Ever since homes have been built more efficiently and tighter, there is not much fresh air circulation unless you have the windows open. In the winter, having your windows open is not an option. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor air pollutants by not bringing in enough fresh air to filter out the bad. Anything from gas or wood burning stoves, tobacco products, household cleaning products, and uncleaned furnishings can increase indoor air pollution as well.
If there is not enough fresh air circulated into your home, it can cause health and comfort problems. Some immediates effects that can show up because of a single exposure or long-term repeated exposures are: irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. The treatment for these symptoms can be as simple as eliminating the exposures to the source of the pollution.
Having some of the symptoms listed above depends on a few factors. Age and preexisting medical conditions are two main influences. Individual sensitivity to certain chemicals/pollutants vary significantly. Some of the symptoms can be confused with the common cold or other viral diseases. Pay attention to time and place of where symptoms occur.
Some long-term effects can show up after years of exposure. These include respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer and can be fatal. People react differently to exposure to indoor air pollutants so seeing your doctor is recommended.
There are a few things that you can do to keep your air clean and healthy for you and your family. A big one is to change your furnace filter monthly!
If you determine the source of the pollution, you can either eliminate it or find ways to better control it. If it is a stove or a furnace, check proper venting and ensure that they are working correctly.
Find ways to bring in fresh air whenever you can. Opening windows, operating window/attic fans, and using exhaust fans such as in bathrooms and kitchens are all great ways to eliminate potentially polluted air.
There are many types and sizes of air cleaners out there today. Finding the one that is best for you and your family is an important process. Types of air cleaners can range from single room to whole house units.