The indoor conditions of your home can have a serious impact on your overall health and wellness. This is especially the case during the winter months which, in Canada, often feel as if they take up half of the year. Why is that? Well, for starters, the air is colder and drier. In addition, by spending more time indoors this time of year, whether to weather out the storms or enjoy some holiday cheer, you and your immune system are left at the mercy of the environment around you – including any particulates in the air.
Today, here’s a glimpse at the short and long-term effects of poor indoor air quality.
Respiratory Issues, Dry Skin, and Discomfort
Relative humidity control is crucial in any home or business. Conditions that are too damp can introduce risks for those with allergens or respiratory issues like asthma. Low-humidity conditions are too dry, reducing the amount of essential hydration your body gets and causing skin irritation, irritability, discomfort, and otherwise. Always keep your indoor relative humidity in every room between 40 and 60 percent, and never let it deviate from this range.
Toxins and Health Risks
Particulates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are not your friends. If left to accumulate indoors due to inadequate air circulation, inefficient ventilation, hoarding, or improper storage of chemicals, they can pose serious health risks. This is because some particulates, especially those of a bacterial and chemical nature, can act as toxins, and long-term exposure can lead to various illnesses, including respiratory conditions and even cancers.
Weakened Immune System
If your indoor air quality conditions are poor, such as having too low or too high relative humidity, high particle counts, or mold in your walls, your immune system will become less efficient over time. This is especially the case if you primarily work from home or are planning to wait out the long Canadian winters ahead in such conditions without resolving issues. A weakened immune system can occur through a variety of means, including constant or long-term exposure to poor air quality that makes our natural defences less effective, stress, invasive bacteria or infections, and other issues.
To protect yourself and your household, calling in an indoor air quality inspector with years of experience is the best decision you can make. We can paint a clear picture of your indoor conditions and make informed recommendations on what to do next. For more details, get in touch with the Indoor Air Quality Ottawa team today.