Have you been suffering from allergy or flu-like symptoms for a prolonged period? Have your family members or your co-workers been complaining about frequent headaches, chronic fatigue, aching joints and muscles or irritation of the eyes/nose/throat?
If you answered yes to either question it might be an indication you’ve been breathing contaminated indoor air, which has been implicated in outbreaks of inexplicable symptoms just like this.
Identifying the Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
Any source of particulate matter that’s inside or very near your home or business could be contributing to your indoor air pollution problem.
Some of the possibilities include:
- Particulate matter cycled through HVAC ductwork
- Chemical solvents or cleaning solutions
- Dust from decaying books, magazines or newspapers
- Fumes from nearby factories or highways
- Pet dander
- Airborne bacteria, mold or fungus spores, or pollen
- Peeling or chipping paint
- Crumbling insulation
There is another aspect of indoor air contamination that should not be overlooked, and that is poor ventilation. If inside-to-outside air flow is restricted or inhibited no cleansing of airborne pollutants can occur, and this situation is especially common in modern buildings made airtight for the purposes of energy conservation ( special measures should be taken to improve ventilation but often are not).
Remedies for Indoor Air Contamination
Thorough and periodic cleaning can help to correct the problem of excessive indoor pollution, as will throwing out or relocating any items or substances that might be contributing to the contamination. When cleaning or clearing out you should pay special attention to basements, attics and connected garages, since it is so easy to forget about the spaces we visit less frequently.
Improving ventilation is always helpful. This could involve remodeling to add windows, installing screen doors where appropriate or adding ceiling fans or whole-house fans that really move the air and make it more difficult for airborne particulates to linger.
Having your HVAC system cleaned, both the ductwork and the equipment, is another potentially constructive step. Contact your favorite HVAC contractor (in western Wisconsin that would be Countryside Plumbing & Heating, of course) and ask them to send someone out to inspect your HVAC system to see if a cleaning is needed. On your own you should change your HVAC air filters often, perhaps even monthly, and always use filters with a MERV rating or 11 or higher to make sure the smallest airborne particles are being captured.
While all of these actions can help, if you have continuing difficulty with indoor air contamination you should strongly consider purchasing one or two air quality control products from an excellent manufacturer like Bryant. Countryside Plumbing & Heating is an authorized dealer of Bryant air quality products, including ventilators, humidifiers, UV lamps and air purifiers, and if you live in western Wisconsin we would be glad to meet with you to discuss your options.
Don’t Let Your Buildings Make You Sick
If you’re home or business is making you sick you should act quickly to address the problem. Your health and welfare depend on it, and any investments you make to improve your air quality will surely improve your life as well.
At Countryside Plumbing & Heating we take indoor air pollution seriously, and if you suspect it’s a problem for you we invite you to contact us today—together we will create a plan of action that can restore your good air quality once and for all.
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