According to the EPA, many Americans experience the effects of poor indoor air quality because they spend 90% of their free time inside. The report stated that this automatically raises health and home safety concerns because pollutants are two to five times more concentrated indoors. This is why so much planning goes into ensuring that homes are built with proper HVAC systems to boost air quality. Unfortunately, not every home has these systems, therefore they are exposed to the following air quality risks.
1. Condensation issues on porous surfaces
When warm air settles on a cold surface, condensation happens. Humidity plays a huge role, but the main culprit is poor ventilation. It is most visible on glass-paned windows and doors. However, you can also notice the effect of compensation on flooring, wallpaper, and interior walls. While every structure experience low condensation levels, the severity is the problem.
For example, extreme condensation in structural components like timber causes the wood to rot and swell up, increasing safety issues. On double-glazed windows, it automatically means the in-built thermal barrier needs attention. However, a more pressing concern is the issue of poor ventilation, which increases condensation buildup. In places like the attic, it may be helpful to install air exhaust vents to eliminate poor ventilation.
2. Increased mold growth and associated impact on health
Where there is increased condensation, mold is bound to occur since it thrives in humid conditions with poor ventilation. A 2022 mold survey in American homes showed that 70% of US households deal with mold growth. The dangerous part is the discovery that 28% of the population has a genetic disposition to mold-induced health conditions. According to earthweb.com, many households are unaware of this genetic disposition and therefore have an increased chance of developing respiratory allergies without ever knowing the cause.
First, mold in the home is a sign of serious problems with your indoor air quality. The lack of proper ventilation creates a poor indoor air quality that becomes fertile ground for spores to develop. Sometimes, your home’s poorly maintained HVAC system can be the source of these growths in your home. It is a good idea to contact your HVAC contractor to check your system. This is because your HVAC can be the conduit through which mold spores spread throughout your home.
3. Low oxygen levels
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), indoor oxygen values ranging from 20.8 to 21% are safe. On the other hand, values lower than 19% should be a cause for concern as it indicates low air quality. The problem with living in spaces with low oxygen levels is the increased risk of headaches, fatigue, and constant shortness of breath. Fortunately, you can invest in household tools to monitor humidity and oxygen levels in your home and make things better.
Sometimes, respiratory issues and home damage signs could be due to poor indoor air quality. Therefore, it is a good idea to rule that out in addition to anything else.