When you think about pollutants, you often think about those found outside your house— whether in the waterways, the ground, or in the air. Indoor air quality, however, is just as important to our daily lives and health, and the air contaminants found in your home should concern you just as much, if not more.
Breathing clean indoor air is critical for good health. Because we spend a significant amount of time (about 90%) indoors, it’s important to make indoor air safe to breathe. Here’s a look at some of the benefits of keeping your indoor air quality healthy:
1. Easier Breathing
Breathing is an subconscious process. However, if the quality of the indoor air you breathe is poor, breathing can be challenging—even if you don’t realize it. Surviving on shallow breaths can put a lot of stress on your heart and lungs, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as making simple exercise or tasks feel more physically taxing and demanding. With clean air, however, you are able to take huge, easy breaths that give your body the oxygen it needs to function properly.
2. Improves Sleep
Indoor air pollution can cause poor sleep. One study revealed that individuals who have greater exposure to indoor air contaminants such as nitrogen dioxide and small particulates have a greater chance of having low sleep efficiency. Indoor air pollutants can cause irritation to your nose, sinuses, and the back of your throat, causing you to develop sleep-related breathing conditions such as sleep apnea. With quality indoor air, it’s easier to sleep and feel refreshed as soon as you wake up.
3. Reduce Allergens
Having good indoor air quality can help reduce allergens that may cause long-term health complications such as asthma, which according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, affects about 25 million people every year, including seven million children annually. Asthma accounts for almost 17 million physician office and hospital visits.
4. Lower Energy Bills
When you maintain good indoor air quality, the strain on your home’s HVAC system is reduced. Since your HVAC system doesn’t have to work too hard to improve airflow and ventilation, maintain humidity and carbon dioxide levels, less energy is used and the system is likely to last longer. This can save you money on your energy bills.
5. Improves Your Mood and Cognitive Abilities
Air pollution in your home can greatly affect your mood and cognitive abilities. It can cause you to experience mood swings, fatigue, loss of concentration, and depression, resulting in a sad living environment and lower productivity.
Indoor air quality continues to be a major concern that requires immediate action from homeowners and governments alike. For your home, you can install a whole-house fresh air system that can significantly reduce toxins, pollutants, and allergens and greatly improve your home’s air quality. You may also consider hiring an HVAC professional to help you assess your indoor air quality.