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The Negative Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Posted in Air Quality, on December 02, 2021

They say that you are what you eat — well, you are what you breathe too! SafeAir’s indoor air quality testing helps identify pollutants, allergens, and potential issues with your indoor living or work environments. The WHO estimates that somewhere around 3% of deaths worldwide are caused in part or whole by poor indoor air quality. Home air quality testing should be part of every Canadian’s home health and safety plans since it affects all aspects of our lives. Whether you’re concerned about your immunity, want to reduce your allergy symptoms, or simply want to improve your home, here are some ways that indoor air quality tests can help. 

Short-Term Effects

How you are affected by indoor air pollutants can depend on several factors, from the duration of exposure to the concentration of allergens or chemicals. For most of our clients, the short-term effects of poor indoor air quality can be challenging to tell apart from other medical issues or temporary problems. Coughing, headache, fatigue, or irritation to the nose or eyes are all common problems caused by dozens of different medical problems, both minor and severe. 

Long-Term Problems

When you spend time in a chronically poor indoor air quality environment, you may experience increased symptoms or begin to have other, more serious problems. We spend up to 90% of our time indoors, and airborne pollutants can affect pre-existing conditions as well as air in the development of disease or acute issues.  Serious respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms, diseases, and cognitive problems are often linked to poor indoor air environments.  


Work Performance

As an area rapidly gaining attention by office managers and CEOs around the globe, the indoor air environment of the office is under increasing scrutiny.  In a famous study by Harvard University, researchers found that worker concentration and cognitive skills declined as indoor air quality did.  When conditions were improved, workers in the healthy air environment experienced an 8% increase in productivity. 

HVAC System Failure

A common issue we find at SafeAir is that short and long-term indoor air quality issues affect the whole HVAC system and become a self-destructive problem. The buildup of dust, dander or other small particulates can collect in ductwork and inside your furnace or air conditioner. Like a figure 8, the same pollutants can be recirculated endlessly by your HVAC system and can eventually lead to costly mechanical and structural issues. 

How Will IAQ Testing Help?

Air quality testing can help alert you to a myriad of air quality issues in your home. Whether you suffer from short or long-term problems, the SafeAir team can help you untangle where and why your symptoms are originating. 

2020 saw many people working from home offices or alternative workspaces, and not all of the changes they noticed were due to quiet or fewer meetings and interruptions — many workers saw change due to better (or worse) indoor air quality environments. Improvements to the quality of your working environment can be difficult to monitor if you don’t know what you’re working with. Many buildings urgently need ventilation upgrades to increase air exchange and fresh air — and SafeAir can help, whether it’s your work-from-home space or as part of a company-wide health and safety blitz. 

Indoor air quality testing is especially useful for identifying specific pollutants or issues caused by problems like indoor moisture, mold growth, radon gas, asbestos, or lead. While it may be clear that there are indoor air quality issues, the only way to create lasting change is to identify the cause and eliminate the triggers. 

SafeAir’s comprehensive air quality testing services do just that — we take an in-depth look at your home or business inside and out to catalogue unique architectural or environmental features that affect air quality. A third-party lab analyzes any air samples we take to ensure you get objective results that you can trust. To speak to a SafeAir technician about any of our air quality assessment services, use our Contact page to get in touch!

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