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3 Indoor Air Pollutants Every Homeowner Should Know About

3 of the Most Common Hazards To Indoor Air Quality

People often discuss the effects of pollution on the outdoor environment, but pollution is often much nearer than one would think. Pollutants are not only outside the homes and other places people stay, they are also inside. They can even be in a much higher and harmful concentration indoors as well. Homeowners need to be aware of the hazardous things that can lurk in the air of every home.

The Danger of High Humiditymoisture

Water is not typically considered a pollutant. In most cases, it is considered harmless and something ruined by pollution, but moist air can cause several health problems both for people and for homes.

  • Mold and Mildew: Mold and mildew growth is promoted in moist spaces. This is harmful, particularly for people with respiratory issues but can be harmful to anyone’s health after prolonged exposure. 
  • Dust Mites: Dust mites thrive in high humidity. They are not only a significant allergen but have been linked to causing allergies. 
  • Structural Damage: Moisture can cause wood to warp, and the above-mentioned mold and mildew can attack and weaken the home’s structure.

The Nastiness of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)vocs

Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, are the gases that come from certain household products. These include paint, cleaners, pesticides, air fresheners, and the like. This is why good ventilation is key in any home. Proper ventilation means these gases will disperse more quickly, preventing possible health problems. There are both short-term and long-term effects of exposure to VOCs, which are listed below.

Short Terms Health Hazards from VOCs:

  • Headache
  • Irritated nose, throat, and sinuses
  • Irritated or burning eyes

Long Term Health Hazards from VOCs:

  • Lung damage
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Nerve damage

The Hazards of Carbon Monoxide

CO or carbon monoxide is not to be confused with carbon dioxide, the chemical that all animals exhale from their lungs. Carbon monoxide is a much more toxic substance. CO is produced by combustion or any sort of burning. Cars, gas stoves, and tobacco smoke can produce it (among many other things), and it can be deadly in high concentrations. 

The most frightening thing about carbon monoxide is that human senses cannot detect it. It is colorless and odorless, so its presence is not immediately obvious.

Symptoms of CO Poisoning:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Symptoms are eased when the person leaves the home
  • Pets may appear lethargic and unwell

Other Warnings of a CO Issue:

  • Flames on gas-powered appliances burning yellow or orange instead of blue.
  • Soot or yellowish stains around gas appliances where leaks may be.
  • Pilot lights that will not stay lit.

While this sounds scary and can be a hazard at any time of the year, ensuring a home has proper ventilation and installing carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors are both steps in the right direction to protect those in a home.

About 1st Choice Air Solutions 

1st Choice Air Solutions provides a full range of residential and commercial HVAC services in Fort Worth, TX. A real person answers the phone, no matter when customers call. Call now for indoor air quality services.