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Olive Explains Why Indoor Air Quality Gets Bad

Ceiling Vent

We offer services to help improve your indoor air quality in Knoxville, TN, allowing you and your family to breathe the healthiest and most comfortable air possible. If you’re wondering if this is necessary for your house, I can tell you honestly that not all homes have serious IAQ issues. But many do—and poor indoor air quality is more common today than it used to be.

Why is that? There’s a two-part explanation, and since everyone in the office is super busy working for our customers, I’m here alone to handle giving those explanations. But I live for this research stuff. Poor air quality affects pets in homes as much as it does the people! Our canine lungs don’t like dust any more than yours do.

Here are the two reasons why indoor air quality is often poor in modern homes.

Part One: Houses That Don’t “Breathe” Well

They don’t build them like they used to—and that’s a good thing, at least when it comes to homes. You’ve been inside older houses filled with drafts and can overheat during summer. Modern home construction makes buildings “tight”: fewer holes in the heat envelope, thicker and more effective insulation in the walls and attic. A tightly constructed home can vastly improve energy efficiency, and it helps the heating and air conditioning system.

The downside is these houses don’t “breathe.” Fresh air doesn’t have much chance to circulate through them to sweep out stuffy and polluted air and replace it. Airborne contaminants inside a modern house have few opportunities to escape and they soon start to concentrate.

Part Two: Indoor Sources of Pollutants

Where are all those indoor contaminants coming from? From right inside the house, and you can’t easily get rid of those sources since they’re essential parts of your daily life. Yes, air pollution is more likely to come from inside a building, rather than outside it, which is often the exact opposite of what people think. What are some of these pollutants? Here are just a few.

  • Dander: Do you have pets? (I encourage pet adoptions where possible, many canines and felines need homes!) Pets create dander, and that dander will sweep around your house unless you’ve got filters to stop them.
  • Mold: Humidity is the major source of mold growth in homes. The best way to counteract humidity is with an appropriately sized air conditioner. One of the big warnings that your AC is too small is when the humidity gets out of control! To further help prevent mold issues, change the air filter for the AC regularly, since mold can start to grow inside a filter left in place too long.
  • Dust: This is a part of life in a home. You can’t have a fully dust-free home, but you can take steps to stop so much dust from circulating through the HVAC system of the house and building up. We can help you with lowering dusty conditions—and remembering to change the air filter is another key part of getting control of this.

There are many more contaminants that you might encounter, but I hope you can see what I’m warning about here. If you want to find out what you can do to improve your indoor air quality, give us a call!

Stay cool,