To determine whether your indoor air is healthy or not, we first need to establish some guidelines or perimeters such as “What Constitutes CLEAN/HEALTHY Indoor Air?” and “How do we measure Indoor Air Quality”?

What Is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?

Your indoor air quality (IAQ) is the general “healthiness” of the air you breathe inside your home. The lower the concentration of pollutants, the better the indoor air quality. Optimal indoor air quality for a home also has an ideal range for relative humidity (RH): between 30 and 50 percent. Higher humidity than that can lead to significant mold and pest control problems.

What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?

Indoor air quality can be negatively impacted by numerous sources, both natural and man-made. Here are some examples:

  • Dust, dust mites, dander, hair, pest droppings, and textile fibers
  • Byproducts (such as carbon monoxide) from combustion appliances like gas furnaces and stoves
  • Mold and mildew spores
  • Radon
  • Off-gassing from cleaning supplies, pesticides, paints, and bonding agents in engineered (pressed) wood
  • Tobacco smoke

There are many potential indoor air contaminants, including:

  1. Particulate matter: These are tiny particles that can be inhaled into the lungs and cause respiratory problems.

  2. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): These are gases emitted by certain products, such as paints, cleaning supplies, and furniture. They can cause a variety of health problems, including headaches and allergic reactions.

  3. Carbon monoxide: This is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels. It can be lethal in high concentrations.

  4. Nitrogen dioxide: This gas is produced by the burning of fossil fuels, and it can cause respiratory problems, particularly in people with asthma.

  5. Mold: Mold can grow on damp surfaces and release spores into the air, which can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems.

  6. Radon: This is a radioactive gas that is produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil and rock. It can seep into buildings through cracks in the foundation and walls, and it has been linked to lung cancer.

  7. Pesticides: These chemicals are used to kill pests, but they can also have harmful effects on humans, especially if they are inhaled.

  8. Lead: This heavy metal can be found in paint, dust, and soil, and it can be toxic to humans if ingested or inhaled.

  9. Asbestos: This is a group of naturally occurring minerals that were once used in building materials, such as insulation and floor tiles. If asbestos fibers become airborne, they can be inhaled and cause serious health problems, including cancer.