What’s Your IAQ IQ?
Indoor Air Quality, or IAQ, has become an increasingly important topic in recent years. With awareness of the dangers of poor indoor air quality growing, more people are looking for ways to improve the air quality in their homes and offices. In this blog post, we will discuss what indoor air quality is, the various causes of bad indoor air quality, and how to improve indoor air quality. We’ll also take a quick quiz at the end to assess your new knowledge: Your IAQ IQ!
“According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, 50% of illnesses can be traced to low-quality indoor air.”
So, what exactly is indoor air quality? Indoor air quality refers to the air quality within buildings and other enclosed spaces. It is a measure of the presence of certain airborne contaminants that can be harmful to human health. Poor indoor air quality can cause a variety of health problems, including respiratory infections, headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.
Spoiler Alert: The right HVAC system can make a dramatic difference in IAQ.
What’s Your HVAC System Got To Do With Indoor Air Quality?
Everything! Think of your furnace and air conditioner as the lungs of your home and you can see how important it is to have a system that’s looking out for your best health. Traditional forced air systems can contribute to the problem by circulating poor quality air throughout your home.
“The EPA estimates that most Americans spend around 90% of their time indoors, which means the indoor air quality in your home or office has a serious impact on your health.”
So, what’s your HVAC system got to do with indoor air quality? A lot! Your HVAC system is responsible for circulating the air in your home or office, and if it’s not properly maintained, it can circulate harmful contaminants that can cause a variety of health problems. Did you know that a ductless heat pump (aka a ductless mini split) can alleviate many of these problems? More on that later…
The Most Common Causes of Indoor Air Quality Problems
Possible indoor contaminants include:
Asbestos – once seen as a wonder material, it is now prohibited in many nations. It still exists in some older homes, and you might be putting yourself in danger if you come into contact with it.
Biologic agents – substances made from a living organism or its derivatives that are used to prevent, diagnose, or treat cancer and other illnesses. Antibodies, interleukins, and vaccines are examples of biologic medications.
Building materials – are often the culprit behind indoor air pollution. It’s not just the construction process that’s harmful, the materials themselves can be release toxic chemicals into the air for years to come.
Ductwork – What you can’t see can hurt you. Do you know what lurks inside your ductwork? The usual suspects are dust, dirt, debris, mold, mildew, bacteria, and viruses to name a few. Ductwork can also harbor vermin, rodents and insects which can leave behind animal droppings, potential diseases and are a known source of allergies. All of which get circulated through your house with a traditional forced air system.
Heating appliances such as woodstoves, gas ranges, and others – may provide the necessary warmth and ability to cook food, but they frequently deplete life-sustaining oxygen and produce pollutants.
Water Leakage – In and of itself, water is a good thing. The problem is that water can invite mold, mildew, and stagnation. Any leaks or water stagnation are potential threats to your IAQ.
Radon – a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer in humans if exposed to elevated levels over time. Radon is colorless, odorless, and inert. Radon is present in minute quantities in the atmosphere. Radon dissipates rapidly outdoors and generally isn’t a health concern. Indoor radon exposure is most common, especially in homes with poor ventilation.
Tobacco smoke – one of the most common causes of indoor air pollution, it is also among the easiest to prevent.
Although all of the above contributors to poor indoor air quality can be fairly innocuous on their own, it’s the combination and concentration of them in poorly ventilated spaces that can create real problems. If you suspect your indoor air quality is suffering, contact a professional HVAC contractor to have it assessed. In the meantime, try to ventilate your home as much as possible and avoid using products that release harmful chemicals into the air.
Let’s Talk About Quick Fixes for Bad IAQ
Stop smoking in and around your living and workspaces is the most effective way to immediately improve your indoor air quality and quality of life. It may take a little willpower and some effort, but it’s worth it for your health and the health of those around you. How much are you really going to miss those friends and relatives that refuse to stop using your living space for a giant ashtray? Not so much.
If you’re looking for a quick indoor air quality fix that doesn’t involve breaking any bad habits, consider investing in a ductless heat pump. Ductless heat pumps are one of the most efficient ways to heat and cool your home while also providing exceptional indoor air quality.
Ductless heat pumps work by taking the outside air and running it through a series of filters to remove pollen, dust, mold spores, and other airborne contaminants. The filtered air is then circulated throughout your home or office, providing you with clean, healthy air to breathe.
Not only do ductless heat pumps improve indoor air quality, but they’re also energy-efficient, which means you’ll save money on your heating and cooling bills. And who doesn’t love saving money?
So if you’re looking for a quick and effortless way to improve your indoor air quality, consider investing in a ductless heat pump. You won’t be disappointed.
Are You Ready to Test Your IAQ IQ?
Sure, you are! Let’s get started…
1. When does ductwork begin to falter?
a) 10 years old
b) 12 years old
c) 15 years old
d) All the above
2. What is the least effective way to immediately improve your indoor air quality?
a) Stopping smoking in and around your living and workspaces
b) Investing in a ductless heat pump
c) Ventilating your home as much as possible
d) Holding your breath while you’re at your friend’s home
3. What is not a common cause of indoor air pollution?
b) Tobacco smoke
c) Eating too many hard-boiled eggs
d) Heating appliances
4. Do your allergies get aggravated when turning on the heating or AC.
b) Not sure
What's Your IAQ IQ? Click here to find out
4. If you answered Yes (a) to the last question, consider evaluating your indoor air quality. IAQ can be improved in many ways. The first step is becoming aware to the issue. Thanks for playing!
Can a Ductless System Help?
If you’re looking for a quick and uncomplicated way to improve your indoor air quality, consider investing in a ductless heat pump. Ductless heat pumps are one of the most efficient ways to heat and cool your home while also providing exceptional indoor air quality.
A Ductless HVAC contractor helps with the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning of your home. Make sure to hire a qualified contractor, it’s the first and most important step to better IAQ. Click the button below for more information!