Indoor Air Pollution

What is Indoor Air Pollution?

Most people think of air pollution is something that occurs outdoors and is caused by vehicles, manufacturing plants and other operations that produce emissions.

Increasingly, however, indoor air pollution has made headlines, due in part to the desire to make buildings more energy efficient. Building envelopes are tighter, resulting in less exchange of indoor and outdoor air and more build-up of undesirable particles and toxic gases.

Indoor air pollution includes:

  • Mold and pollen
  • Gases such as radon and carbon monoxide
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Household products
  • Pesticides
  • Building materials

Indoor air pollution problems usually simply cause discomfort. As soon as the source of the pollution is eliminated, most individuals will begin to feel better. The danger lies with certain types of pollutants, such as radon, that could eventually cause respiratory disease or cancer. Buildings with good ventilation and eliminating pollutants will improve the quality of indoor air.

Identifying Sources of Indoor Pollution

Combustion of gases is one of the main sources of indoor air pollution. Sources include gas stoves and gas furnaces. When cooking, your gas stove will release emissions into your kitchen. Furnaces with cracked heat exchangers and other faulty components will release carbon monoxide into the indoor environment.

Other sources of carbon monoxide include fireplaces, wood-burning stoves and fuel-fired space heaters. Those same sources can also produce nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide.

Biological contaminants such as dust, molds, mildews, fungi and bacteria are often in the air, but they can accumulate on dark and moist surfaces such as ventilation system ducts, carpeting, upholstered furniture and similar surfaces.

Volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) are also suspended in the air and can come from aerosol sprays, solvents, glues, cleaning agents, paints and other household products. VOCs are present in many manufactured materials such as flooring, carpeting and plastics. Hidden emissions from these materials cause indoor air pollution.

Five Ways to Prevent Indoor Pollution

Pollutants will always inhabit indoors no matter what. The trick is to avoid build up.

  • Install adequate ventilation to release indoor air to the outside
  • Schedule regular duct cleaning to remove build-up of debris and undesirable particles
  • Change air filters regularly and installation air cleaners to remove particulates
  • Regularly inspect furnaces nd appliances to reduce emissions from combustion
  • Reduce indoor chemical use

Make sure you're breathing in the fresh air in your Greensboro home. Call The Plumbing Service Co. at (336) 502-8540, and get the experts to solve the problem.