Indoor Air Quality – What’s it all about? Sunshine CoastNovember 6, 2023
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) – what’s it all about? Does Air conditioning really help with IAQ?
Have you ever stopped to think about how clean the air is in your home? It’s something that most of us don’t give much thought, but for asthmatics and those with respiratory conditions it’s something that’s definitely worth considering.
From dust, dander, VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) pollen, mould, smoke and dust mites, there is an extended list of pollutants that can affect the health of you and your family. Depending where you live, the home’s ventilation design and whether or not your home has carpets, can influence the quality of the air. Air conditioning is one of the best ways to improve indoor air quality since it is greatly improves in-home ventilation and air flow. Professional carpet cleaning for homes with carpets is another recommended remedy, as well as addressing any leaks in the ceilings or other areas of the home that cause dampness.
What are some of the symptoms of poor indoor air quality?
- Dry eyes, sore throat and other cold like symptoms
- Sinus congestions
- Allergies and sneezing. Can cause respiratory coughing.
- In extreme cases even nausea and dizziness.
- Dampness or mould growing on walls or ceilings.
Since these symptoms are related to the common cold it can be difficult to identify, but left untreated for those with asthma, existing medical conditions or the elderly, consistently poor indoor air quality can become dangerous.
If symptoms seem worse in certain rooms, or you’re finding that you are allergies are playing regularly while at home but not at other places, it’s a sign that you’re indoor air quality should be addressed. Since we spend 90 per cent of our time indoors – the air we are breathing in is something we should be concerned about.
With all the bush fires around, and the potential for even more this Summer, it would be wise to pay attention to the IAQ in your home. Daikin’s air conditioning systems are a sure fire way to ensure your homes IAQ is of a high standard.
Causes of Indoor Air Pollution
- Smoking – Cigarette smoke releases harmful chemicals which can last for hours indoors. It affects the occupants of your home as they are smoking passively and can be at risk of respiratory infections, cancer and other health issues.
- Poor ventilation – Lack of ventilation can reduce the flow of fresh air in your home. It will also increase contaminants, promote mould growth and pollutants indoors.
- Household chemicals – Cleaning agents and deodorisers used indoors can release volatile organic compounds and affect occupants suffering from respiratory conditions.
- Pets – Tiny particles of skin released by pets, also called dander can be a big problem if you suffer from allergies. Dander releases proteins that can trigger allergic reactions.
- Gas appliances – The incomplete combustion of fuel through stoves, water heaters, fireplaces, etc releases carbon monoxide. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases if your home is not properly ventilated. Ensure your home is properly ventilated and the gas appliances are maintained properly to prevent health issues.
- Asbestors – Building materials used before like tiles, shingles, pipes contained asbestos. The asbestos fibres can be released during a home renovation. Exposure to asbestos can cause lung cancer. Asbestos was commonly used as a building material in Australian homes before 1990. Even homes built during the early 2000s may have asbestos materials as the ban came into effect in December 2003.
- Humidity – high humidity levels in homes can promote the growth of mould and mildew especially in bathrooms. Inhaling mould spores can affect respiratory health and cause allergic reactions.
- Flooring – Laminated floors and carpets treated with flame retardants can emit VOCs and deteriorate the air quality in your home.
How to improve indoor air quality?
- Indoor plants like Spider Plant, Devil’s Ivy, Peace Lily can filter harmful air pollutants and improve the air quality.
- Proper ventilation will allow fresh air to enter your home and remove the accumulated contaminants.
- Use low VOCs carpets produced from wool, sisal and jute
- Do not smoke indoors
- Use air conditioners to control humidity and purify the air. Air conditioners come with specialised filters which can trap airborne particles, pollens, bacteria, allergens and remove unpleasant odours. We spend 90% of our time indoors so we need to take steps to monitor and improve indoor air quality. A good way to do so is by investing in an aircon with air purification features.
Your air conditioner can make a difference
Air conditioners trap all the microbes but over time they can accumulate in the unit. If the unit isn’t cleaned regularly, the microbes will be released in the air leading to respiratory infections. Therefore, air conditioners need to be cleaned and serviced at least once a year so the filters are able to do their job correctly. Any problem in the aircon should be fixed immediately.
At the Cool Shop, we can help with air conditioning installation for your home or office. Brands like Daikin Alira X offer air conditioners with specialised air purification features. Talk to our air conditioning specialists and we can recommend the right model for your needs.