About Indoor Air Quality

On this page our mission is to help you understand everything about indoor air quality, its effects on us, and exactly what we can do to improve it. We feel that in order for our customers to be truly satisfied in the end, they need to start out by fully understanding the reason these products exist and what they can do for us. This section will be updated frequently and if there is anything at all that you are unsure of in relation to the air around you or any of our products please Do Not Hesitate to contact us as it means we need an update!

When people think of air pollution they generally visualize the layer of smog resting over a large city, or acid rain and other forms of outdoor air pollution. What people don't realize is that the majority of air pollution we are exposed to happens right inside our own homes and work places. This exposure to polluted air effects the health of many Canadians each and every year and unfortunately it often goes unnoticed until it has a major impact on our health.  

What Is Air Anyways?

"Air" is a term given to the composition of gases that forms the earths atmosphere.  Dry air contains roughly 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.039% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases and water.

As a human, we breath air deep into our lungs in search of oxygen.  In exchange for this oxygen we exhale carbon dioxide, a form of pollution on its own! The air in our environment is rarely ever pure, and as a result of human activity, often contains pollution in the form of harmful particles and gases.

Indoor Air Quality or IAQ

Indoor Air Quality is a term that refers to the air inside a residence, office, workplace, or structure and how it effects the health and comfort of its occupants. Poor IAQ has greater effects on some people than others, but long term exposure to any form of polluted air is bad for you regardless of age or any medical conditions you might have.

Forms of Air Pollution

There are two main forms of indoor air pollution you need to know about.  The first one is air born particles. This includes everything from dust and pet dander to mold spores and bacteria. The second is noxious gases. This category includes everything from fumes and odors to chemicals and plastic by-products. 

Another form of indoor pollution that has started to gain attention is Radon.  Radon is a radioactive substance that is omitted by the bedrock beneath a structure. It is becoming more common in North America and is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Common Indoor Pollutants

Today’s homes and office buildings are constructed to strict energy efficient standards and are generally air tight to conserve electricity. This is great because we save money on our hydro and gas bills, but over time hundreds of different toxins have the opportunity to build up to dangerous concentrations which can have large, negative impacts on our health.

Common causes of indoor air pollution include

  • Radon (found in the bedrock under buildings)
  • Tobacco smoke (cigarettes, cigars)
  • Biological contaminants ( animal dander, bacteria, mold, mildew, viruses, dust mites and pollen)
  • Combustion (space heaters, central furnaces, wood stoves, fireplaces, water heaters and gas ranges)
  • Household products ( paints, varnishes, hobby supplies, detergents and cleaning products)
  • Particle board furniture and building materials
  • Plastic products
  • Personal care products (aerosol products, deodorant)
  • Pesticides (bug spray, disinfectants)
  • Fumes (gas, diesel and industrial)
  • HVAC ducts (moisture and mold)
  • Air Intakes and vents (bird contamination)
Effects of Exposure to Poor IAQ

Poor air quality can have several negative short and long term effects on our health. Different groups of people are effected in different ways, and often its effects are greatest on children, the elderly, and people who suffer from allergies and other health conditions such as asthma and lung disease. Effects are often closely related to the amount of exposure an individual has had through out their life.

Some of the short term health effects of poor indoor air quality can include irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, headaches, nausea, upper respiratory infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis, and allergic reactions. Poor IAQ can also aggravate medical conditions such as asthma and emphysema among others.

Long term health effects can include lung cancer, heart disease, damage to major organs, and chronic respiratory disease. 

In the workplace poor air quality can lead to low productivity, employees missing work due to more frequent illness, and general low moral as headaches, nausea and people not feeling well in general can be more common.

Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality

There are three specific ways to improve indoor air quality.

  • Source Control
  • Improved Ventilation
  • Air Purifiers
Source Control

The first and most cost effective way to improve IAQ is source control. The idea here is to eliminate or reduce the sources of pollution in your environment. This could include using greener cleaning products, not allowing people to smoke inside, storing paints and chemicals in a shed, and keeping moisture in check to prevent mold and mildew.

Improved Ventilation

The second method of controlling IAQ is to increase ventilation. This means exchanging the more polluted indoor air with fresher outdoor air. This could be done by opening more windows, running attic fans, using bathroom and kitchen vents, or having an air ex-changer installed in your central heating system.

Air Purifiers

The third method is using an air cleaner or purifier. These units work by drawing polluted air in through particle and chemical filters and expelling much cleaner air as a result. High quality air purifiers use HEPA filters, which are over 99% efficient at removing fine particles from the air and also contain carbon beds for removing chemicals, gases and odors.

There are many air purifiers on the market today, all designed to handle different forms of air pollution from allergens to chemicals and odors.

AirFresh Solutions specializes in providing you with the information and products necessary to start living a healthier life. We offer a wide selection of the highest quality and best performing air purifiers on the market and are confident we can provide a solution to your air quality issues. Let us know what your air quality concerns are and we will recommend the right product!