Considering Indoor Air Quality inside San Diego Homes
Quick: which air should you be the most conscious about breathing? The air on your front sidewalk or that inside your home? The answer may surprise you.
Indoor air pollution can be more hazardous to health than outdoor air. In fact, it is one of the top five environmental health risks.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) spring from our household cleaners, our carpets, our paints and even the chemicals on our dry cleaning. More, other pollutants like mold, pet dander and pollen combine with these VOCs to create an even more toxic compounds. Given the interplay of these substances, the indoor air can be more hazardous than that outside. Ironically, one of the best ways to keep your indoor air at its best is to let the outside air in as much as possible.
What Is in San Diego’s Air?
The Environmental Protection Agency warns that particulate matter and gaseous pollutants can taint any city’s air. In San Diego, ozone and particulates cause most of San Diego County’s air quality problems.
While ozone protects the earth from the sun’s intense ultraviolet rays, when it reacts with nitrogen oxides coming from our cars and the volatile organic compounds from our manufacturing processes and the materials in our homes, it can hurt us. Ozone irritates the lungs, reduces lung function and aggravates asthma. The formation of ozone requires light, something southern California has in abundance.
Like ozone, particulate matter is abundant in southern California. Our dry air and frequent onshore and offshore breeze spreads dust, animal dander, tobacco smoke, particles from cooking, and the waste products from dust mites, molds, virus and bacteria.
The EPA and other federal agencies use the air quality index to determine any risk to the population. On a scale of 300, 0 to 50 is considered good. A measurement of 51 to 100 tells very sensitive people to refrain from aggressive exercise. The measurement of 101 to 150 indicates that those sensitive to poor air quality could experience health problems. Over 150 to 200 indicates that even those not sensitive to air quality could experience wheezing, coughing and more. At 201-300, the local health agencies issue health alerts advising everyone to stay inside with air conditioners and filters running. During the Cedar fire in 2003, the smallest particulate matter level reached 239 ug/m3 in Chula Vista (closer to the water and sea breezes) and 350 ug/m3 in Escondido.
You can find information about San Diego’s air quality day by day by going to the County of San Diego’s Air Quality Forecast page.
How to Determine the Quality of your Indoor Air
San Diego families and business owners can get an indoor air quality test kits at Home Depot and other home supply stores. Amazon.com sells them as well. Of course, a qualified HVAC specialist has access to the best air quality testing methods. The solution for creating the healthiest indoor air stems from the results of these tests. While Home Depot and others sell portable air HEPA air filters, even those websites stress that, “The most efficient way to filter your home’s air is through the heating and air conditioning filtration system.”
A+ Rated Perry Plumbing Heating & Air Tailors Healthy Air Solutions to Your Needs
An ethical and environmentally-minded HVAC company in San Diego, Team Perry can help you protect your family’s health by recommending air cleaning systems that integrate with the HVAC system in the home.
We at Perry Plumbing Heating & Air will make helpful recommendations on right-sized, whole house air filters and purifiers. Contact us at 619-472-2112, and check out our website at www.perryplumbing.com. Named Contractor of the Year from both Contractor magazine and San Diego’s Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (PHCC) Association, we strive for customer satisfaction at every step. We look forward to helping you scrub your air clean!