4 IAQ Pollutants in Your Loudon, TN Home
Americans today are spending more time inside their homes, and that’s especially true when outdoor temperatures drop during the winter. With all that time indoors, it’s important to pay attention to indoor air quality (IAQ) inside your Loudon, TN home. To better keep your family safe and healthy, here are four IAQ pollutants in your home that you should know about.
1. Biological Pollutants
You may not realize it, but your home already contains all kinds of biological pollutants. Some, such as plant pollen, spores and bacteria, enter from outside your home and accumulate or multiply indoors. Others originate in uncleaned or undisturbed parts of your home, inside the walls and ceilings and anywhere else where food supplies or moisture linger.
One surprising spot in your home where biological growth may occur is inside your central heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s sometimes due to condensation building up on or near your evaporator coils due to a leak or low supply of refrigerant. Regular HVAC maintenance inspections and tune-ups are the best way to catch and resolve this issue before it gets out of hand.
2. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile organic compounds are organic chemicals that are released into the air as gasses and are found in a huge variety of products within the home. While products containing VOCs may seem harmless when used sparingly and only on occasion, the real problem is that the levels of these chemicals inside your home are up to 5 times higher than the level outside your home.
Thousands of household, cleaning, beauty, and arts and crafts products contain VOCs, and they are also used for dry cleaning. You already use a variety of these products every day without realizing it. And VOCs can even escape their containers into the air you breathe while in storage and not in use.
You don’t necessarily need to throw out all products containing VOCs. You can still use them safely. But understand that frequent or prolonged exposure to VOCs can cause many troubling symptoms including:
- Irritation of the eyes, nose and throat
- Coughing, sneezing and headaches
- Dizziness and impaired vision
- Fatigue and nausea
Over time, exposure to VOCs can damage your kidneys, liver and central nervous system. And they can even cause some types of cancer in both animals and in humans.
3. Pet Dander and Pet Odors
Household pets are one of the most common sources of indoor pollution in homes today. Many types of pets — not just cats and dogs — shed fur, scales, feathers and dander that can cause pet allergies along with annoying odors.
Pet urine and feces also contribute to indoor pollution and odors in the home. Bathing, brushing and frequently cleaning your pets’ eating areas, sleeping areas and relief stations help a lot, but sometimes, it’s not enough to keep allergies in check.
Everyone has heard of the dangers of asbestos for years, and many people think it’s a chemical or toxic substance. But it’s actually a naturally occurring group of silicate minerals formed in rocks and soil. Due to its durability and non-flammable properties, it was a common ingredient in wall insulation for decades and is still found in many other home construction materials such as floor tiles and roofing tiles.
Construction materials that contain asbestos are generally safe. The problem occurs during accidents, repairs and renovations when damage occurs to the materials, releasing microscopic asbestos fibers into the air where your family, guests and home contractors might inhale them. It is the prolonged and repeated exposure to asbestos fibers that can cause serious health problems.
Indoor air pollution can be a problem in many homes around the country today. But with proper air ventilation and air purification systems in place, you have nothing to worry about. Contact Cook’s Comfort Systems, Inc. today to explore indoor air quality solutions to protect your family’s health and comfort.
Image provided by iStock
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