How much thought have you given into getting an IAQ evaluation?

With temperatures already hitting the triple digits in Oklahoma City, many people are staying inside earlier in the season, for longer periods of time. Staying inside your home with the air conditioning running nearly-nonstop can promote unhealthy indoor air quality. This situation is exacerbated when high ozone levels and outdoor air pollution combine; contaminating the indoor air even more.

According to the EPA, poor indoor air quality (IAQ) is one of the top five environmental health risks affecting the health of households. When you consider that pollutant levels can sometimes run two-to-five time higher than outdoor levels, it becomes imperative that precautions are taken to ensure healthy air. Is your home a candidate for an IAQ evaluation? Look over our list of red flags to determine whether or not your home might benefit from a professional evaluation.

IAQ can be compromised by the following factors:

 

  • Water Leaks and Inadequate Water Management – Are there leaks in your roof or plumbing system? Is there a damp or musty smell coming from your HVAC ducts? Perhaps you have a basement with flooding issues? All of these seemingly minor water problems can lead to some very serious consequences; affecting both your IAQ and your home’s structure.
  • Combustion Appliance Problems – Gas ranges, gas ovens, gas water heaters and other appliances that produce gases or particles that come from burning materials need to be monitored carefully. If they are malfunctioning, or if they are not properly ventilated, there is the possibility of pollution. Headaches, dizziness and breathing difficulties are just a few of the effects of combustion problems.
  • Carpeting Contamination – If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, there are a number of harmful contaminants that can emanate from it, even with consistent cleaning. Contamination from shoes, pets and general traffic can get caught in the fibers and linger for years. Harmful toxins and allergens can infiltrate the air and create a harmful environment for people with asthma and allergy issues.
  • Pet Contamination – Do you own a pet or several? Pet hair and dander can be a leading cause of unhealthy IAQ. While pet hair alone is rarely a trigger for allergies, fur can bring in allergens from the outside. Both dogs and cats secrete fluids and shed dander containing allergens which are also detrimental to certain allergy sufferers.
  • Inadequate Ventilation – Does your home have a proper ventilation system? If you own an older home with window air conditioning units, you might have ventilation issues. HVAC duct systems ensure there is a constant flow of outside air circulated throughout the home. A modern HVAC provides filtration, dehumidification and humidification to the air, ensuring a healthier IAQ.
  • VOC’s (vol-ital organic compounds) – These are gasses that emanate from a number of indoor sources (including combustion appliances). But in addition to gas appliances, VOC’s can come from any number of places including plywood, particle board and fabrics. Formaldehyde is the most common, and dangerous, VOC found in these building materials. Other sources of VOC’s include personal care products, hobby supplies, varnishes and printing machines.

More Information on VOC’s

If you have any of these issues and feel that your air quality might be compromised, consider calling an IAQ professional to help assess your home. Interstate can help you with an IAQ evaluation – and get your air back to a healthier, more comfortable level. Call us today at 405-794-8900 to schedule an appointment!

Related Blogs:

Reducing Allergens (in Your Oklahoma Home)

How is Your Indoor Air Quality, OKC?

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