Why Indoor Air Quality Matters
The spring season is a magical time in Charleston due to many reasons, such as the azalea and dogwood blooms. If you attended this spring’s Flowertown Festival, you experienced some of the most beautiful flowers to date, but you may still be suffering from allergy symptoms. The presence of pollen can cause allergies to flare up and result in a variety of negative health effects. It is important to have a healthy home to return to after breathing in harmful outdoor pollutants from enjoying the comfortable spring weather. In this article, we discuss the importance of good indoor air quality in Charleston and how maintaining healthy air can benefit you and your home.
What Is Indoor Air Quality?
Regardless of your schedule, each homeowner spends multiple hours at a time at home. The EPA suggests the average American spends approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Whether you are sleeping, eating, working, or lounging, you are breathing in your home’s or office’s air. Due to the amount of time we spend in our homes, it is important to know what we are breathing, how it can affect our health, and how to improve it.
Indoor air quality is exactly as it sounds to be – the quality of the air in your home, office, or building. Air quality is measured by the amount of pollutants floating through the air, whether good or bad. Not only is indoor air quality determined by allergens, but humidity levels as well.
Why Is Good Indoor Air Quality Important?
Did you know that indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air? According to the EPA, concentrations of some indoor pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor concentrations. This is due to lack of ventilation allowing harmful pollutants to build up. Common indoor air pollutants include mold, mildew, pet dander, carbon monoxide, tobacco smoke, radon, asbestos, and VOC’s. Breathing in polluted air can cause both short-term and long-term health effects, which can result in discomfort. Good indoor air quality is important in Charleston, because poor indoor air quality can cause the following health symptoms:
Short-Term IAQ Health Effects
- Irritated nose, throat, and eyes
- Dry and cracked skin
Long-Term IAQ Health Effects
- Respiratory diseases
- Heart disease
If you or someone in your home currently struggles with a respiratory illness, such as asthma, they are at a greater risk of health effects and increased asthma symptoms from breathing in poor air quality. Visit the EPA’s website to learn more about potential health causes due to indoor air quality.
How Can I Improve Indoor Air Quality In Charleston?
Air quality is measured by the Air Quality Index (AQI). The scale runs from 0-500, with lower numbers indicating better air quality and higher numbers indicating worse air quality. Simply put – the higher the AQI, the higher the air pollution in that area and the greater the health concern. Generally, the scale follows this rule of thumb according to AirNow.gov, the Home of the U.S. Air Quality Index:
- 0-50: Good IAQ
- 51-100: Moderate
- 101-150: Unhealthy for sensitive groups
- 151-200: Unhealthy for all
- 201-300: Very unhealthy
- 301-500: Hazardous
Charleston’s outdoor air quality typically ranges from 0-100, which indicates good and moderate air quality. Homeowners are able to identify each day’s air quality via a weather app or website. Ventilating your home when outdoor air quality is good allows your home to breathe and circulate harmful pollutants out. Below we have listed other ways to improve indoor air quality in Mount Pleasant, SC and surrounding areas.
- Regularly Change Air Filters
- Groom Pets Outdoors
- Control Humidity
- Install An Air Purifier
- Utilize UV Lights
Regularly Change Air Filters
An air filter’s main job is to catch allergens and pollutants before they can be distributed into your home. Air filters work each time your HVAC system pumps air through your air ducts and catches many pollutants over time. If the filter pores are clogged with allergens, the filter struggles to continue to catch pollutants. A dirty filter allows harmful allergens such as mold, dust, and bacteria to slip through and enter your home. It is important to regularly change air filters at least every 3 months to maintain positive indoor air quality.
Groom Pets Outdoors
While we love our furry friends, pet dander is a common reason for poor air quality. Pet dander is a combination of hair, dead skin, and other particles and typically lies within your animal’s fur coat. To cut down on pet dander being released into your home’s air, we recommend grooming animals regularly outside or with a local pet groomer in Charleston. Not only does this make your animals feel clean and healthy, but improves your health symptoms as well!
As most locals know, humidity can be very uncomfortable here in West Ashley, SC and surrounding areas! Believe it or not, humidity is actually a necessary aspect of your home. Humidity levels should remain between 30-50% for ideal comfort and home protection. Too much humidity can cause mold and mildew growth, which negatively impacts your health and personal belongings. Too little humidity leads to a variety of health symptoms, such as susceptibility to illnesses and dry skin, along with increased static electricity. The Anchor Heating & Air team can help you control humidity by installing a humidifier and dehumidifier system in Charleston, SC and surrounding areas!
Install An Air Purifier
The best way to combat poor indoor air quality is by installing an air purifier in Charleston. Air purifiers work to remove harmful contaminants floating through the air and release clean air back into the room. Air purifiers can greatly reduce negative health symptoms caused by various pollutants within your home. Give the Anchor Heating and Air team a call to install an air purifier in West Ashley, SC and surrounding areas!
Utilize UV Lights
If your home struggles with mold and mildew growth, we strongly recommend investing in UV lights! UV lights emit ultraviolet rays to destroy the DNA makeup of mold and other bacteria. This home device eliminates mold from affecting allergies and causing poor indoor air quality. Our team of trained professionals can install a UV light system in Charleston to help improve indoor air quality and reduce negative health symptoms!
Our customers’ health, safety, and comfort is our top priority. If you are unsure of what you are breathing in your home and if it is the cause of poor health symptoms, give the Anchor Heating and Air team a call! We proudly provide quality indoor air quality services in Charleston, West Ashley, Mount Pleasant, and various other surrounding locations to keep you breathing easy!