When you think of allergens, you might think of things like insect bites or foods like nuts or shellfish. But many allergens are also found in the very air we breathe, both indoors and outdoors.
Outdoor allergens are important to be aware of, especially in Palm Springs, CA, where it’s dry and allergies are experienced all year long. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans spend more time indoors. Around 90% of the time, actually.
EPA studies also show that indoor air pollution may be two to five times — and sometimes even more than 100 times — higher than outdoor pollution levels.
At Mendez Air Conditioning and Heating, we understand that many are unaware of the potential health impacts poor indoor air quality can have. Keep reading to learn more about indoor air quality and why it should matter to you!
Effects On Your Health
In most homes, there is exposure to more than one air allergen. And while one source may not be a huge risk, over time, more might develop. That accumulation of allergens could seriously harm you or your family members’ health.
In fact, the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) has consistently listed indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental risks to public health.
Almost anyone is at risk, but children are especially so. According to the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, indoor allergens are considered the most important risk factor for asthma in children. But even adults can develop adult-onset asthma, as well as other long-term effects including heart disease, lung cancer, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The effects of poor indoor air quality don’t always show up in serious conditions, though. Some of its effects are short-term, including:
- Frequent Colds and Sore Throats
- Chronic Cough
- Skin Rashes
- Eye Irritation
If you’ve noticed you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms more than usual, don’t wait until they become more serious to check your home’s air quality. Contact a qualified air technician that can help you locate potential sources of indoor air pollution.
Sources Of Indoor Allergens
There are countless sources that you and your family could be exposed to in your home. They’re usually unseen by the naked eye, so they’re hard to identify. But they often settle onto furniture like couches, beds, drapes, carpets, and even plants.
A few sources of indoor allergens include:
- Tobacco products
- Dust or dust mites
- Pet dander
Improving Your Indoor Air Quality
So, how can you reduce allergens?
When it comes to combustion allergens like coal, wood, or tobacco products, then the best thing you can do is make sure there is enough ventilation. Combustion allergens release gases such as carbon monoxide, which is extremely harmful to our health.
Other allergens such as dust and pet dander can be controlled by keeping your home as clean as possible. Make sure to vacuum all areas of your home regularly to prevent accumulation. Mold can also be prevented by making sure there are no damp, humid areas in your home. If you have noticed mold growth, using an air purifier can help remove the spores from your air.
Pests like cockroaches or dust mites are tricker, but they can be prevented by keeping your house clean, sealing off any cracks, and storing all your food properly. If you decide on calling in pest control, make sure you do your research! Even pesticides can be a serious allergen if not applied properly.
Your air filters are another factor that can seriously affect the overall air quality of your home. If your air filters are dirty or clogged, then they’re not catching as many air allergens and pollutants as they could be. This forces your AC system to work harder and waste more energy, while your health is still at risk.
Having a clean filter also helps prevent damage to your overall AC system, which will save you money and stress in the long run.
If you suspect you might be experiencing poor air quality or just need help choosing the right air filter, Mendez Air Conditioning and Heating is here to help! Contact us to create more clean, healthy air in your home today!