The Air inside your home can be 5 times more polluted than outdoors!

…studies of human exposure to air pollutants by the EPA indicate that indoor levels of pollutants may be 2 to 5 times,– and occasionally more than 100 times, –higher than outdoor pollutant levels. Indoor air pollutants have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health. The problems they cause can be subtle and do not always produce easily recognised or immediate impacts on health.  Reference  

Summer is just around the corner in Perth, and one of the biggest culprits for contaminating the air in our homes are dirty air conditioners. One of the vital spring time jobs is cleaning both refrigerated and evaporative air conditioning systems of all biological and dust contamination.

indoor air quality

Dust build up in an air-conditioning duct

As well as mould and bacteria animals such as rats, mice and snakes can get caught in the air handling components of ducted systems which means that particles from the decaying carcasses are blown into the air you breath.

The filters job is to clean the air and it stands to reason that if the filter is dirty then it will contaminate the air that passes through it.

7 subtle symptoms of unclean air include:

  1. Feeling tired
  2. Sore throats
  3. Regular coughing
  4. Congested airway and wheezing
  5. Eyes, nose and throat irritation
  6. Asthma
  7. ‘Flu like symptoms
Indoor air quality

Mould growth on air supply vent

Two other signs are:

  1. A damp or earthy smell
  2. High levels of dust accumulating on indoor surfaces

How can you improve indoor air quality?

Poorly maintained air conditioners have been proven to contribute to poor health including upper respiratory tract infections, sore throat, and tonsillitis… Studies have established that a large percentage of absences from work can be directly attributed to upper respiratory tract infections that occur from the circulation of airborne bacteria, fungi and other biologicals through air conditioning systems.   Reference 

Clean systems = cleaner air

Everywhere the air comes into contact with components of the air-conditioning system these components must be hygienically clean. Not sterile, just in equilibrium with the fresh outdoor air. Clean systems will ensure the health of the buildings occupants.

Recycled air

It is important to remember that the majority of domestic air-conditioners do not include ‘make-up air’. Most domestic air conditioners do not add fresh outdoor air to the air they are supplying to your home or office. All they do is recycling the air from the room, cooling or heating it then resupplying it to the building.

As a result, any pollutant that is already in the home, or in the air-conditioning system simply goes around and around.

In Perth, we often find that air-conditioners are turned on at the beginning of summer without any pre-servicing and, as a result, the dust and biological debris are spread throughout the home or office.

On a few occasions, where this mould debris has landed on damp surfaces new mould growth began to occur.  These mould growth events required remediation by our specialist cleaning team, all because the supply air units were dirty and not maintained in a hygienic condition.

Hidden dangers

Out of sight doesn’t mean the hazard isn’t there. Just because you can’t see the dead and decomposing animal carcasses, or the mould and bacteria that may be lingering in your air conditioner doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

When you power up the air conditioner, the fine mist particles loaded with mould spores and other contaminants enter the air and your lungs and may affect the health of you, your family or work colleagues.

To avoid these issues regularly clean your air conditioning filters in both the indoor and outdoor units and inspect any ducts and air-handling units for any contaminant that may cause possible health effects.

If you want to learn how to clean your air conditioner yourself this article explains how.

How to get clean fresh air in your home or office

If you don’t know how to improve indoor air quality, are unable or simply don’t want to clean your system but you want to breathe clean air then give IAQS a call. Click here to find out about the IAQS team.

Contact Indoor Air Quality Solutions Perth on (08) 9355 1060 or email us and fill your home or office with clean fresh and healthy air.

Breath Easy with IAQS Perth