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Is Your Indoor Air Quality Causing An Upper Respiratory Problem?

July 21, 2015
Is Your Indoor Air Quality Causing An Upper Respiratory Problem?

The quality of your indoor air can impact multiple aspects of your health and well-being. Substandard indoor air quality can be a major cause in the development of long diseases, asthma and given long enough exposure to harmful inhalants, even cancer. Even before it becomes a serious problem, poor air quality in your home or office contributes to increased fatigue, nasal congestion, dry eyes and headaches.

According to a recommendation made by the American Lung Association (ALA), maintaining a high quality of air in your home is your first line of defense against the development of an upper respiratory infection or other lung related health issues. The ALA recommends prioritizing regular maintenance of all ventilation systems, including changing the air filters every few months and having a HVAC specialist examine the system regularly.

What’s Really in Your Air?

Other than occasionally seeing specs of dust in the air when the light hits the air in the right way, you typically can’t see what’s in your air. Many people jump to the conclusion that their air is clean and don’t take special precautions to keep in clean – until it’s too late and an infection has formed. Below are some of the common indoor air pollutants that can greatly damage your respiratory health.

  • Asbestos. While newer homes are no longer built using asbestos, many older homes and offices were built with this damaging substance before its ill-effects were known. This mineral can create fibers that are invisible to the naked eye, yet they can be inhaled and cause permanent damage to your lungs. Roofing, flooring and insulation materials can all contain asbestos. Properly sealing off any areas that contain asbestos is crucial, or even going as far as having the substance removed.
  • Bacteria and Viruses. Some bacteria and viruses can only be transmitted through touch or body liquids. However, some of them are airborne. This means that they are capable of living in the air and infecting someone who simply breathes them in. The ALA believes that most minor illnesses and missed days from work or school are due to bacteria or viruses living in the air of buildings that the patient regularly inhabits. Regularly cleaning your ventilation system, primarily keeping your air filters clean, is the best way to prevent bacteria and viruses from thriving in your home.
  • Mold, Pollen and Dander. Much like bacteria, these biological pollutants can build up in your home and cause damage to the lungs of you and your loved ones. Dander and pollen are especially dangerous to those with allergies and can result in unbearable living conditions. Mold can thrive in the dark, moist areas of your ventilation system and cause upper respiratory infections in anyone. Changing air filters will go a long way in battling these pollutants, as will regularly having your entire ventilation system cleaned and maintained.
  • You Can Keep Your Air Clean

    There is always going to be some type of pollutant in the air in your home. However, you can keep the amount and type of pollutants to a minimum by regularly maintaining your air conditioning system.

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