As the movement to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy bills continues to build, it has brought with it another problem – poor indoor air quality. You see, in order to improve energy efficiency, we have sealed our home to prevent air leaks. But this limits ventilation.
So once indoor air pollutants get inside your home, they cannot get out. This is a very real problem in many Phoenix area homes, yet many remain skeptical.
If you are skeptical, here are the facts about air quality:
Let’s look at each of these in a little more detail.
Poor air quality is linked to many health problems.
There has been much research in the area of air quality and how it affects our health. (We do, after all, inhale about 15,000 quarts of air per day.)
The American Lung Association lists air pollution as a leading cause of lung cancer and also notes that particle pollution increases the risk of early death, heart attacks and strokes and can be even more dangerous for those with asthma, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The American Heart Association has also found that air pollution can trigger heart attacks and strokes, even in otherwise healthy adults.
Outdoor air pollution has long been a problem. Our government has recognized this, imposing strict guidelines on businesses and cities. But what about indoor air pollution?
Your home’s indoor air quality is bad (worse than outdoor air).
In studies by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most homes had indoor pollution levels 2-5 times worse than outside air, with many homes’ indoor air quality up to 100 times as bad as the worst outdoor air.
Indoor air quality is so bad, the EPA lists it as one of the top five environmental problems affecting the American public’s health.
You spend the majority of your day inside.
So far, we have established that air pollution is unhealthy and your home has a lot of it. That wouldn’t be so terrible if you did not spend a lot of time there.
However, according to many estimates you spend 90% of your day inside, much of that in your own home. Every day, you are breathing in particles, pollutants and contaminants that are affecting your health.
According the American Heart Association, exposure to air pollution for even a few hours increases your chance of a heart attack or stroke.
But there is some good news – you are not doomed to live in a home with poor indoor air quality. The EPA recommends opening your windows and ventilating your home from time to time. There are also indoor air quality products that can help.
Need more help improving your health and the indoor air quality of your Phoenix area home? Schedule a consultation with one of our air quality experts.