The experience of living through a global pandemic has caused many people to think about what they can do to protect their health at home. Indoor air quality is an issue that doesn’t get enough attention, and it’s easy to neglect the importance of clean indoor air, but it should be a priority for every homeowner. The presence of indoor air pollution can affect every aspect of your home life and create additional safety risks for everyone in your household. If you want to learn more about how to protect your home, keep reading to find out about four negative effects of a poor indoor air quality HVAC system.
1. Poor air quality elevates your risk of heart and lung problems.
Poor indoor air quality systems leave homeowners vulnerable to a wide range of problems related to their comfort and safety. It has specifically been linked to coronary artery disease, emphysema, strokes, and cancer. It can also increase the likelihood of birth defects for anyone who is pregnant. Some experts believe that if early deaths caused by air pollution were counted together, air pollution would represent the third leading cause of death in the United States. However, air pollution isn’t considered to be a cause of death because it’s a contributing factor for illnesses, rather than being an illness itself.
2. Polluted air exacerbates symptoms of some health conditions.
Polluted air does more than just put you at risk for several serious heart and lung conditions: It can also worsen the symptoms of some health conditions you already have. Some examples of conditions that can be affected by air quality include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Elderly individuals and young children are more sensitive to pollutants in the air. Within the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that over 200 million people live in areas where pollutants exceed recommended safety standards. That represents a staggering 62 percent of the population.
3. You’re more likely to develop respiratory irritation and illness.
Research shows that poor air quality can cause respiratory infections. Breathing in irritants and pollutants can cause nasal and sinus congestion, which can develop into sinus infections. You may also find that you’re short of breath more often or that you’ve been coughing and sneezing more often. Bacterial and viral particles can also spread more easily without proper filtration, which can be particularly dangerous right now due to the ongoing pandemic and continued spread of COVID-19. If you want to protect your household, you’ll want to ensure you have an HVAC system that effectively cleans the indoor air.
4. Air quality can have a noticeable effect on your comfort.
The increased presence of allergens in the air can cause you to have an allergic reaction. You’ll likely experience itchy or watery eyes, a runny nose, or a sore throat more frequently than you’re used to. When exposed to polluted air for a prolonged period of time, you could also have fatigue, dizziness, and headaches. Poor air quality also often leaves your home excessively humid, which makes it almost impossible to cool off on a hot day.
Clinical studies and modern science have proven that there is a direct connection between air pollution and a number of heart and lung diseases. People with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions may also find that their symptoms are worse when exposed to polluted air. Contaminants and viruses are more likely to linger when your system isn’t filtering them out. Getting comfortable is also difficult, as poor air quality can trigger allergic reactions, headaches, and affect the humidity levels in your home. Air quality is a serious issue, and there can be serious consequences for ignoring an indoor air quality problem.