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What Are the Most Common Indoor Air Pollutants?

What Are the Most Common Indoor Air Pollutants?

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We all face a variety of risks to our health as we go about our day-to-day lives. According to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act of 1999,  indoor pollutants can be placed into two groups, biologic and chemical, and include radon, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and excess moisture. They can cause stuffy and damp houses, which makes indoor air more dangerous than outdoor air. To ensure your family's safety, it's good to understand indoor pollutants.

Radon
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally. It has no smell, color, or taste, which makes it hard to detect without definite radon testing. Radon is not a significant health issue outdoors. But, radon exposure mainly occurs indoors as it gets trapped after entering through holes and cracks in buildings. Prolonged radon exposure may increase your chances of developing lung cancer. High radon levels can be corrected by installing an efficient HVAC unit to increase the house's air change rate.

Carbon Monoxide
This is an odorless gas released from the burning of fossil fuels. Gas heaters and kerosene lamps are the most significant contributors to this indoor air pollutant. When inhaled in large amounts, carbon monoxide can be lethal to humans as it affects the ability of blood to transport oxygen. Carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to unconsciousness, dizziness, and death. Carbon monoxide is a threat in environments with poor ventilation, so ensure your home is adequately ventilated and have a sound HVAC system to get air in and out of your house efficiently.

Volatile Organic Compounds
These gases emanate from liquids, pesticides, disinfectants, aerosol sprays, and paints. Exposure to VOCs causes headaches, nose and eye irritation, nausea, and liver and kidney damage. Ensure proper ventilation in your home to prevent VOC exposure.

Excess Moisture
Moisture is among the most harmful indoor pollutants, affecting the building and your health. It enables the growth of dust mites and mildew, which trigger asthma and other allergies. Ensure that your heating and cooling unit works efficiently to eradicate excess moisture in the home.

Final Word
Managing indoor pollution needs the expertise of a professional. A Plus Quality Inc is a reliable company in Toronto & GTA to improve air quality in your home. We provide maintenance, repairs, and installations of humidifiers, whole house air cleaners and air purifiers, and air conditioners. Contact us now to learn more about our services.

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FAQ

  • How do I know what size unit I need?
    If you have any problems with your system, you should contact the contractor who installed the units. All our systems are covered by a 5 year parts, 7 year compressor limited warranty
     
  • What are mini-split advantages?

    Just as the name implies, a “mini-split” system is a “split system” however available in smaller capacities, for single room to whole house conditioning. Mini-split systems may range from as small as 9,000 BTUh per hour, comparable to say, a small window AC unit, for individual room use, up to 4 and 5 ton capacities for “Room By Room” (also known as “Zoning”) and whole house conditioning. With near universal design, mini-splits are “heat pumps” which provide both heating and cooling for a home. Here are key advantages when compared to traditional split systems:

    Efficiency- Mini-splits are highly engineered systems which offer attractive operating efficiencies, in many instances, eligible for utility company rebates.
    Heat Pump- Most mini-split systems are heat pumps, providing year-round comfort.
    Solar friendly- Due to very low power requirements, mini-splits are an ideal complement to “Net Zero Energy” homes, or any home using renewable power.
    Carbon footprint- Mini-splits are 100% electric, with zero operating emissions of any type.
    Zoning- Most mini-split manufacturers offer systems capable of room-by-room “zoning”, to account for peak demands of a room based upon construction type, exposure orientation and usage.
    Variable capacity- Mini-splits are typically DC inverter driven. That is, a variable speed compressor which modulates in proportion to instantaneous demand. Most conventional split systems, by comparison, operate with an ON-OFF strategy. (Would you use an ON-OFF switch as the accelerator in your vehicle?)
    Location, Location, Location!- Mini-split outdoor units are compact; they can be located far away from noise-sensitive areas, such as bedrooms and home offices. Mini-split indoor units have the ability to be installed where conventional systems cannot.
    They’re perfect for additions and remodels where access to current HVAC system is difficult to access.
    Modern mini-split systems are remarkably quiet; in fact, many times their operation is unnoticed by the end user.

  • Why should I maintain my Furnace or AC?

    An annual maintenance will extend the lifetime of your heating and cooling unit. The technician will diagnose and repair any problem with the unit before it fails, so you won't need to worry about any problems when the weather gets very hot in the summer or extremely cold in the winter.

  • What is a mini-split?

    By definition, and simply put, a “Split System” is a heating and air conditioning system which has two main components, the indoor unit and outdoor unit. In short, the indoor unit absorbs heat energy in the cooling mode, and the outdoor unit rejects the very heat absorbed by the indoor unit. And the cycle is repeated until the set temperature is met. Although the indoor and outdoor units are located in physically different, hence “split” locations, they are connected and operate as, one system; continuously circulating refrigerant liquid and vapor by means of interconnecting, dehydrated copper refrigerant lines, commonly referred to as a “Line Set”.

  • What is a heat pump?

    Heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool space to a warm space, making the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer. During the heating season, heat pumps move heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house and during the cooling season, heat pumps move heat from your cool house into the warm outdoors. Because they move heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can provide equivalent space conditioning at as little as one quarter of the cost of operating conventional heating or cooling appliances.

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