Home Home & Decor Checking Your Air Quality: Risks of Not Having Proper Ventilation System

Checking Your Air Quality: Risks of Not Having Proper Ventilation System

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We spend so much time indoors, don’t we? According to a 2016 report, people living in the developed world spend close to 90 percent of their time indoors. In the winter, it’s our safe haven from the harsh elements. In the summer, it’s an escape from the heat. So, most of the air we breathe isn’t fresh outdoor air.

If you don’t have a proper ventilation system in place at home, the air quality might be pretty poor. And this isn't good: air quality problems can lead to health problems. To make sure your indoor air quality is fresh and clean, keep reading.

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Air quality

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the following five factors contribute to poor air quality.

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  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Lack of outside air (poor ventilation)
  • Mold from water damage
  • Exposure to chemicals

And even though all five factors are important, poor ventilation can make the other four factors even worse. That’s because without enough fresh air coming in, and contaminated air going out, you end up with poor air quality.

Another reason for poor ventilation is poorly maintained heating and air-conditioning systems. So, if you turn on either your heat or air conditioning after not using it for many months, there’s a good chance you’re blowing low-quality air into your home.

If your home doesn’t have a proper ventilation system in place, you put yourself and your entire family at risk for some health problems. Some are more serious than others, but they’re all health problems you want to avoid.

7 reasons to have a proper ventilation system at home

Air quality is something we take for granted, but it’s something we have to protect and maintain. And having a proper ventilation is the best way to do that.

In fact, here are seven very important reasons why a good ventilation system keeps your air clean and your health.

Prevent headaches and migraines

In some cases, indoor air pollution is inevitable. After all, environmental pollution is rampant, thanks to transportation, fumes, smoke and more. Plus, many of our cosmetic and cleaning products contain chemicals and toxins that act as air pollution, too.

The National Headache Foundation shared this study, which found that due to high levels of carbon monoxide and dioxide, individuals reported daily headaches and some even reported migraines – all because of poor indoor air quality.

One good way to be sure the carbon monoxide levels in your home aren’t dangerous is to keep a simple monitor in your home, like this First Alert CO605 Carbon Monoxide Plug-In Alarm. You can also find simple monitors to track dioxide levels, too.

Reduce condensation

If you’ve ever seen water droplets form on your home's windows, it can indicate that you have a condensation problem at home. This happens when humid air cools down quickly. Then, water vapor transforms into water droplets.

Having too much condensation in your home can result in mold. And this is something you definitely don’t want in your home.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), damp and moldy environments “can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or in some cases skin irritation.”

And that’s only the beginning. A mold allergy can result in more serious symptoms, and for some, consistent mold exposure can lead to chronic lung illnesses.

With a proper ventilation system, you can reduce condensation, humid air and the development of mold.

Reduce radon gas concentrations

You can’t see, smell or taste this form of gas. And you may not know if radon gas is creeping into your home. However, if you live near mines, caves, or water treatment facilities, there may be high levels of radon gas concentrations. And this can enter your homes through cracks in its structure.

According to the CDC, breathing radon gas causes health problems, including lung cancer. In fact, “Radon is estimated to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, responsible for over 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year.”

How can you be sure your home is radon-free? There are many test kits you can purchase either online or at your local home store, such as the Corentium Home Radon Detector by Airthings 223. Along with these tests, the best way to keep your home radon-free is to keep the ventilation systems maintained.

Reduce volatile organic compound concentrations

Volatile what? Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) come from home furnishings and everyday household chemicals, like those in your cleaning products.

While it’s important to know about your furnishings and the potential VOCs they emit, it’s also important to store all household chemicals safely and properly. And it goes without saying that keeping your indoor air quality fresh and clean will help to reduce VOCs, too.

Reduce allergens in the air

Pollen blows in from outside. Dust gathers on the surfaces, and other allergens settle inside your home. But a proper ventilation system will help to usher out these potential allergens and reduce allergy symptoms, too.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to first clean the air ducts before turning on the air condition (or heat) for the first time.

Over the months, dust, allergens, and other particles can gather in the ducts. And guess what, when you turn on the AC, that fresh cold air is anything but fresh!

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Prevent dust mites

A damp and humid home is the perfect place for dust mites to grow and spread. And dust mites are no good for the respiratory system and your skin.

In fact, coming into contact with them can leave you with itchy skin and eczema.

Prevent backdrafting

What is backdrafting? It’s when the air pressure outside the home is higher than the air pressure inside the home. This can cause outdoor air to get sucked into the house.

The problem is that this air can be polluted with carbon monoxide, radon, and other chemicals, bacteria, and allergens.

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Having a proper ventilation system in place can keep your home’s air quality much more healthy and give you peace of mind, knowing that every breath you take is healthy, rather than harmful.

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