Central Heating Co., Inc.: Air Quality

Because we spend up to 90% of our time indoors, the quality of the air in your house is critical. Asthma, allergies and odors have all been linked to indoor air pollution. A recent scientific study found that 40% of children's are caused by home environmental factors. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency calls "indoor air pollution" the country's leading environmental health concern.

House dust mites are in important source of house dust allergens in homes worldwide. Exposure to house dust containing mite allergens causes sneezing, nasal stuffiness, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, and asthma. House dust allergy is particularly important because the symptoms are year round rather than seasonal like pollen allergies. Previous research has shown that reducing mite and allergen levels in homes can lead to an improvement in allergies symptoms and a reduction in medication requirements.

Fungal spores are pervasive throughout both the indoor and outdoor environments in varying concentrations. Unlike common gaseous compounds, such as carbon dioxide and oxygen, which have fairly stable ambient levels, the amount of fungi in the air is constantly changing.

Given the universal presence of fungal spores, their detection in ventilation systems is not unusual nor should it necessarily be a cause for alarm. The overriding issue with respect to fungi is the presence of active colony growth - otherwise referred to as amplification.

Any initial indoor air quality investigation should include a survey of the ventilation system and those locations within a system that are known to be potential amplifications sites for biologic contaminants. Potential amplification sites in a ventilation system include cooling coils, condensate pans, filters, and humidifications systems. Amplification can also occur on wet ductwork surfaces, including duct lining.

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