Indoor air quality refers to the content of the air within and around a building or a structure. Indoor air quality affects not only health but also the comfort and well-being of the people in that building.
Indoor air quality generally refers to the chemical, physical and biological factors of indoor air that affect the health and comfort of the people occupying a certain space.
Research has shown that in the last couple of years the air within many homes and other buildings may have been seriously compromised when compared with the outdoor air in the busiest cities. This is a cause for alarm as most people spend ninety percent of their time indoors. Thus these people risk their health by being exposed to air that could be detrimental to their health.
Is There Any Relationship between Mold and Indoor Air Quality?
Most of the mold found in indoor spaces comes from the outdoor air which blows into the indoor spaces. Once inside, the mold requires moisture to grow hence if there is high humidity, dampness, or water damage mold will luxuriantly grow and becomes a real nightmare in your home.
Furthermore, if your home is poorly ventilated, it means that the indoor space becomes an even more conducive environment for mold to thrive. The mold degrades the quality of air inside your house by producing tiny spores that are invisible and mostly floats in the air.
Indoor moisture sources that accelerate the growth of mold include toilet overflows, roof and plumbing leaks, flooding, and damp basements. Bathroom showers and steam generated by cooking also encourages the growth of moisture if there is no enough ventilation to let the moisture escape.
Mold and Your Health
Molds possess the very high potential of causing severe health effects to people exposed to mold spores. Mold affects your health by producing allergens as well as mycotoxins. When you touch or inhale these substances, you become too susceptible to allergic reactions.
The allergic reactions trigger symptoms such as fever, running nose, red eyes, sneezing, and sometimes skin rashes. The reactions could be immediate or delayed depending on the person who has been affected.
For people who suffer from asthma, mold can produce spores that may trigger asthma attacks when inhaled.
Similarly, individuals with weak immune systems, for example, people with chronic lung diseases may get very serious infections when exposed to the molds. These people should try as much as possible to stay away from places that are infested with molds.
Molds also bring respiratory woes to people. The spores from molds fly through the air into people’s mouths, noses, and lungs when they breathe. The undesirable results of this include coughing, running nose, sore throat, and persistent sneezing.
Additionally, being exposed constantly to areas with molds for long periods of time poses a greater risk of getting hypersensitivity pneumonitis. This is an inflammation of the inner body organs which can be acute or chronic in worst cases.
How Can I Maintain Good Indoor Air Quality?
Putting efforts in improving indoor air quality can help you dodge all the harmful effects that are caused by mold growth. Below is a list of tips that are useful in maintaining good indoor air quality.
The first thing is to ensure that there is enough ventilation in your house. Airflow in your house is important for good indoor air quality because it removes stagnant air and refreshes the interior of the house. Make sure you open your doors and windows whenever possible so that fresh air can freely get in.
Cut out on the usage of aerosol sprays. Most aerosols are known for releasing harmful chemicals in the air including high amounts of moisture. Instead, people are advised to use non-aerosols deodorants, polishes used in furniture, hair sprays, and air fresheners.
If possible introduce some potted plants to your house. In addition to adding color to your house, plants purify the air naturally. Use types of plants that need little or no light to thrive like the spider plant or terrarium that helps clean the air.
Improving Indoor Air Quality Using Dehumidifiers
Dehumidification is the major step in maintaining good indoor air quality. Whether you live a muggy or cold climate, you could experience indoor humidity levels that are not within the tolerable limits. For this reason, you need a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier is an electronic device that controls and maintains constant humidity levels in the room.