What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) & Why Is It Important?
According to the US EPA, indoor air quality is the “air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants.” In simplified terms, it refers to how clean your air is. At Lowery, we understand the importance of good indoor air quality, as it can have profound effects on your health and well-being.
What Lowers IAQ?
Factors like mold, tobacco products, pollutants, chemicals, dust particles, pollen, and pet dander drastically lower your IAQ. IAQ drops even more whenever an AC system is not working correctly to protect your home from these harmful particles. Poor ventilation or a lack of fresh air creates environments of stale and stagnant air, which increases the likelihood of bad indoor air quality.
What About Health Issues?
IAQ can lead to serious health complications and a deteriorating quality of life when left unchecked. Immediate effects like irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as flaring up of asthma, can occur upon exposure to bad air. Many suffer from headaches, dizziness, and fatigue from prolonged exposure to low IAQ.
Bad air quality is also linked to an increased risk of respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer. It is vital to make sure you’re doing your best to eliminate pollutants in your home and prevent them from entering in the first place.
How Does your AC System Effect IAQ
Unfortunately, some pollutants will inevitably sneak into your home via infiltration, like seeping through doors, cracks in walls and windows, or entering through ventilation systems. In fact, on average, your indoor air is often more polluted than outside air, since bad ventilation causes stale and dirty air circulation in a smaller space.
This is where your AC unit must play an important role. When your AC works as it’s supposed to, it can filter out these harmful pollutants, making sure what little particles sneak in are not redistributed throughout the building.
Can your AC System Improve IAQ?
The short answer is yes, but only as a complementary solution to practicing good indoor air quality habits. Your air conditioner can only do so much if you’re consistently introducing smoke and harmful chemicals into your home. The reverse is most definitely true. If your AC unit is not working properly or your filters have not been changed recently, your AC will likely negatively affect your IAQ.
While a functioning air conditioner won’t necessarily guarantee perfect IAQ, a bad AC unit will slightly lower air quality. Dirty units and clogged air filters will blow particles continuously throughout your home until they’re replaced, worsening the indoor air quality over time.
Schedule AC Maintenance
If you suspect poor indoor air quality in your home, turn to your AC system first. Even just changing the filter can make a world of difference. Often, homeowners will underestimate the importance of IAQ. To have total peace of mind and ensure your AC is functioning correctly, have your AC scheduled for periodic maintenance.
The experts at Lowery are here to ensure your home stays cool and has good air quality. Avoid costly repairs or future health problems by contacting us today to see how we can help!