Indoor Air Pollution and Health

I ndoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. Understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce your risk of indoor health concerns. Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later. External air quality in Las Vegas, Nevada is 51 on a scale to 100 (higher is better). This is based on new measures of hazardous air pollutants from the EPA, called the National Air Toxics Assessment. This analysis models respiratory illness and cancer risk down to the zip code level, providing better detail and insight than the previous analysis based solely on results from air monitoring stations.

Immediate Effectsfurnace

Some health effects may show up shortly after a single exposure or repeated exposures to a pollutant. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person’s exposure to the source of the pollution, if it can be identified. Soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants, symptoms of some diseases such as asthma may show up, be aggrevated or worsened. Many people that have relocated to the Las Vegas have incurred allergies they never experienced before.

The likelihood of immediate reactions to indoor air pollutants depends on several factors including age and preexisting medical conditions. In some cases, whether a person reacts to a pollutant depends on individual sensitivity, which varies tremendously from person to person. Some people can become sensitized to biological or chemical pollutants after repeated or high level exposures.

Certain immediate effects are similar to those from colds or other viral diseases, so it is often difficult to determine if the symptoms are a result of exposure to indoor air pollution. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the time and place symptoms occur. If the symptoms fade or go away when a person is away from the area, for example, an effort should be made to identify indoor air sources that may be possible causes. Some effects may be made worse by an inadequate supply of outdoor air coming indoors or from the heating, cooling or humidity conditions prevalent indoors.

Solutions

Pleated Filter

These air filters have a double walled frame with diagonal supports bonded to pleats for added strength and durability. It operates across a wide range of temperatures and applications. It reduces energy cost and, easy to install.

Air Cleaners

Flow of air through these devices, remove harmful and annoying airborne pollutants and impurities in your home or office. An electronic air cleaner, can eliminate up to 95% of the airborne particles in your home. In addition, it can save you as much as 10%-15% on your heating and cooling operating costs.

Another good option is a basic air filter, in which this is a device composed of fibrous materials, which removes solid particulates such as dust, pollen, mold and bacteria from the air. A chemical air filter consists of an absorbent or catalyst for the removal of airborne molecular contaminants such as volatile organic compounds or ozone. Air filters are used in applications where air quality is important, notably in a home and/or building ventilation systems.

Humidifiers

Once set to a comfortable humidity level, humidifiers can alleviate a host of problems associated with hot, dry air, including breathing difficulties, wall and ceiling cracks, plant damage, static shock, and more easily dry wood floors, doors and trim. For homes with a forced-air furnace, a humidifier may be installed on the heating system. A properly installed humidifier will give you all the relief required to greatly improve breathing conditions along with protecting wooden objects, antiques and other furnishings, which may be sensitive to damage from overly dry air. In colder months, they may provide substantial energy savings, since as humidity increases, occupants feel warm at a lower temperature.

Call us at Superior Heating & Air to schedule a free consultation to determine how to ensure you are achieving the best indoor air quality for your home or business.

(702) 324-7597

Addressing Indoor Environmental Concerns During Remodeling

While remodeling or improving the energy efficiency of your home, steps should be taken to minimize pollution from sources inside the home, either from new materials, or from disturbing materials already in the home. In addition, residents should be alert to signs of inadequate ventilation, such as stuffy air, moisture condensation on cold surfaces, or mold and mildew growth. These issues should be addressed either before or during the remodeling process.

Usually the most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate or control sources of pollution, or to reduce their emissions. Another important approach that goes hand in hand with controlling pollution is using mechanical ventilation to lower the concentrations of pollutants in your home by increasing the amount of outdoor air coming inside. A third strategy, air cleaning, complements source control and ventilation.

How much ventilation do I need?

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineering, or ASHRAE provides procedures for determining whole-house ventilation rates in its Standard 62.2, “Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings”. The standard also provides requirements for exhaust ventilation for kitchens, bathrooms and other point sources, such as clothes dryers and venting for fuel-burning appliances.

beforeafter