How Federal Air Quality Standards Impact Your Health2 minute read
In January 2023, the Biden administration announced renewed efforts to combat air pollution and improve air quality protections across the United States. Alongside important steps you can take on an individual level to create a Healthy Home environment, this action by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is crucial in ensuring everyone has access to Healthy Air.
One area of focus for the new regulations is soot pollution. Soot is most often the result of burning fossil fuels and can also come from wildfires. It can contain a number of carcinogens, and it’s harmful to breathe for any period of time on both your respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
Soot is usually found outdoors, but can make its way indoors through windows and doors. It is also present in homes with wood-burning fireplaces. Along with other indoor air pollutants like allergens and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), soot contributes to making indoor air up to 5x more polluted than the air outside. Pair that with data from the EPA that estimates that Americans spend, on average, 90% of their time indoors, and you have a potential problem for your health.
Improving Indoor Air Quality
New federal regulations are a step in the right direction for improving air quality. But what else can you do to protect yourself and your family from the health impacts of poor indoor air quality?
The AprilAire Healthy Air System® provides a blueprint for creating a Healthy Home environment in key areas: fresh air ventilation, air filtration, humidity control, radon mitigation, and more.
Fresh air ventilation: Fresh air ventilation removes stale, stagnant air from your home and replaces it with fresh air from the outdoors.
Air filtration: Air filtration works with your home’s HVAC system to remove harmful particles like dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold spores from the air circulating in your home.
Humidity control: AprilAire Whole-Home Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers balance the humidity level of your home for optimal health and comfort. While balanced humidity exists between 40 and 60%, it’s important to remember that outdoor temperature and other home factors will impact what relative humidity level is attainable and recommended for your house.
Radon mitigation: Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs when certain elements in soil, rocks, and water break down. It is colorless, odorless, and can enter through cracks and holes in the foundation beneath your home. To mitigate the effects of radon, AprilAire Radon Control Professionals can install solutions designed to redirect harmful radon gas out and away from your home.
It's Always Healthy Air Season
When life won't give you a breather, AprilAire can.
Other steps you can take to improve air quality indoors include: vacuuming and dusting regularly, washing bedding and towels, and changing air filters. Also keep in mind that many of the items we use and tasks we do each day can add pollutants to indoor air. Common household products and materials, like cleaning supplies, paint, and furniture, can emit harmful chemicals into the air.
As mentioned above, it’s important to remember that outdoor air also has a large impact on Indoor Air Quality. To keep tabs on what’s going on outside, use airnow.gov. It’s part of the EPA’s index for reporting air quality conditions all across the country, and it can keep you informed about air quality in your area.