Have you ever heard of sick building syndrome? Sick building syndrome is often suspected when occupants of a particular edifice repeatedly suffer from mysterious signs of illness, such as dizziness, chronic fatigue, headaches, upper respiratory infections and unexplained eye/skin/nose/throat irritation.
Normally this term is reserved for commercial or business buildings, but the principle behind it can just as easily apply to homes or apartments. If you and your family are frequently becoming sick, your ‘home sweet home’ may actually be the source of the trouble.
Causes of Indoor Air Contamination
The possible sources of indoor air pollution are many, especially in commercial buildings. Noxious chemicals used in cleaning solutions, dust and dirt blowing through un-cleaned HVAC duct systems, exhaust fumes from adjacent factories or roadways, mold or fungus spores, pet dander, ozone emissions from printers or photocopiers, crumbling insulation, peeling paint—the list of potential culprits is endless.
Meanwhile inadequate air flow can significantly exacerbate the problem; in fact if your ventilation is poor even relatively small amounts of indoor air contamination can cause big trouble. Modern energy-efficient building techniques also contribute to the problem, since airtight construction and insulation practices often ramp up ventilation challenges significantly.
Finding Smart Solutions
The first step to curing a sick home or business is to clean it thoroughly from pillar to post, preferably without the use of chemical cleaning products (try water mixed with a mild soap or vinegar as an alternative).
The functioning of your HVAC system is a major determinant of your indoor air quality. To make sure it is working efficiently, take the following precautionary actions:
- Have the whole system, including the ductwork, professionally cleaned by an HVAC technician at least once every year.
- Replace your system’s air filter on a monthly or every-other-month basis.
- Install air filters with a high “minimum efficiency reporting value” (MERV). An MERV filter with a rating of 11 will catch four-fifths of all airborne particles sized one micron or greater.
- Add an ultraviolet lamp to your HVAC system. It will vanquish bacteria, mold, fungi and other microbial agents that can circulate through your ductwork.
Improving your ventilation is also vital and this is an aspect of the problem you should not overlook. Adding windows, wall vents, ceiling or whole-house fans, or removing walls or doors that might be inhibiting air flow are some of the solutions you should consider.
While the above actions will certainly help, a more aggressive approach to the problem is likely to produce even better results. Air quality improvement products such as air purifiers, cabinet air filters, UV lamps, energy recovery ventilators and heat recovery ventilators will banish most contaminants and leave you breathing the freshest, purest air you’ve ever experienced indoors. If you’re in central Texas you can purchase these products directly from AB & B, an authorized dealer of high-quality Carrier and Infinity air quality maintenance products.
Breathing Freely and Safely
Indoor air contamination can be a significant threat to your health. If your home or business is showing signs of sick building syndrome the time to take action is now, since doing nothing will only make the problem worse.
At AB & B we know how dangerous indoor air pollution can be and we have the expertise to help you eliminate this problem. So if you live in Cedar Creek, Kyle or the surrounding area and need help improving your indoor air quality, contact us today and let’s get the conversation started.
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