How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Importance of Improving Indoor Air Quality
The majority of individuals spend a large amount of time indoors. Air that is considered free of health-threatening pollutants can lead to a higher quality of life, a lower risk of respiratory illnesses, and a reduced risk of various chronic conditions.
Knowing how to improve indoor air quality can, therefore, directly relate to the health and well-being of individuals. When it comes to commercial spaces and business environments, it is vital to prioritize clean air indoors as it will have a direct impact on the public health of all involved daily.
The Need for Improving Indoor Air Quality
By ensuring that there is improved indoor air quality within an environment, one can help individuals to avoid experiencing asthma flare-ups and allergy symptoms, meaning that they will be able to breathe easily through the colder months.
Both short- and long-term exposure to indoor air pollution can cause a range of more severe health issues, such as respiratory diseases, heart disease, cognitive deficits, and cancer. Taking the necessary steps to improve indoor air quality can assist in preventing health deterioration.
Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
With source control, people can prevent pollutants from being released into the air in the first place by limiting potential sources to reduce emissions. Some sources that contain asbestos can be sealed or enclosed, and others, like gas stoves, can be adjusted to decrease the number of emissions released.
When it comes to pathogens that the globe is facing in the current day, such as SARS-CoV-2, an individual who has been exposed could wear a high-quality mask or stay home if they have shown symptoms, thereby controlling the main source of exposure for remaining individuals within the environment.
A building’s ventilation level refers to how much fresh outdoor air is being brought in, which will dilute the concentration of virus-laden particles in the air.
A simple and affordable method to improve ventilation is to open a window. Unfortunately, that is not always an option for all commercial spaces, especially if the air outside is more polluted than that inside.
In this case, another source of indoor airflow is a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, which allows one to adjust the amount of fresh air intake. For clean air indoors, one should aim to have at least six air exchanges per hour through ventilation or the equivalent amount of fresh air through filtration.
Forced-air heating systems must have their filters changed regularly, as this will help to ensure that dust and other airborne irritants get trapped instead of being recirculated throughout the air.
Ducts can also be cleaned to remove trapped dust, and filters in appliances such as vacuum cleaners, clothes dryers, and kitchen vents should all be inspected and maintained periodically. Replacing all filters every few months will help to improve indoor air quality.
Using an air purifier can help capture some of the irritants that may trigger symptoms of poor air quality. Though an air purifier may not remove these allergens completely, they can serve to eliminate germs and improve air quality indoors.
All environments, whether residential or commercial, will need a bathroom, which is a space that requires one to know how to improve indoor air quality. As bathrooms are a potential source of mold, they need to be well-ventilated, and one should scrub off any visible mold that collects in the shower, on fixtures, or walls. A dehumidifier in such damp areas can serve to help prevent the growth of mold.
Benefits of Improved Indoor Air Quality
Improving indoor air quality can have substantial health benefits as it reduces air pollution levels. This means that it helps to reduce premature deaths and diseases from stroke, heart disease, and lung cancer, as well as both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Improving Air Quality
How do you know if air quality is affecting you?
Poor indoor air quality can cause health effects that feel similar to those of a common cold or influenza. These symptoms may lead to severe health effects, which is why it is important to identify symptoms such as:
- Itchy eyes
- Runny nose
- Throat irritation
- Pain, burning, or discomfort is experienced in the chest when taking a deep breath.
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
More severe symptoms of poor indoor air quality can include cancer and respiratory diseases.
What is Normal for Air Quality?
Good air quality is measured between 0 – 50 on the air quality indoor value scale, meaning that it is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk. Moderate or normal AQI measured between 51 – 100, meaning that it is acceptable, but for some pollutants, there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of individuals.
What are the Six Levels of Air Quality?
When AQI levels are below 100, they are considered satisfactory, whereas an AQI value above 100 is considered unhealthy. The six levels of air quality refer to different levels of concern and can be seen as the following:
- Daily AQI Color: Green
- Level of Concern: Good
- Values of Index: 0-50
- Daily AQI Color: Yellow
- Level of Concern: Moderate
- Values of Index: 51-100
- Daily AQI Color: Orange
- Level of Concern: Unhealthy for sensitive groups
- Values of Index: 101-150
- Daily AQI Color: Red
- Level of Concern: Unhealthy
- Values of Index: 151-200
- Daily AQI Color: Purple
- Level of Concern: Very unhealthy
- Values of Index: 201-300
- Daily AQI Color: Maroon
- Level of Concern: Hazardous
- Values of Index: 301-higher
Pacific Modular offers deep-cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing services for commercial spaces. Call us today to get a free quote, or contact us via our convenient online form, where our team is ready to assist you. Our professional infection-prevention cleaning services will solve all your problems when it comes to improving indoor air quality!