In late June 2023, smoke from Canadian wildfires enveloped the state of Wisconsin and much of the midwest. During this time, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Madison reached levels categorized as “Unhealthy” by the EPA. This smog was visible in the air throughout the state and caused immediate health problems for countless Wisconsinites. For many, this served as a wake-up call about the importance of clean air. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of indoor air quality, how it is defined, and the effects of factors like wildfires on indoor air pollution. Continue reading to discover practical tips to breathe easy and protect your family by providing clean air in your home.
How Is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Defined?
According to the EPA, indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of the occupants. Poor IAQ over time can lead to negative health outcomes that could be experienced soon after exposure or could reveal themselves after years of living in an environment with poor air quality.
Why Is Indoor Air Quality Important?
Indoor air quality plays a crucial role in maintaining our overall health and well-being. With Americans spending more time inside than ever before, poor air quality can lead to various health problems, especially for those with respiratory conditions or allergies. By investing in improvements to your IAQ, you can create a safer and more comfortable living environment for you and your loved ones.
What Affects Indoor Air Quality?
There are several common household factors that can result in the pollution of your home’s air, including dust, pet dander, mold, cooking fumes, tobacco smoke and household cleaning products. While some of these pollutants, like pet dander and tobacco smoke, are avoidable, others will accumulate no matter how mindful you are.
Unbeknownst to most people, air inside your home can actually be more polluted than outdoor air. Poor ventilation, inadequate filtration and the presence of indoor pollutants can lead to higher concentrations of harmful substances indoors. The unavoidability of certain pollutants means prioritizing air quality solutions is essential for pure, clean air indoors.
Can Indoor Air Pollution Be Prevented?
Even when the outside air is heavily polluted, indoor air pollution can be prevented and minimized with the right strategies. Regular maintenance of HVAC systems, proper ventilation, and the use of air purifiers can significantly reduce indoor air pollutants. At Harker Heating and Cooling, we offer expert services and solutions to enhance your indoor air quality and ensure a healthy living environment for you and your family.
What Is Acceptable Indoor Air Quality?
Acceptable indoor air quality refers to air that contains low levels of pollutants, allergens, and contaminants. According to the AQI, a score of 50 or less is considered healthy to breathe. The air in your home should be free from harmful gasses and airborne pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, ground-level ozone, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Our team of air quality experts is well-equipped to assess your home’s air quality and recommend the best solutions tailored to your needs.
Does Outdoor Air Quality Affect Indoor Air Quality?
Outdoor air quality can have a significant impact on indoor air quality, especially during events like wildfires. As seen throughout Wisconsin in the summer of 2023, smoke and particles from far-off wildfires can travel long distances and affect the air quality of inside spaces. During such times, it becomes crucial to take extra precautions and utilize air purifiers and other filtration systems to protect your air.
How to Improve Air Quality at Home During Wildfires?
During wildfire season, it’s essential to take proactive measures to protect your indoor air quality. Keep windows and doors closed, use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in your HVAC system, and consider using standalone air purifiers in key areas like your kitchen, bedroom and living room. Harker offers expert advice and solutions to safeguard your home during wildfire events.
At Harker, we know that clean and healthy indoor air makes a serious difference in your life. Our team of indoor air quality experts is committed to providing you with the best solutions to protect your home and family from the effects of indoor air pollution.
Contact us today to ensure your indoor air quality is at its best, no matter the circumstances. Breathe easy, breathe healthy and protect your family with Harker Heating and Cooling.