Indoor Air Quality: It’s 4 Biggest Threats

4 Biggest Threats To Indoor Air Quality

Your home’s indoor air quality can profoundly impact your health and well-being. It can affect your lung health and the general safety of your surroundings. However, many homeowners don’t often pay particular attention to this, raising cause for concern. With research revealing that generally, Canadians spend about 90% of their time indoors, it’s essential to prioritize your indoor air quality, know the factors that can affect it, and how to deal with them. Below are the four biggest threats to indoor air quality to look out for. 

  1. Dust and allergens

The thin dust layer on your furniture’s surface and other parts of the home may be more harmful than you think. Dust comes across as a powdery substance coating surfaces in your dwelling place, but upon closer inspection, it contains much more. It is a breeding ground for several allergens like pet dander, dust mites, and pollen blown indoors from outside. Your indoor plants can also be a source of dust, especially when pollen grains settle on surfaces. These microparticles can trigger severe allergies and respiratory issues in some people. Some people may be more prone to respiratory issues when exposed to these allergens due to varying sensitivities in house occupants. You can alleviate this problem by adopting a regular cleaning schedule and investing in quality air purifiers to enhance indoor ventilation.

  1. Mold and mildew

Contrary to popular belief, mold and mildew, which are usually caused by dampness and water leaks in obscure parts of the home, are not only an inconvenience but a severe threat to you and your family’s health if left unchecked. These fungi release spores that can infiltrate your respiratory system and cause varying degrees of health problems. Although mold and mildew are often seen in bathrooms, basements, and hidden leaks within your walls, their effects are not concentrated in the places they grow. Mold and mildew spores are tiny and lightweight, and these characteristics help them float in your indoor air. Sometimes, however, spores use humans and pets as hosts to spread around the house. Therefore, while they may have developed in your basement, all it takes is for a few spores to drop onto your clothes, and the rest of your house will be contaminated, too. Fortunately, these airborne contaminants can be dealt with through proactive moisture control. Make it a point to attend to prompt leak repairs to stifle the growth of mold and mildew.

  1. Pest infestations

Pests are a nuisance, but their invasion goes beyond eating your discarded leftovers and making holes in your walls. Pest droppings, saliva, urine, shed skin, and so on can compromise your indoor air quality. Some pests, like cockroaches, emit an oily and musty smell due to a combination of their droppings, body smell, and pheromones. This smell will get worse when the cockroach infestation increases without any mitigating measures. The same can be said of a rodent infestation in your home.

Never underestimate the threat of pests to your home’s indoor air quality. Apart from the allergens they release, pests cause more compromised indoor air through their habitation practices. For instance, when rodents bore into your walls, they leave a trail of dust and debris that ultimately contaminates your interiors. Some dust and debris may be lodged in your home’s ventilation systems, causing cyclical air contamination when turned on. The most effective solution dwells with professional pest control services, which will help you address the root cause of compromised indoor air.

  1. Household cleaning supplies and paint

Regular cleaning is a vital home maintenance practice, but beyond that, you must also take a closer look at your cleaning products, especially the detergents. Some household cleaning supplies contain high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that affect indoor air quality. Check the label and look for formaldehyde, chlorinates, hydrocarbons, PFAS, and glycol ethers, which contain high VOCs. Better yet, you can check trusted platforms online for a list of toxic household cleaners it’s best to avoid. 

Also, if you recently painted your house or intend to as the holiday season approaches, you must be conscious of the type of paint you use. Although there is nothing wrong with giving your home a fresh lick of paint, using the wrong options can prove harmful to your indoor air quality. Some paints contain highly volatile organic compounds that release dangerous gases into your indoor space. You can make an informed choice by choosing paints that won’t compromise oxygen levels in your home.

Clean air is vital to your well-being and safety, making it vital to avoid the indoor threats listed above.

Josie Smith
Josie Smith
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1 Comment

  1. December 12, 2023 / 2:41 am

    Thanks for sharing this. It’s important to remember a simple yet effective tip that’s often neglected: regularly open windows and doors to allow fresh outdoor air to circulate indoors. Many people underestimate the power of natural ventilation. It can help flush out indoor pollutants and improve air quality naturally. So, take advantage of pleasant weather to let the outside air in, and it’s an easy and cost-effective way to enhance your indoor environment.