Indoor Air Quality – Managing Air Pollutants – Springfield, IL

Indoor Air Quality

Winter is here and it’s time to shut those windows and doors. We all want to be indoors where it’s warm and cozy. We’re all grateful for those air tight windows and doors that won’t let any cold air in or warm air out of our living space. The only problem with this is that indoor air quality is greatly compromised.

There are various compounds that you should be concerned about when it comes to the quality of air in your home. These can be broadly categorized as:

  • Toxic gases
  • Allergens and particulates
  • Microbes
  • Infectious agents

These compounds can cause respiratory irritation, congestion, asthma flare-ups, infection, fatigue, coughing and much more. The symptoms and effects of these compounds are much worse when levels of exposure are high.

These compounds are trapped in homes during the winter as a result of insulation and closing off the home from the outside. Indoor air quality in the home is therefore compromised in the winter. However, there are different ways that these compounds can be dealt with.

  1. Ventilation

This is the best way to deal with air borne compounds. Ventilation allows polluted air to leave the home and circulates fresh outdoor air into the home. However, natural ventilation through opening windows and doors is not feasible in the winter. The solution is to invest in a ventilation system that allows for air circulation into and out of the home without causing fluctuations in indoor temperatures.

  1. Filtration

This is the most common defense used when it comes to improving the quality of indoor air. Filtration involves circulating air through a filter that traps compounds and allows air to pass through.

Although this is effective when dealing with particulates (and microbes when using HEPA filters), it is not effective for gaseous compounds.

  1. Encapsulation

You may not realize it but encapsulating your crawl space is a highly effective way of keeping pollutants out and improving the quality of the air you breathe. Encapsulation prevents the growth of mold and ensures the crawl space remains dry. It also helps to keep out cold air and improves the energy efficiency of your home.

  1. Dehumidification

Investing in a dehumidifier can help you deal with condensation and water vapor in your basement. This will help to prevent mold infestations. It will also help to manage the propagation of dust mites by limiting conditions in which they thrive.