We spend a lot of time, energy, and money figuring out how to keep our houses clean. From the constant battle against southwestern dust, to sweeping and vacuuming, to furniture cleaning, to carpet and tile cleaning, the list of ways we clean our homes seems never ending. However, there is another source of dirt and pollutants that can be detrimental to your health and deserves attention as well: your air ducts. Air ducts tend to be a case of out of sight, out of mind. But cleaning them is just as important as cleaning your upholstery, tile, or anything else. In this series, we’ll look at indoor air quality and how air duct cleaning can help.
Indoor air quality can be scary
Humans didn’t evolve to live in high rises or spend all their time in office buildings. Unfortunately, that means we’re not very well equipped to deal with the airborne contaminants that accumulate in our homes and workplaces. In fact, indoor air quality, or IAQ, tends to be so poor so frequently that the EPA has consistently ranked poor IAQ as one of the top five environmental health risks for many years in a row.
The acute affect of the pollutants found in indoor air on humans is so marked and dramatic there’s even a term for it – sick building syndrome. Symptoms of sick building syndrome include headaches, nausea, dizziness, irritation of the tissues of the nose and throat, and other respiratory ailments.
Let’s take a look at some of the scary things that are all too common in our indoor air:
- Cigarette smoke – secondhand smoke is the #1 indoor pollutant worldwide. According to the American Lung Association, secondhand smoke is responsible for over 40,000 deaths each year. (1) Obviously, cigarette smoke contains many different poisonous, carcinogenic, and otherwise dangerous chemicals. Fortunately, smoking indoors is becoming less and less common, especially in the United States.
Check back soon for Indoor air quality and air duct cleaning: what you don’t know can hurt you, part 2. In the meantime, check out our page on air duct cleaning.