Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality

Date:November 11, 2009
Source:American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Summary:Damp environments, poorly maintained heating and air conditioning systems and carpeting may contribute to poor indoor air quality, according to experts. Americans spend about 90 percent of their time indoors, where they are repeatedly exposed to indoor allergens and airborne particles. This can lead to respiratory symptoms and conditions

INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Clean Fresh Air In Your Home

( This article from Texas Department of Health State Services)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Indoor Air Quality Program What’s all the fuss about “indoor” air pollution?
I always thought “outdoor” air pollution was the main problem?
Are some individuals at greater risk to indoor air pollution than others?
What causes indoor air quality problems?
How does indoor air pollution affect your health?
What are some of the major indoor air pollutants that might be found in a home or office building in Texas?
How does one go about improving indoor air quality in a home or office building?
Are there any laws in Texas pertaining to indoor air quality?

What’s all the fuss about “indoor” air pollution?

1. What’s all the fuss about “indoor” air pollution? I always thought “outdoor” air pollution was the main problem? Scientific evidence indicates the air within homes and other buildings can be two to five times more polluted than the outdoor air. And in some cases 1,000 times more polluted. Today people are spending nearly 90% of their time indoors.This is just the opposite as opposed to twenty years ago. Thus, the “dose” ( i.e. the concentration of pollutants multiplied by the time in that environment) is typically greater indoors than outdoors. As a  results there is  a greater health risk due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.

Are some individuals at greater risk to indoor air pollution than others?

2.  Are some individuals at greater risk to indoor air pollution than others? Yes, individuals who spend the longest periods of time indoors are most susceptible to the effects of indoor air pollution. Because such groups as babies, the elderly, or bedridden, and those with chronic illnesses, such as respiratory or cardiovascular disease.

What causes indoor air quality problems?

3.  What causes indoor air quality problems? Two main items:
A.Pollutant sources: building materials and furnishings;biologicals; products for household cleaning, personal care, or hobbies;central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices; pesticides; oil, gas, kerosene, or wood combustion sources.


B.Poor ventilation:
If too little outdoor air enters a building, pollutants can accumulate to levels that can pose health and discomfort problems. Indoor air quality began to decline in the 1970’s as a result of the “energy crisis” prompting the building of “tight” houses and office buildings. Spaces around doors and windows where outside air might previously have leaked through are now often sealed by caulking and weather-stripping . However the introduction of fresh “makeup” air through air handling systems many times is reduced or even eliminated to save the cost of the energy to heat or cool this fresh air. As a result indoor air pollutants can not easily escape these tightly constructed buildings.

How does indoor air pollution affect your health?

How does indoor air pollution affect your health? Health effects can include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat,in addition to headaches,dizziness, fatigue, and allergy-type symptoms. Usually these symptoms are short-term, and disappear when the person is away from the source. More serious symptoms such as asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and humidifier fever can also affect some individuals after exposure to certain indoor air pollutants.

There is a tremendous amount of variation in the sensitivity among individuals to indoor air pollutants. Hence some people may never experience any symptoms while others may truly suffer. Because many symptoms may be difficult to distinguish from viruses, or allergies (which are quite common in Texas), As a result care must be taken to determine if symptoms are worse while in a particular building versus outside, or whether they dissipate when a person is away for several days.

What are some of the major indoor air pollutants?

What are some of the major indoor air pollutants that might be found in a home or office building in Texas? Typical pollutants include:Environmental Tobacco Smoke Biologicals: Bacteria, mold and mildew, viruses, animal dander, pollen, dust mites. These are more likely to be a problem in buildings with high humidity, or water-damage.Carbon Monoxide: From unvented gas heaters; leaking chimneys or furnaces; gas stoves; automobile exhaust. Low levels can cause headaches, flu-like symptoms. High levels can be fatal. Respirable Particles: From fireplaces, wood stoves, kerosene heaters, and smoking.Organic Gases:From household products including: paints, paint strippers, and other solvents; wood preservatives; aerosol sprays; cleansers and disinfectants; moth repellents and air fresheners; stored fuels and automotive products; hobby supplies; dry-cleaned clothing.

  Formaldehyde: Usually from pressed wood products (hardwood plywood paneling, particle board, fiberboard) and furniture made with pressed wood products; or urea-formaldehyde foam insulation. Pesticides: Products used to kill household pests, and lawn and garden products that may drift or be tracked into the house.

So how does one go about improving indoor air quality in a home or office building?Therefore indoor air quality problems within a building can generally be resolved by providing sufficient fresh outside air and by eliminating major sources of contamination within the building.

Are there any laws in Texas pertaining to indoor air quality?

Are there any laws in Texas pertaining to indoor air quality?  In 1995, a law was passed by the legislature, house bill 2850, which required the Texas Department of State Health Services to set voluntary guidelines for indoor air quality in public schools. As a result the guidelines became effective May 10, 1998.In 2001, House Bill 2008 was passed, which requires the Texas Department of State Health Service to develop voluntary guidelines for indoor air quality in buildings owned or leased by state or local government. In addition Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 297, Subchapter A — Sections 297.1 – 297.10 refers to indoor air quality in government buildings.Furthermore there is very little data regarding “safe” levels of chemicals or biologicals in a home or office setting. In addition levels that may be bothersome to some people are well below “occupational” levels, which are for industrial settings.

Consequently this is one of the main reasons why there are no laws mandating strict indoor air standards. As a result it would be difficult to enact such laws until much more research has taken place. Therefore in the meantime, recommendations based upon the best knowledge at hand are used to encourage improvements in air quality.

http://www.freshaireuv.com/apco.htmlIndoor Air Quality

Detox the Air in Your Home with APCO

Detox the Air in Your Home with APCO
The APCO (Advanced Photocatalytic Oxidation) system is an air purifier that utilizes both germicidal UV light and activated carbon cells to clean the air in your home.

At TJE Mechanical, we are air conditioning experts.
APCO is a new approach that has significant advantages over the older, ozone-based systems. We invite you to learn more about APCO. Many air purifiers installed in air conditioning systems previously utilized ozone for purification.

Consequently the APCO system is a safe approach to reduce odors in the air – whether from chemical or organic sources also including mold, mildew and common germs. The titanium infused activated carbon cells inside APCO attract and hold the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) while the UV light then transform them into harmless water vapor while protecting your home and family from airborne biological contaminants such as bacteria, mold spores, viruses as well as unpleasant odors and VOC’s.

The HVAC industry.

The HVAC industry has recently recognized the ultra-violet and carbon cell approach to air quality utilized in APCO products; APCO won the 2011 AHR Innovation Award for Indoor Air Quality.As a result our team at TJE Mechanical recommends APCO systems because they are a safe, effective and cost-efficient approach to better breathing with purer air. As a result of their safety and efficiency, APCO systems function with very little maintenance required. Also they utilize an UV lamp, which keeps the activated carbon cells clean. This means that with an APCO system installed as part of the air conditioning, residents can save money on the costs of having a professional regularly clean their air-purifying unit.

In conclusion , at TJE Mechanical, we regularly assist our customers with any and all air conditioning and air purification issues. After all, there are many benefits to indoor air purifiers. Customers have trusted our expertise for years, and you can too! To schedule an appointment or also receive an estimate regarding air purification or air conditioning, simply send a message on the form or call us at 281-259-1381.

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