What is Indoor Air Quality?
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is the measure or measurement of the atmosphere in your dwelling. These measurements are assessed against the standards that The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has provided. Poor indoor air quality can result in asthma, headaches, poor sleep, dizziness, weakness, nausea, drowsiness, damage to liver/kidneys, and in extremely rare cases, death. Alpha Environmental retains the tools, equipment, and expertise to perform residential and commercial testing in order to help our clients maintain clean indoor air quality.
Contaminants That Affect Indoor Air Quality
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that interferes with the delivery of oxygen through the body. CO causes headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, and even death. Potential sources are defective central heating furnaces, automobile exhaust, tobacco smoke, space heaters using fossil fuels, and other appliances that may use fuel in the home. The solution to Carbon Monoxide in the air is to eliminate the source.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is exhaled by humans and pets as a natural part of the metabolic process. High levels of CO2 can cause drowsiness and headaches. ASHRAE recommends that indoor CO2 levels not exceed 700 ppm above outdoor ambient levels. The solution for high CO2 levels in the air is adding ventilation.
Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals found in home furnishings, carpets, building materials, paints and lacquers, cleaning supplies, waxes, pesticides, moth repellents, air fresheners, and dry-cleaned clothing. VOCs evaporate into the air when these products are used or sometimes even when they are stored. Volatile organic compounds irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, and cause headaches, nausea, and damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system. With prolonged exposure, some VOCs can cause cancer. Solutions for high VOC levels in the air include ventilation and VOC destruction technologies.
Particulates can induce eye, nose, and throat irritation; respiratory infections, bronchitis, and even lung cancer. Particulates include asthma triggers and mold. The solutions for particulates in the air include, but are not limited to, filtration and ventilation.
Asthma triggers include mold, dust mites, secondhand smoke, and pet dander, as well as other pollutants in the air. Asthma triggers cause symptoms including coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and breathing problems. Asthma attacks can be life-threatening. However, asthma can be controlled by improving indoor air quality. The solutions for particulates in the air include, but are not limited to, filtration, dehumidifiers, ventilation, radon remediation, and mold remediation.