose from, so make sure the one you get has been recommended based on your specific needs.

What leads to poor IAQ?

There are a few factors that will impact your home’s air quality. Some of the most prevalent factors include:

Poor Ventilation

It’s easy to underestimate just how important fresh air really is, especially when it’s cold outside and all you want to do is shut your house up. However, recirculating the same air throughout your home also recirculates those same airborne contaminants, and the only way to get them out is with adequate ventilation. Don’t forget to make use of your exhaust fans when you’re showering, cooking, or doing laundry. They will help regulate the temperature and humidity levels within your home.

Neglecting to Clean

To limit the number of contaminants such as dust mites, dander, pet hair, dirt, and other airborne particles, we recommend a regular cleaning schedule. It sounds simple, but consistent dusting and vacuuming will have a great impact on your air quality!

Using Artificial Fragrances

It’s tempting to reach for the Febreeze whenever you get a whiff of your kid’s cleats or dirty laundry but think twice next time. Most artificial fragrances in aerosol sprays use chemicals and synthetic fragrances to cover up those smells which will worsen your indoor air quality.

If you have any questions or concerns about your home’s indoor air quality, don’t hesitate to give our team at Morris Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning a call at (978) 961-0338 to learn more about your options.

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