Causes of Autumn Indoor Air Pollution

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indoor air quality of a home in autumn

As the orangish-yellow hues take over the greens in the garden, and the chill breeze blows as the temperature falls, people experience a natural urge to shut the windows and enjoy indoors. 

Welcoming, cosy, and heartwarming as it feels, relations simmer among family and friends, enjoying warm emotions and sweet cinnamon rolls; there is a secret, an enemy, piling up silently. 

It’s indoor air pollution. 

Silent, primarily unnoticeable, but dangerous. Dangerous to the extent that it can cause a wide range of health issues, dust accumulation on indoor surfaces, corrosion, and affect the outdoor environment too. 

The best way to avoid these problems is to maintain indoor air quality, for which it is necessary to identify where and how indoor air pollution comes from. 

Today, we will find the causes of indoor air pollution in autumn. You’ll be surprised to see that the activities that bring us joy and comfort are the ones that contribute to polluting the air we breathe in. As an award to read our blog, we have also provided five practical tips that let you enjoy the autumn season without building indoor air pollution. 

Inadequate Ventilation

The urge to keep indoors cosy during autumn leads to keeping windows and doors closed at all times. The air gets trapped inside the indoor living spaces and doesn’t get a chance to escape or swap with the outdoor fresh air. This trapped air carries pollutants that come from various indoor activities and contributes to indoor air pollution.

Air circulation is necessary to move out pollutants and bring in fresh air from the outdoors.  You can simply maintain the indoor air quality by maintaining adequate air circulation. You can achieve it by using exhaust fans, and air purifiers or keeping the HVAC system clean. 

Cooking

Who doesn’t enjoy the spiced pumpkins and apple pies to enjoy the autumn calmness? Food is the best source of comfort and no one can avoid the temptation of cooking season specials when staying home. Where the delicious food boosts the seasonal fun, the burning gas from burners emits fumes that pollute the indoor air.

Cooking methods, type of fuel used, duration of cooking and ventilation in the kitchen determine the extent of pollution cooking brings. Common pollutants from cooking include nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and volatile organic carbons (VOCs) which have harmful effects on human health. It is necessary to take proper steps and ensure these pollutants do not accumulate inside the living spaces.

Smoke From Combustion

Using wood-burning fireplaces or lighting scented candles is enjoyable and inviting. On the other hand, wood and wax combustion gives off harmful chemicals and particulate materials that cause indoor air pollution.

Similarly, smoking tobacco also releases similar pollutants and increases indoor air pollution.

Volatile Organic Compounds From Chemical Products

Chemical cleaners, degreasers, furniture polishes, and wall paints are commonly used chemical products in every household. We also use air fresheners, deodorants, colognes and other artificial fragrances to make our home smell nice. As these products make the home look tidy and smell good, they silently degrade the indoor air quality.

You must be careful while buying such chemical products and only prefer using organic and regulated products.

Biological Pollutants

Biological pollutants are present everywhere. They include bacteria, viruses, animal dander and urine, mould, mildew, crawling insects and more. These biological pollutants pollute the indoor air. You can not eliminate them but it’s necessary to take measures and contain these pollutants. Maintaining adequate ventilation and proper hygiene helps limit indoor air pollution due to biological agents.

Natural Pollutants

Besides biological pollutants, some natural pollutants also exist in nature which impact the indoor air quality. Dust from forests or deserts, smog, radon, smoke or ash from wildfires all are naturally occurring pollutants which effect the indoor as well as outdoor air quality. 

High Indoor Humidity Levels

Humidity level drops with falling temperature. People usually use humidifiers to increase indoor humidity levels for breathing comfort, but this higher-than-normal humidity level during cold temperatures can cause problems. With such environmental conditions, mold and mildew get a suitable environment for their growth and also trap particulate matter, increasing indoor pollution. 

Unmaintained HVAC System

People ignore HVAC maintenance as the temperature outside gets cooler but start using it as it turns cold. Summer’s hard work has dire effects on the HVAC system, and proper maintenance services are required before setting up for winter. This contributes to a major problem.

The HVAC system’s components need cleaning services to work efficiently. Unclean filters and ducts pass dirt and allergens into the indoor spaces, deteriorating the indoor air quality manifolds. The stressed HVAC system also lacks in ventilating the indoor air efficiently. 

Tips To Improve Indoor Air Quality In Autumn

Here are some easy-to-implement tips that maintain indoor air quality. 

Avoid Polluting Activities

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Install Air purifiers

We can’t omit all activities that create indoor pollution. For example, it is necessary to cook food, which also produces carbon monoxide. For such circumstances, it is advised to install air purifiers. They play a significant role in improving indoor air quality. 

Improve Ventilation

Improving ventilation is the best way to improve indoor air quality. Opening doors and windows for some time during the day, using exhaust fans, installing mechanical ventilation systems, and promoting natural ventilation in homes are some of the ways to improve ventilation.

Monitor Air Quality

Monitoring the air quality using an air quality monitor is the most reliable way to keep a check on indoor pollutant levels. You can set a baseline to detect pollutant levels, track changes and alert when pollutant level rises beyond the baseline. Monitoring air quality allows you to take appropriate steps to contain pollutant levels in time.

Maintain The HVAC System

HVAC systems play an important role in controlling indoor air pollution and allow you to live comfortably. Experts recommend bi-yearly or annual HVAC maintenance from trained technicians to ensure the HVAC is in perfect shape. During maintenance services, the technicians thoroughly check all the components of an HVAC system so there are no chances of compromising indoor air quality or breakdown.

If you are concerned about the indoor air quality of your residential or commercial setting during the autumn, Euromate Pure Air is just a call away to make your indoor spaces cleaner and safer for you. With 45 years of experience in the field, we have solutions for all problems related to indoor air quality. Click here to connect with our experts.