It’s common to think that the worst air pollution is outdoors. After all, outdoor air is filled with smoke, allergens, and countless other contaminants. When you relax inside your home, you most likely feel relieved that your walls and doors block out all that harmful outdoor air pollution.
But believe it or not, indoor air quality in your home is worse than outdoor air. If this shocks you, then you might be asking, “why is indoor air quality worse, and how harmful is it?” Below, we’ll discuss the common pollutants found in indoor vs. outdoor air.
Common Indoor Air Pollutants
When discussing indoor vs. outdoor air pollution, it’s crucial to mention the difference in pollution levels. Indoor air pollution levels are known to be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor pollution levels, and this difference is one of the most striking reasons why indoor air quality is worse than outdoor air.
Some of the most common pollutants include:
- Allergens: Although allergens originate outdoors, they can easily infiltrate your home through windows, doors, and pests. The most common pollutants include mold, pollen, dust, and dander. When these allergens gather in high quantities in your home, you are more likely to experience heightened allergy and asthma symptoms.
- Everyday household products: Disinfectants, air fresheners, and other household products contain volatile organic compounds that can have adverse health effects.
- Building materials: Certain building materials can contain asbestos and formaldehyde—substances known to be hazardous to your health.
- Tobacco smoke: Whether found indoors or outdoors, tobacco smoke can have several negative consequences on your health.
- Radon: A naturally-occurring radioactive gas, radon can be found in indoor environments. Unfortunately, radon is colorless and odorless, which means it can be challenging to identify. Radon exposure is a recognized cause of lung cancer.
- Cooking emissions: The World Health Organization reports that nearly 4 million people die each year from illnesses caused by air pollution from burning fuels. One familiar combustion pollutant is carbon monoxide.
- Other fine particles: Fine particles, although invisible, can cause several respiratory problems, such as coughing and sneezing.
The Dangers of Poor Indoor Air Quality
The dangers of indoor vs. outdoor air pollution can be boiled down to concentration. While contaminants can greatly affect outdoor air quality, higher levels of indoor air pollutants are known to be more harmful to overall human health. This is because higher levels of these pollutants are found in our homes.
Factors That Increase Indoor Air Pollutants
When it comes to knowing why indoor air quality is worse than outdoor air, turn next to your ventilation and air filters. Poor ventilation can lead to high levels of indoor air pollutants.
It’s essential to ensure that your ventilation is clean. Poor ventilation can potentially lead to sick building syndrome when the occupants of a building are exposed to harmful pollutants.
Additionally, you must clean your A/C-Heating system’s filters on a routine basis. Certain pollutants can become trapped in your filters and increase indoor air pollution, and switching out your filter can keep these pollutants from re-entering your home.
How To Improve Indoor Air Quality
Now that we’ve discussed indoor vs. outdoor air pollution, it’s time to consider solutions to combat these pollutants. While your HVAC system, namely your air conditioning unit, can increase ventilation, there are many more substantial steps you can take to improve indoor air quality.
Keefe’s offers several solutions and products to address your specific air quality needs. Pristine Air Solutions, such as the Polarized-Media Air Cleaner, remove even the smallest of particles from your indoor air.
Want to Improve Your IAQ? Reach Out to Keefe’s
Don’t continue to worry about poor indoor air quality and pesky pollutants. Now that you know the main reasons why indoor air quality is worse than outdoor air, take action today.
Keefe’s has the leading solutions to improve the air quality in your home, including the Pristine Air replacement filters. Contact us at your earliest convenience to learn more about our air purification systems!