The issues of poor indoor air quality and moisture control — and their effects on human health — have become more well-known during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having poor moisture control in your home can bring down the air quality and encourage the growth of airborne viruses and other air pollutants. How can poor moisture control do so much damage to your air quality and what can you do about it?
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What Is Air Quality?
Air quality is precisely what it sounds like — a value that measures the quality of air. You might think air pollutants are something you only have to worry about when you go outside. The truth is indoor air quality can be even more important than outdoor air quality for your health.
Studies show most people in the U.S. spend 90% of their time indoors — either at home or in other places such as schools and workplaces. Indoor air does not cycle naturally like outdoor air — this means pollutants can stay inside a building for an extended period.
In addition, standard building materials can also cause indoor air pollution.
Common air pollutants include:
- Carbon monoxide
These pollutants can directly affect human health, with some even being deadly. Children, the elderly and those with health complications like asthma are even more at risk. However, there are steps you can take to heighten your air quality. Simple methods like having good ventilation, changing your air filters regularly and controlling sources of air pollution can go a long way.
How Air Quality and Moisture Control Work Together
Moisture buildup caused by humidity or other factors can have a very significant impact on your indoor air quality. Poor control of this moisture can cause anything from discomfort and trouble breathing to health hazards like mold.
Mold in your home can come in different forms and have various adverse effects on human health. These include breathing problems ranging from minor to severe, depending on who is affected. Toxic mold — also known as black mold — releases spores that can enter your body and have potentially lethal effects.
Even without the threat of mold, dampness in the air can cause health problems. Irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, throat and lungs are some symptoms of poor moisture control.
Ways to Improve Moisture Control in Your Home
While dampness is a massive contributor to poor indoor air quality, there are many ways to have better moisture control in your home.
Use a Humidifier/Dehumidifier
Humidifiers and dehumidifiers are widely available — you can have them professionally installed or find them in almost any store selling electronics. Humidifiers add moisture to your indoor air if you lack it, while dehumidifiers do the opposite. If you feel your indoor air has too much humidity, purchasing a dehumidifier is one of the best ways to fix that problem.
Dehumidifiers can come in all shapes and sizes, from large ones that can dehumidify your entire house to smaller ones that work like space heaters. Air conditioners and HVAC systems can also help you control the temperature in your home and enhance your moisture control.
Water leaks can lead to structural damage in your home and become a fertile breeding ground for black mold and airborne bacteria. That’s why identifying where leaks are happening, why they are happening, and fixing the causes are extremely important. If your house leaks after a rainstorm, consider investing in waterproofing services to safeguard your air quality.
Control Your Ventilation
Something as simple as increasing your home’s ventilation can significantly affect your indoor air quality. Opening a window allows air circulation to sweep away harmful airborne actors like allergens, dust, and bacteria.
Investing in devices such as ventilation fans and HVAC systems can also allow you more control over your home’s airflow and moisture levels. Make sure to install exhausts and ventilation systems near areas where moisture is most common.
Keep a Close Eye on Your Indoor Air Quality and Moisture Control
Good moisture control in your home will significantly impact your indoor air quality, leading to a healthier living environment for you and your family. Keep the humidity levels low, watch out for leaks in your home, and remember to open a window now and then.